Monday, January 30, 2012

Steins;Gate - Review

Main Title:  STEINS;GATE
Type: TV Series, 24 episodes

Synopsis:  The story of Steins;Gate takes place in Akihabara and is about a group of friends who have managed to customize their microwave into a device that can send text messages to the past. As they perform different experiments, an organization named SERN who has been doing their own research on time travel tracks them down and now the characters have to find a way to avoid being captured by them.

 (Source: AniDB)

Plot:  Steins;Gate (シュタインズ・ゲート, Shutainzu Gēto) was originally a visual novel described as a ‘hypothetical science adventure game’.  The anime adaptation takes off from the same premise. Okarin, Mayushii and Daru experiment in their ‘lab’ to create futuristic gadgets, such as the Mobile Microwave. On a visit to the Radio Kaikan building, Okarin finds Makise Kurisu lying in a pool of blood.  As soon as he sends a text to Daru informing him about the incident, Okarin finds his surroundings altered, with no one remembering anything. And from here begins a mind-twisting journey involving CERN, time travel, otakus, moe culture, and love which lasts beyond world lines. Any more details would be major spoilers. The story involves plenty of arcs and subplots. But they are connected perfectly to the main plot, in ways you’d least expect. Full of surprising turns and unknown motives, this is treat for mystery-lovers. But behind all the fast-paced action and sci-fi thrills, the anime also deals with serious issues, such as the consequences of your actions, the philosophy of life, and the anguish of being defeated by fate, time and time again.
Rating - 9/10

Characters:  The best thing about the characters of Steins;Gate is their uniqueness. Every character is distinct and evolves throughout the story, including the supporting cast. The relationships between the characters are constantly developing, not one of them is ignored. The lead pair develops beautifully. And some other character connections are sure to surprise you later on.  Although the anime was a tad stereotypical when it came to the lead tsundere, I never got tired of Okarin’s mad scientist persona, Kyouma. Overall, an engaging cast.
Rating – 8.5/10

Animation: The animation was just right for this series. A restrained color palette, but brilliantly done. Symbols were used very subtly, you have to keep your eyes open and they won’t make sense until the later episodes. The angles were innovative. The action scenes and the world line sequences were done very well. Certain mature scenes involving violence and/or death were similarly handled smoothly.
Rating -  9/10

Music:  The OP, ‘Hacking to the Gate’ by Kanako Ito is apt in both music and lyrics, and suits the tone of the anime. The ending theme however is darker and uncertain, which is probably for the best since every episode ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. Background music is minimal, but effectively utilized.  This anime takes its music seriously, with poignant silences in many key scenes. Voice actors did a flawless job.
 Rating - 9.5/10

Overall –  A rollercoaster. Sounds cliché, but an apt description. The anime takes twists you didn’t even know were there. Every episode ends with a cliffhanger. Things which seem out of place in the first few episodes gradually begin to make sense in the last couple of episodes. A must-watch for mystery and thrill seekers.  Steins;Gate is definitely sci-fi in genre, but it doesn’t limit itself in terms of exploring other topics.  There may be a few plot loopholes, but they’re not noticeable. With outstanding plot progression, this anime is a struggle against dystopian fate which refuses to be altered. Steins;Gate is a series which definitely messes with your head, and definitely should be watched.
Overall Rating -  9/10

AniDB Rating: 9.15

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lets Learn Japanese II

Hi there!!^_^

This section will give you an overview on how to speak, write and read the Japanese language. This segment is added to help and aid those who would love to learn the language and are unable to join professional courses due to lack of time for proper class or other reasons, for those who would like to get a feel of the language and would be motivated to join proper classes later on.

Before we begin, however, one needs to understand that the best way to learn ANY language, is to join a proper course with trained professional teachers.:) As I am neither, what I say here doesn't make it absolute.:). Also, if this is your first time here, you're advised to first check out  "Part-I".:)
Dewa, hajimemasu.:)

Writing Hiragana and Katakana.

It would be better if you visit these links to learn about it better. :D:D

あたらしい ことば (new words)

ペン(Phen) - Pen
ロビー(robii) - Lobby
コーヒー(Koohii) - Coffee
 フランス(furansu) - France


 て(Te) - Hand 
みみ(mimi) - ears
はな( hana) - Nose
くび( kubi) -Neck
のど( nodo) - Throat
ゆび( yubi) - Fingers
くち( kuchi) - Mouth
あし( ashi) - Legs
はら( hara) - Stomach
せなか( senaka) - back
かみ( kami) - Hair
め ( me) - eyes.

Click on the play button to find out how the pronunciations are.:)

In this post, you'll also learn how to introduce yourself formally in Japanese. This set of phrase, that you are about to learn, is used one time only , i.e. when meeting a person for the first time.

わたし は ______________ です。
どうぞ よろしく。

watashi wa  ____________ desu.
Douzo yoroshiku.

(Pleased to meet you,
My name is _________.
I hope we have a pleasant relationship from now on.)

NOTE : I'll explain more about "yoroshiku" later. ^^.

A few things you have to remember while you're starting out with Japanese language :

Sama, dono, san, chan, kun, etc are the honorifics you use for the second or third person. You're never to use it as a suffix when you talk about yourself. for example, you'll never say " I am Mr. Lucky Singh," would you? >__<.
Same here, you are not supposed to use "___san desu" because it is not correct and sounds weird.

Click on the play button to hear how to speak these three lines.:3

Right at the start, I said :

こんにちは みんな、
ごあいさたす しよう か。
では、 はじめます。

konnichwa - Here used as "hello"
Minna - Everyone (minasan when being very formal)
(go) aisatsu - greetings
shiyou - lets do (shimashou when being formal)
hajimemasu - starting.

"Hi everyone, lets do some greetings shall we? Well then, starting off." 

[Note : Japanese sentences cannot be translated literally into english most of the time because of the sentence structure. It is easier if you think in terms of how you say it in Bangla or Hindi.]

Now let's do a bit of grammar - 

you might have noticed me writing "ha" and pronouncing it as "wa". Well, its time to tell you about the "particles"
Particles are alphabets that acts like cement to bind words in a sentence together. Depending on the complexity of the sentence, more than one particles can be used.:)...when alphabets are used as particles, "は" is pronunced as "wa","へ" as "e" and "を" as "o ".

That's all for this post. See you next time.:3