Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reunion X Eiga Sai X Takoyaki X DVD Window Shopping X Mcdo Happy Meal = Looonnng Saturday

I was surprised when I received a call from Sherry last week informing she already got back from Singapore. Apparently she quit her job due to a conflict with her superior. I was surprised because all along I thought she was having a great time with her job, plus she never informed me beforehand that she’s coming home (duh like I’d prepare something hahaha). Anyway, the first thing I did when I got in touch with her was invite her to Eiga Sai and she agreed in an instant which I find unusual, usually she’d say "I’d think about it" which more often than not means "NO". Yay I smell reunion! I smell chocolates and omiyage!

I anticipated July 13 – Saturday with excitement that I went off very early without realizing traffic is less likely during weekend mornings. I arrived at Megamall as early as 10:30 AM, our call time was 12:00 NN. Damn! I hate being early in mall rendezvous. When I start to get bored, I start to look around and I start to see things I like and I start to spend. Just to share, my favorite quotes for the last 3 months: NEVER BE A LOSER and STOP SPENDING. I immediately informed Sherry to hurry. While waiting for her, I did my best to stay away from toys and comics.

I went to St. Francis Square. I rarely go there, but this place reminds me of Greenhills’ Shoppesville cheap clothes, Cellphones, bootleg toys, Pirated DVDs. These stuffs don’t give me potential to spend. Hold it right there! Did I just say Pirated DVDs??? Oh my, it’s been a long time since I went for DVD shopping and I really missed Quiapo. I looked around to check and reminded myself, "JUST 2-3 TITLES OKAY". The good thing with Anime DVDs nowadays is that you’ll get the whole series in one disc, depending how long the series is. But nothing caught my interest. There are tons of anime titles to chose from, but I guess I’ve really grown up when choosing a title to buy. Before, anime in pirated DVD was RARE so I ended up buying every anime title I saw. And that explains why I bought titles with no subtitles and loose episodes (Houshin Engi Vol. 3, Tokimeki Memorial Vol. 2, etc). So I support pirated DVDs? So what? It’s cheap, that’s why! One thing that caught my attention is that the new DVDs are in blue and red packaging with labels "Blue Ray" and "HD DVD" and I stupidly thought to myself – WTF! So now there are pirated Blue Rays and HD DVDs??? When I asked one of the vendors he told me that they are just "blue ray" copy but the discs are still in regular DVD format. Whew! But it would be good if Blue Ray would be pirated too don’t you think hehehe.

Sherry arrived with no chocolates or omiyage, but I don’t really mind. The first thing I asked was to eat Takoyaki at the food court. There’s this Takoyaki stand in Megamall that I really love – Chito’s Takuyaki. Their takoyaki is the only food that made me eat veggies because they don’t taste like one when they’re inside the takoyaki balls, and Sherry loved it too. She was surprised to see me eat the whole takoyaki without separating the vegetables, really, it’s that damn good. Plus I get to drink my favorite buko shake. It was the best meal I had that week (mom I really miss you) –tears-

At 1:00 PM we started to move to the venue, the Shang Cineplex. We were lucky that we didn’t experience queuing for the tickets. The ticket lady informed us that the screening would start at 2:00 PM. So that gave us time to talk. She told me what happened at work. She now has friends in Singapore and she told me how much she wanted to go back. She started looking for job again through the internet. Then she showed me pictures of her stay there and the conversation went on something like this:

Kid: (looking at the pics on the phone) is this a penguin?
Sherry: Yep!
Kid: How did that happen? They don’t snow in Singapore
Sherry: It’s synthetic of course. Oh yeah, they (Ocean World) housed Polar Bears too. Look!
Kid: No way!!! (looks at the video of a swimming polar bear)… but they’re not cute when they swim, I like them when they’re dry so they’ll have this fluffy look.
Sherry: Oh really…
Kid: Yeah! (raise an eyebrow) BTW, did you see a Panda too???
Sherry: Uhm, no. Unfortunately… I wanted to see one too..
Kid: Hah! As long as you haven’t seen one, I won’t feel envious bwahahahaha! Look I’ve seen one (brags my phone)

Sherry: LOL! Panda your ass! This is not a real one
Kid: Of course it is! LOL!

-sigh- I want to see a real Panda…

The other things we did while waiting for the show to start – drop at Kid’s Station, answer some Kokology, CAMWHORE (this has been a regular activity whoever I'm with hehehe)… Then I saw Neitaro, she never changed. She always have this upbeat energy during events that would make you want to shout "hey" "woi"… Finally, when the show was about to start, I saw Chris but he doesn’t have the ticket yet. He went to get some and we followed him to check - and surprise - Aish and Duston were also there. Wow! Unfortunately, they were not able to get the tickets for the first film. So Sherry and I went ahead to watch the first film – Linda, Linda, Linda!

