gaguri’s Christmas ramblings

December 25, 2009

It’s 5 am here but I’ve been wanting to write something for a while (and also send official ha neul seom’s christmas greeting) so here goes ^^. I’ll talk a little about anime too, so hopefully this ramblings won’t be totally off-topic, haha.

So here I am, been slaving for an architecture firm in Seoul (not in Busan as I first expected) for about ten days now, and finally enjoyed myself fully on Christmas. I stress the word SLAVING because, in Korea, it is common and almost expected to often (1~3 times a week) work over-time (2~4 hours plus your 9am~6pm working hour), without being paid for the extra hours. What’s even more hilarious is that I will be working on 31st of December, that’s when we have a discussion meeting for our design submission. Working on new years eve, which also happens to be my birthday, oh this is such a fabulous culture so much that I’m literally dying to return and work here whenever I finish my MArch degree! I remembered a scene from the popular TV series How I Met Your Mother, where Robin claims “Seriously, who works on new years eve”. Well, I’m not laughing now. But enough of work, I actually plan to make another blog for myself documenting our team’s progress on this particular design competition, which may be of interest for some of you not only because of architecture part, but because of Korean (more east asian) working and social environment that severely differs from what I’ve observed in Sydney (more western). As for my Christmas day I spent some time with my Grandma until lunch (trying to fill her void as much as I can while I’m here), had family gathering with relatives, then headed out with my kawaii cousins to karaoke bar, cafe and watched Avatar in 3D! It was 12:30 am, and 3D really puts strain on your eyes but we loved the movie enough to handle it. I hope you all enjoyed your X-mas too.

I thought I’d first share what /a/ had to say about my previous Top 50 post (4chan had archive for this sort of thing?), another discussion thread on reddit. Some like all of them misinformed remarks aside, it was kinda funny, and I hope it somewhat increased awareness for a select number of works that I cherish for other anime fans.

I’ve dropped out from following Umineko but have been closely following Railgun the anime, and I’m enjoying it as a well-animated action series featuring cute girls. Been watching some Higurashi Rei as well, which has me tensed in its second episode. Hopefully it won’t let me down. Also need to make time to catch up on other titles, like Gundam: War in the pockets, Eureka 7, Kamichu, Nana, Sword in the Strangers, Trapeze, Genius Party, Aoi Bunga…ah, the path to being anime connoisseur is too steep -__-

As for what I have to briefly note about the ‘live-action’ film Avatar, it looks stunning. No doubting that. Some of the most beautifully rendered views you will see in silver screen. But to be honest, it fell bit short compared to what I first imagined. It was good, but I was secretly hoping for something even more grand. I guess that typical mainstream blockbuster taste is still too sweet for my senile old tongue. I wondered how Miyazaki’s direction would have transformed this movie. All I can say is that I still have more fondness for Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa and Laputa. And now I have to watch Ninja Assassin, which is another movie that didn’t come out in Sydney soon enough.

So anyway, thanks for reading and hope you all had great Christmas!

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19 Responses to “gaguri’s Christmas ramblings”


  1. I watched Avatar in IMAX 3D without any real expectations… since I didn’t pay attention to the trailers much. However, I find myself tremendously impressed. I can’t bring myself to rewatch The Return of the Jedi anymore being ruined with how Avatar depicted the Ewoks vs. Stormtroopers battle. (Don’t worry I’ll get over it)

    I actually like Cameron very much, for Aliens, and Terminator 2. The man knows how to entertain with ordnance.

    May you enjoy Eureka SeveN as much as I do!

  2. gaguri Says:

    Oh I absolutely love Aliens and Terminator 2. Hmm but how should I say this for Avatar. Maybe more ‘grand’ was not the right word, but anyway, I guess this is just another case of ‘you just keep wanting the movie to be what you want it to be’, yet I can’t help it :/. One main difference between Aliens and Avatar in my opinion is that, well, Avatar was much more pandering and sugar-coated, what with all the Triumphant(!) soundtracks accompanying the rescue squad (rampaging rhinos and flying raptors) that saves our poor little heroine in pinch, and of course not forgetting to show slow-mo deaths and HORRORS of people dying to save their freedom, much too typically calculated approach seen many times in movies like Lord of the Rings (just one of many examples, trying hard not to nitpick and failing ^^b). Alien on the other hand just kicked ass, it’s hard and raw without any sweetening artificial flavourings.

