4 May 2024

10 Years After

It has been ten years since I published my last post here on this blog.

Ten years is a long time, but they can also go by faster than one anticipates. For some time I thought about coming back to post an update, or make a post as if I am writing a letter back to my past self, but I also pondered on what I should write about, and how I should write them. Well, coming up with a title was the easy part (it is the ending song from The 08th MS Team).

I (re)started this blog in 2008 with hobby-related topics to take a more central theme. At the time, a friend of mine recommended me to visit Danny Choo's website, who at the time wrote about a variety of topics on anime, hobbies, Japan, as well as his experience over there (he is a very different person by now though). Not surprisingly, he got a large following, and some, including me, were inspired to do something similar. Personal blogging was still popular back then, while microblogging was still in its relative infancy.

Although much of my hobbies are related to anime, I rarely talk directly about the anime or the games themselves, but rather about new toys or related news that I found interesting at the time, as well as some toy reviews and visits to local conventions. I do not like talking about milestones or boasting about what I did (unless you really insist), so I will let the past posts, or whatever are left from them after link rot, to speak for themselves.

Apart from blogging itself, the activities associated with it could also be fun, such as seeing new content or perspectives, exchanging comments on other like-minded people's blogs (or perhaps exploring a new hobby or perspective out of curiosity) and waiting for each other's replies, looking forward to bloggers' new posts, possibly helping each other out and even meeting them in person. It was quite an interesting time. Although most people have either moved forward or disappeared, I still manage to keep in contact with a few in the blogroll to this day, and even met gundamjehutykai as recent as last year.

I eventually announced a hiatus from blogging due to multiple factors, with a possibility to return in the future. However, the Internet has changed a lot over the past ten years, and, in my opinion, not necessarily for the better. While social media has become a very accessible and convenient source for content consumption (but less than before), the ever-increasing flux of information means people have adopted a shorter span of attention. Moreover, the evolution to its current form also means much of the communication is diminishing over time, from worded conversations down to mostly buttons and statistics, with the ecosystems encouraging their users to vie for greater vanity and recognition. Interactions between people no longer feel the same, and nowadays passion alone means little unless you make yourself not just relevant to your audience, but also to stand out from other people one way or another. The environment is no longer as friendly as it once used to be, and often hostile at times. That almost made me forget what it was like to enjoy hobbies with others out there, and I don't really want to be an active part of it anymore.

The blogging days may be over, and I have also lowered my presence in the social media, but that does not necessarily mean the same with my hobbies or the people I have met along the way. I simply want to enjoy my hobbies by myself, or perhaps with those who I want to share with, in contrast to the more public environments where perspectives have changed significantly and are becoming incompatible with mine.

I would be lying if I say the past ten years have gone well for me, but there are small positives gained here and there. One major addition just after I stopped blogging was Ace Combat Infinity, an online free-to-play co-op instalment of the Ace Combat jet fighter video game series. Although nowhere well known or mainstream, I got to know how dedicated fans from various parts of the world interacted not only within the game itself, but also outside; at least one group still conducted annual barbecue parties after the original game ended service in 2018. I also got more involved in some gaming wikis, and while they are often thankless contributions outside of the dedicated communities, it is something that I have more confidence doing at my own time since blogging. I am also grateful to know more fellow players such as Sly, who still continue to look out for each other beyond Ace Combat.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Unless something extraordinary occurs or is outside my control, I will leave the blog as an archive of sorts for as long as possible, mostly as a reminder of what it was like back then. I may not know what lies ahead, but I want to have a slight smile looking back at that small and perhaps insignificant part of the history before moving ahead.
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4 May 2014


I should have said this earlier, but I think it's best to say it later than never.

The past few months have not been favourable for me in general. It is a combination of many little things from various factors, mostly real life issues. It is a pity, but it is best for me to drop a few activities in the mean time. Well, hopefully this hiatus will not be as long as what Togashi Yoshihiro does with his Hunter x Hunter manga series.

I wish I can keep up with blogging, but given the real life issues, as well as the overall decline in blogging (from what I have observed) as a result of the growing popularity and ease of use of social media, I admit it is a pity seeing how things end up as they are. Given that I am more of a person who shares other news and other people's works rather making my own (as they are not particularly splendour), this also goes against my favour I suppose.

I am slow on toys these days, especially due to space issues, as well as their increasing prices these days. Nevertheless I still look forward to hearing news of new Gunplas or even action figures even if I don't decide to buy them. As for the current anime and related toys, while there have always been a nice constant stream of them, not a lot of them really tickle my interest. One can say I have grown past it, but for me it's more like I don't know what really suits my taste so much, compared to what I used to enjoy in the past. Nostalgia does contribute to it, and in a dangerous way. I do hope there is a nice future for it, but maybe this is not the time. Well, at least there is still Hunter x Hunter for me to watch, and given that Togashi finally decodes to publish more chapters of the manga after a 2-year hiatus, there is something for me to look forward to, as well as the finale episode of Gundam UC OVA and the new anime such as GUNDAM THE ORIGIN (finally), and perhspa even G Reconguista.