This film about youth is set in modern-day high school just outside of Tokyo. In the days just before the school’s culture festival, a girl’s music group is facing a dilemma. They planned on playing an original piece of music but, three days before the festival, the guitarist appears to have broken her finger (actually she doesn’t want to break her nails) and an argument breaks out between the vocalist and Kyoko. They need to find a new guitarist and a new vocalist. While the remaining three girls are pondering who to ask to be the new vocalist, they hear the song, “Linda Linda Linda” by the famous Japanese rock band Blue Hearts and decide they want to sing it instead of an original song. A Korean exchange student, Song, is sitting in the next room and they take the chance to ask her to be their vocalist. Her Japanese is not perfect, and she’s never sung in front of an audience, but she just happens to be listening to the Blue Hearts song. They practice and practice but they don’t seem to be improving. They spend a lot of time at Kei’s ex-boyfriend’s studio and at the school practicing late into the night. They are really tired, but a deep friendship develops among the four girls. The night before the festival, they practice late into the night and exhaust themselves. They suddenly wake up the next morning and realize that they are late for the festival. They arrive at the school just as the festival is finishing and perform as the last act. The audience loves them and the four girls play their hearts out.
-taken from Japan Foundation Manila Office (JFMO) Eiga Sai 2008 flyer

At the end of the film, we were both singing Rinda, rinda, rinda! I loved the film. Funny and endearing, this film made me remember my college days again. My favorite scene was when a certain Maki confessed to Son, the way he tried to speak in Korean and Son barely understand what he was saying, then she’d reply in Nihongo. A Japanese speaking Korean and a Korean speaking Japanese. A major BWAHAHAHA! I always find it funny to hear Japanese try to speak other languages particularly Filipino. Here’s a classic line I’ll never forget – tutugutogu kami – the Nitta Oyako saying "tutugtog kami" during their self introduction at the Tsugari Shamisen Play last October 2004, and they said that many times! This film made me want to check Blue Heart’s music, I liked the soundtrack!

When we got out of the movie house, there’s already a line for the next film and the tickets available are for the 3rd film already. I was planning on watching all the four films but it was impossible because by the time you finish the film, tickets for the next film were already "sold out" (admission is free, but for my lack of term hehehe). We queued for the tickets of the 3rd film that lasted an hour because they won’t release them for some reason.

After we got the tickets we decided to eat. I never told Sherry that I was feeling sick due to lack of sleep but at that time, I wanted to have some soup so badly (this is an indication that I’m sick hehehe). I was tight with my budget so I asked her if we could eat at Jollibee because I want their macaroni soup and she agreed. Now that reminds me, 8 years ago we’d go anywhere just to avoid eating at Jollibee hahaha. When we got there, the first thing that caught my attention was the happy meal toys. They featured Inuyasha! I got excited but sherry told me that Mcdo featured Conan Meitantei. I got more excited that I forgot I’m feeling sick. I inspected the Inuyasha toys and I found the details unsatisfactory so I told Sherry, "let’s eat at Mcdo instead hehehe". We both ordered happy meals and Sherry was kind enough to give me her toy. They are not action figures like the Inuyasha toy but a variety of puzzle games. Not bad, I love Conan more than Inuyasha anyway hehehe. I completely felt refreshed after eating and we were ready for the next film –We Shall Overcome Someday.

This film takes place in 1968 in Kyoto, Japan. The background of the film is the turmoil of the 1960s and the relationship between Japanese and Koreans in Japan. The story begins when members of the karate group of a Kyoto high school insult two girls from a Korean high school. A war breaks out when the Korean girls get the boys from their school, led by a boy named Lee Ang-son, to seek revenge. The Japanese boys are reprimanded by their teacher, and two boys, Kosuke and Norio, are told to go to the Korean high school and make a peace offering: to have the two schools play a friendly match of soccer. While they are at the school, Kosuke hears the sound of a beautiful song of Ang-son’s little sister, Kyung-ja, a non-violent, peaceful, 2nd year high-school student who is part of a band. He finds himself drawn to the young girl and the sound of the Korean folk song, “Imjing River.” He steps over the ethnic divide and becomes friendly with Ang-son and his rough-neck gang. Ang-son has plans to go back to Korea and has unknowingly gotten his girlfriend pregnant. Kosuke then find’s himself part of the group until an accident kills one of the Korean boys and Kosuke bears the brunt of the family’s anger. Kosuke begins to understand the anger felt by the Korean community toward the Japanese community through the music and words of the folk song. Ang-son finds out he is going to be a father and realizes he has to grow up.
-taken from JFMO Eiga Sai 2008 flyer

There were also funny and heart warming moments in this film but my general feelings were really heavy. After I watched this film I noticed something. The two films featured Japan-Korea friendship theme. So are these films part of Japan’s attempt to atone for its past mistakes with its neighboring Asian countries. "We Shall Overcome Someday" reminded me that Japan really started it all – all those hatred. I can’t blame those Korean kids for assaulting the Japanese’ high school bus since some Japanese highschool boys started picking on some Korean high school girls. If only the sense of revenge doesn’t exist… But as the title suggests, it also showed how the new generation can make up for the sins of the past. I find Kosuke and Kung-jya’s relationship as a perfect example of hope for a grudgeless truce among warring nations. World peace is still a far fetched dream, but I truly believe that we shall overcome someday. After all, the film concluded with a happy ending.

When we got out (again), I finally saw Chris, Aish and Duston queuing for the next film. We approached them and stayed for a little while. Chris said that film they saw is not really good, it was long and boring (no wonder the 3rd film started late). I informed them about the Anime Matsuri on July 26, JFMO will be showing classic anime Films like Doraemon, Chibi Maruko-chan and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but just as I thought, they are well aware of the event. According to Aish, the Doraemon film was heartbreaking but I can’t imagine myself crying at a Doraemon movie hehe. But that’s something to look forward at the end of the month. When the line started to move, we bid goodbye. Sherry and I eventually parted our ways.

It was a long Saturday and it was really tiring but it was fun. As soon as I got home, I slumped in my bed with a happy sigh.


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