  3. Kitsune Says:

    Merry Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

    It seems like you work very hard. Such a schedule is not unusual for some places in the US.

    Sounds like your Christmas day was well-spent ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh wow, you have a long list of anime to watch! It is almost as long as my list of teas to try ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. gaguri Says:

    I think America is very similar to places like Korea and Japan in a way. IIRC, after Kennedy’s speech about ‘don’t ask what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country’, reaction from US, Jp, Korea, etc were very favourable but very bad from places like UK and France (and probably Australia too). I can imagine many companies in America to be hardcore but working after hours without being paid would be perceived as wrong.

  5. animekritik Says:

    Merry Xmas! Corporations suck!! Yay!!!

  6. kadian1364 Says:

    I liked Avatar much myself, I think its about as good as a mainstream Hollywood blockbuster can be. Starring cg characters is still asking a lot for the general public to accept, so a plotline that’s “by the book” is forgivable considering how well it was all executed.

    Ah yes, animes. Been going at it pretty hard myself now that I’ve got a bit of a break between semesters. Spurned on by reading your list, so that’s good.

  7. gaguri Says:

    @animekritik

    Yea!

    @kadian1364

    Yea it was as good as it could get, I won’t disagree with that =D. So in a way, I’ve got nothing to complain.

    And hope you find good picks from the list =)

  8. Canne Says:

    Happy Holidays!
    I know exactly how you feel because I have to work 24 hrs on Jan 1st too (what’s wrong with these people!?)
    I love Avatar very much partly because it reminds me of several Ghibli films ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. usagijen Says:

    first thing that came to mind with the mention of architecture was “Mayama!” XD

    But gah, don’t overwork too much (hurr durr)! Though hm, now I wonder if Koreans are more workaholic than Japanese…

  10. usagijen Says:

    oh and Merry Christmas gaguri! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. gaguri Says:

    @Canne

    Yea content wise there is lot of similarity, but I think approach wise they were very different, and I prefer Ghibli personally =)

    @usagijen

    I don’t know about being workaholic, well the directors above us DEFINITELY are, but I think we are kinda ‘forced’ to stay unless you want to get on the superior’s bad side ;_; (and since it has become accepted and expected to stay behind when needed).

    And hope you had merry christmas too jen!

  12. Sasa Says:

    Oh my God, you are an architecture student! How… fitting of you somehow? Where are you going to school? But then again, how can you be an architecture student and be worried about overtime work? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    By the way, I was completely sick on Christmas (and on vacation too!), but now I’m fine and totally enjoy my time doing sightseeing the whole day.

  13. gaguri Says:

    You have it all wrong, read posts more carefully!

    Anyway, glad to hear you’re feeling better. I was badly sick too while working but healed just before Christmas.

  14. Martin Says:

    Belated christmas greetings! I booked the time off on new year’s eve but I’m still doing a bit of (paid) overtime last weekend and next. Saving up for my next Tokyo trip among other things…

    I hope you enjoy E7, Trapeze and word of the Stranger – I found them to be excellent. I’ll try to join in the fun and compile my own top 50 list at some point before new year’s too. Best of luck with the career stuffs!

  15. gaguri Says:

    Thanks! Don’t work too hard, although I guess you need to if you want as much goodies for your next trip to Tokyo!

  16. muhootsaver Says:

    Happy New Year! Have a great holiday ^^

  17. gaguri Says:

    ์ƒˆํ•ด ๋ณต ๋งŽ์ด ๋ฐ›์œผ์„ธ์šฉ~! โค

  18. Sorrow-kun Says:

    @kadian1364

    I think its about as good as a mainstream Hollywood blockbuster can be.

    *Cough*The Dark Knight*cough*. Also, it wasn’t so long ago when Hollywood blockbusters were winning Oscars. Gladiator and so on and so forth. Films don’t need to be dumbed down to appeal to a wider audience. At least not in my naive make-believe world.

  19. gaguri Says:

    Yea Dark Knight wins in story and characterisation. For mainstream movie anyway. But Avatar wins in design!


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