I can still be contacted by other means if you need to, so don't worry about that.

That's it for now. I wish I can say something more positive at this moment, but that may have to come another day. It may be a sunset here for now, but there will always a daybreak after the darkest of the night. Read More!

10 February 2014

Giant Isopod Plush Toy

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Animal plush toys are usually cute. Usually. Would you say the same to this multi-legged crustacean - the giant isopod?

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The 4 views of the giant isopod plush toy.

A museum in Numazu specialising in deep sea creatures decided to make plush toys of giant isopods. Despite the unusual choice for making into a plush toy, it proves to be immensely popular with the visitors, and the extra large version was sold out in just a day.

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The real giant isopod in Numazu Deepsea Aquarium.

Giant isopods are related to woodlice, but live at the bottom of the seas and are much, much bigger.

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The plush comes in various sizes, ranging from M to XL. M size is 20cm long, whereas L size is about 30cm long.

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The largest size has a length of 55cm, which is even bigger than the life size creature itself. Just why would they go for such a size in the first place? ^^;

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The scales have enough space for one to slip banknotes into them. Bet no one would ever think of this hiding spot of all places!

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The plush's huge size sure makes it ideal to cuddle, but does its look appeal to you? Well, I let you decide on that yourself.

Well, at least I have to admit it is pretty detailed for a plush toy, which is not easy to make. The more I look at it, the more I want to see the real toy in person. The actual creature? Maybe not so much ^^;

Images are from Amazon.co.jp & Asahi News
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10 January 2014

HGAC 1/144 Wing Gundam

It has been a long time since I last reviewed a Gunpla. For a change I am reviewing a Gundam instead of a grunt machine, and this time it is HGAC 1/144 Wing Gundam, which is the first Gunpla announced for the All Gundam Project.

First released in September 2013, HGAC 1/144 Wing Gundam is sold for 1500 Yen.



Equipments are simple and straightforward: a buster Rifle, shield, and a beam sabre that can be stored inside the shield

Posing with buster rifle. The buster rifle is a powerful gun with very few shots available. It can take out multiple enemies with one shot, but once it runs out Wing Gundam would have to rely on its beam sabre, as well as its lesser weaponries like the machine cannons on shoulders and head vulcan.

A nice gimmick replicated in this Wing Gundam gunpla is that the beam sabre can be stored inside shield. The shield is folded to reveal it.

Beam sabre in action. The actual beam is quite long; it is about the same length as the Gundam's height.

Height comparison with 00 Qan[T] Full Saber and Gundam Ez8. MS in Gundam Wing, as well as those in G and X, do have slightly shorter height than the standard 18m for majority of the Gundams.

Wing Gundam can transform into MA, which is called Bird Mode. The hands need to be removed for this form, but otherwise transformation is pretty straightforward with no part swapping required.

A few more shots of the Wing Gundam to finish off the post.

It has been nearly 19 years since we get a new 1/144 Wing Gundam gunpla. As this is not a big gunpla, there are not so many runners and parts. There are also not many polycaps, which can be worrying as many of the joints don't use one, therefore it is possible that they can be looser than anticipated. This is especially noticed on the arms below the shoulders, as they fall off quite easily as I am posing the gunpla. Nevertheless colour separation and details are nice overall, and transformation is easily done without a fuss. Pretty happy with this little kit.

Looking forward to HGAC 1/144 Wing Gundam Zero that is due to release in March!

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8 January 2014

figma Shimakaze preview

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With the immense popularity of Japanese web browser game Kantai Collection, its "poster girl" Shimakaze is announced to enter Max Factory's figma action figure line. Let's see how the anthropomorphised speedy Destroyer looks like.

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Shimakaze and her three Rensouhou-chans (連装砲ちゃん, literally translated as twin gun-chans).

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Shimakaze with her quintuple Type 93 torpedo tubes mounted at her back.

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Torpedo tubes can be removed. This pose is based on one of the illustrations.

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Damaged pose with an embarrassed face. The figma has no damaged cloth parts unlike the Nendoroid counterpart.

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If one orders from Good Smile Online Shop, there will be a bonus face for one of the Rensouhou-chan (>△<) to represent the damaged expression.

Shimakaze is available for pre-order for 5800 Yen, and will be released in May. However, due to licensing this is supposed to be released in Japan only. But then there are shops and services that can allow you to purchase them overseas should you be interested.

While Shimakaze is not my favourite character in the game, I will be looking forward to her release~

Images are from Good Smile Online Shop & figma blog
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