Sunday, 30 July 2006

Akatsuki revealed!!!

(Note: Forgive me, I have lost myself to my gushing-Naruto-fanboy side. I'm writing this just to get a couple of things off my chest. Anyway, if you dislike anime or manga or Naruto, please ignore this post entirely.)

(In case you're clueless, from left ot right are Sakura, Naruto and Sasuke)

Naruto, mainly the manga, has somewhat gone a bit tamer lately (i.e. less battles). However, the recent chapter #317 seems to suggest that things are about to change. Revealed in the chapter is a double page artwork featuring members of the much speculated, much feared criminal (terrorist?) organisation in the Naruto universe, Akatsuki.

Originally a 10-member legion of the most powerful and wanted missing nins (ninjas who have severed allegiance to any ninja village and are generally considered as a threat), its existence has been shrouded in mystery, until now. With the their plan rolling in motion, Akatsuki is set eliminate anyone who stand in their way of total dominance.

Leader of Akatsuki, name and face yet unknown. The shortest guy of the bunch but everyone seems to be taking orders from him, though.

Kisame. His character design is based on the shark. Expert of water-based jutsu (technique). Partners with Itachi.

Itachi, brother of Sasuke who is Naruto's former teammate. Once murdered his entire clan, except Sasuke. Itachi is Japanese for weasel, a symbol of bad omen in Japanese cultural belief.

A possible female Akatsuki member. Has blue hair and wears a flower. Identity, face and ability still unknown.

Hidan. Believes in Jashin, a religion that promotes destruction and death. His weapon is a huge 3-blade scythe.

Kakuzu. Hidan's partner, but doesn't seem to be enjoying the arrangement. Believes in the religion of moneymoneymoney.

Deidara. An artist at heart, an expert of clay sculpture jutsu and explosives. Formerly Sasori's partner, now Tobi's.

Tobi. Akatsuki's newest member, joined after Sasori's demise. Formerly a subordinate of Zetsu. Wears a huge orange mask. So far the liveliest and funniest member. Could he be a good guy in disguise?

Zetsu. Has an attachment that looks like the Venus flytrap on his body. Seems to have dual personalities. One of the higher ranking members of Akatsuki.

A couple of other missing nins have also filled the Akatsuki roster before.

Sasori. A fearsome ninja with puppet jutsu expertise and once Deidara's partner. On their final mission together, Sasori was killed by Sakura (Naruto's teammate) and his own grandmother, Chiyo-ba-sama. (IMHO, it was the last great battle of the series)

Orochimaru. Formerly the #1 villain of the series. Left the group to further his own evil ambitions. Both Orochimaru and Akatsuki now acknowledge one another as enemies. He was seeked out by Sasuke who wants revenge against his brother, Itachi, and they are now allies. His character design is based on the snake.

My interest of any story is often sparked by the villains, as the strategic sparring partner for the good guys. Without doubt, the emergence of the Akatsuki has renewed my interest in Naruto and I'm breathless to see how their presence will shape the future of the series. We're hoping for the best, Kishimoto-sensei!

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Bird by bird (+ another 4) on offer!

I've written about this book earlier, and I have a couple of friends asking about it.

Well, friends, good news. The Star's Mind Our English section and Kinokuniya Bookstore are offering a 20% discount coupon on this book, plus another 4 titles, until 15/9 or stock runs out. One coupon per purchase only. Check out today's (27/7) Mind Our English section for a short review of this book.

Saturday, 15 July 2006


Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I'm not quite a poetry kind of guy, but these lines have stayed with me since the first time I read them in my Form 3 English class. They are also perfect for describing the state that I am in now. I look like I'm working and moving here and there but I'm actually accomplishing and producing nothing. More like hardly working instead of working hard.

I'm still pruning my thesis outline like a bonsai tree shrub, try to figure out what shape it should take. I'm having a difficulty sorting out what to include and exclude. The semester is slowly going into the second week. I need to concentrate more. And another cup of coffee.

What I can tell you with much enthusiasm is the distractions that I've come upon lately. I think there's something funny about concentrating since the more I try to concentrare, the more I can't seem to be able to do so. Anyways...

It's the World eBook Fair!

I heard about this from the Malaysian Bookcrosser mailing list. From July 4th to August 4th, over a milllion eBooks (mostly in PDF) on various topic are available for download, including rare books, out-of-print books, scientific texts and publications from the UN, various US departments, the White House and university libraries. The ones that caught my attention were classical works by famous authors, since Project Gutenberg is one of the participants.

Tolstoy! Dostoyevsky!

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Some of you may recognise this. It's the opening line from Leo Tolstoy's much-beloved work, Anna Karenina. It's one of the books I downloaded from the fair. With such a sharp (and somewhat true) observation about the family life as an opening, I feel like I'm called upon ("seakan terpanggil!") to check it out. Only God knows when will I'll actually start reading it though...

Between the two Russian literary giants, Fyodor Dostoyevsky may not be most favoured, but he sure can hold his own weight against the competition. With critically-acclaimed works like Crime and Punishment, Poor Folk and Notes from the Underground, Dostoyevsky is also worth checking out. I helped myself to a copy of The Idiot. In primary school, I saw a translated version of it by Fajar Bakti Publishing, curiously titled Si Tolol.

You can alternatively listen to audio recordings of Dostoyevsky's Notes from the Underground chapters at LibriVox, if reading isn't quite your thing.

And of course, there's...

Honey and Clover, season 2!!!

Yeah, sure, it's basically an animated drama series about a bunch of graduate art students and their lectures and friends, but the gorgeously water-painted backgrounds in the show are an absolute eye candy for me. And it's hilarious. Can't wait.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Copyright 2009 introspector. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan