May 3rd, 2010

anime - amatsuki - smile - summer

Spices, anime and a new default media player.

[001] Have switched to the KMPlayer as my default video player - its very similar to VLC player, though with a few more options in some ways. If any setting is odd, the Preferences menu lets me tweak it :D

[002] Recced and pimped out 12 Kingdoms on GB and its definitely an anime worth checking out!

[003] Been using kothmir (cilantro leaves aka green corriandar) more in my cooking this year since I've been more budget conscious and this means relying on spices more often for more intense flavor so I feel satisfied faster - am back in love with the savoury taste of indian cooking now. Don't think I'll ever go all veg like my sister these days but at the moment I have a craving for a green chutney sandwich, mmm :F

Until this week though I hadn't realised that a lot of people hate cilantro (o_O) since its such a norm in Indian cookings, especially when accompanied by other staple spices (as pointed out here).

Admit I have yet to try making rice in Vancouver so on one hand I'm making lots of savory meat dishes accompanied by veggies like eggplant and spinach and on the other hand, am doing more noodles and far eastern influenced soup style meals - especially since I got some miso paste, gochuchang (korean chilli paste) and chilli black bean sauce. Wish I could figure out certain western spices though - still don't know when its worth using basil, rosemary, dill and thyme *facepalm*

And spices here are generally $5 a jar which is so painful D: Also don't have a grinder/processor/blender so I can't make any chutney yet (would love either cilantro or coconut ♥)

[004] A new issue of Shousetsu Bang Bang is out and I don't think I'll ever catch up ^^ But having shiny orig slash fic on hand is always good :D

[005] Absolutely love reading about artist influences and inspiration write ups, like this one by bluestraggler and the one here by wredwrat <3

[006] I'm still grieving over recent events in One Piece though I have read the latest two chapters focusing on Luffy and Ace when they were kids. Still, its going to be a while before I can get back to reading the regular chapters without being all ;_;
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anime - amatsuki - smile - summer

Jigoku Shoujo - seasons 2 and 3

Today I finally watched seasons 2 and 3 of Jigoku Shoujo \o/ TBH since season 1 is so episodic, its possibe to start with Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori and not have any problems following anything.

On a certain level JS made me think of Pet Shop of Horrors, which I read a while back and liked the focus on human nature. However, the incidents in PSoH kind of left me cold. I found it didn't really click with me - too moralistic in some ways, though some of the fantasy elements were rather interesting.

On the other hand, Jigoku Shoujo came off instead as...chilling. I think the pets/monstors in PSoH made it easier to distance myself from the story, but in every single Hell Girl situation, the people involved are very much...human. Even Enma Ai and her assistants to an extent.

The kicker is probably that the victim with the grudge who performs the curse, ends up just as damned as the person they send to hell. And yet, knowing this, nearly everybody pulls the string. It's frightenning to see it all happen in a span of half an hour; seeing people pushed to the brink and then make the leap willingly. What's worse is I don't know which is more scary: that people could do it for such petty reasons at times or in the case of others, that their lives feel so awful that Hell itself is a better alternative than continuing with the current situation.

And then there were the endings where the victim realises they sent the wrong person to hell/that the person was innocent/that their situation hasn't changed one iota. Or perversely, when there was a plot twist and the victim ends up being the one sent to hell by someone else. 'Cause things are never clear cut with relationships and society.

There were so many moments that make me go "ooooh, fuck." Ultimately, I didn't find it to be scary in the traditional horror sense of ghosts, demons etc. but frightening when it comes to what regular (in most cases) people are capable of doing. And substitute the concept of the Hell Girl for a knife or a gun and I'm betting there are people who've actually probably taken vengence for similar past wrongs. Its not so much the fantasy/horror elements that scared me, as it was the plausibility of the scenarios.

Anyway, unique anime that uses the horror/fantasy genre to tell some rather human stories - though with most parties headed for hell, the Downer ending is pretty much the rule rather than the exception.

I think my favorite season is probably the second (Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori) though the third (Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae) had its moments too. Still, the second season was definitely my fave overall especially with the way they changed up scenarios so much more and the increased backstory on Enma Ai and the assistants at times.

My icon feels approriate for this anime XD