Monday, December 31, 2007

End of the Year Dilemma

In just a few more hours, we'll be leaving 2007, and head into a brand new year, a brand new beginning, and many opportunities for things to come in our life.

Personally, I would have a little assessment of my life at this moment, to think about what I have done this year, and things I miss as well. Also, a general review about the happenings this year, and how they affect my life, and my future. It's not a 10,000-word-report type of assessment ^^; just a quick thought. My experience is that if you spend too much time thinking about the past, you'll regret many of them, which will then make your future seems extremely depressing.

Occasionally, I kind of have this "End of the Year Dilemma" - a feeling that many bad things always come up at the end of the year. The feeling became apparent these few years, when there were so many sad events hitting the world around me in one way or the other. The feeling worsened when I could acknowledge the damage but have very little power to do anything at all. At the edge of understanding the responsibilities of an adult, the feeling of being 'powerless' and even 'useless' when such problems happen is totally frustrating for me.

30th December 2003 is a sad date for fans of Chinese pop music. It was the day when Anita Mui (梅艳芳) pass away because of cervical cancer. I'm not a big fan of Anita Mui, as I'm a little too young to fully appreciate her work, but I always enjoy her songs and movies. Her ever changing image was always ahead of her time. A few days before her death, I paid close attention to all news about her after she formally announced her illness to the world, and I hoped that some sort of miracle would happen and she would ultimately survive. I still remember early morning of 30th December 2003, when I heard from the radio that Anita Mui lost the war against cancer and died. The dead silence in the room, and later the realization that I'll never get the chance to watch or hear from her again (before that I was planning to save money to go to her concert in Hong Kong) is almost unbearable.

Love her, hate her, there's no denying that the Chinese entertainment industry is never the same anymore after Anita Mui's decease.
One of her movies, The Heroic Trio which also featured super-stars Michelle Yeoh and Maggie Cheung is one of the movies I watched when I was still in primary school, and enjoy very much even till today.

December 2005 is another tragic year-end for many people. The news about the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami which killed over 200 thousand lives is still fresh in the memory of many. I was in Kuala Lumpur when the tragedy struck my neighboring country of Indonesia, and sitting in a comfortable hotel room watching the news on TV was a very sad experience for me. I was blessed, extremely blessed to be safe from such horrible natural disaster, but I kept thinking about the people who might be hanging on a tree starving while waiting for help, and the many parents and children at the salvation camp waiting for their family members who will never return again.



The tragedy to mark the end of 2007 is the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan. I was still a kid who knows nothing about the world when she became the Prime Minister of her country. When I began to learn more about the world, I could see how hard her life must have been in leading a troubling country filled with violence, even harder when she was leading a South Asian country where power was held by men traditionally. Besides stress from political rivals and her opponents in her government, there were constant attempts on her life, even when she was not in power anymore. Alas, she couldn't survive the latest assassination attempt, and the world lost another great woman.

Image from BBC News.

Benazir Bhutto's endurance and courage are great inspiration for all of us. I think when there are problems in our life, we should not falter, but instead, we should soldier on until the problems are solved. Life is hard, but at least we are not threatened by unknown death. Those with great ambition are not being given the chance to show their potentials and abilities, and we who are still breathing should appreciate life and live it to the fullest.

Tragedies here and there, but a new year is coming anyway. Honestly, I don't know how to make this world a better place, but I do know how to make a better me.

Happy 2008 everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gundam Card Game

Gundam Card Game, anyone?

Personally, I never played the game, so I have no idea about the rules and game-play. Can you place your Gundam Exia card against your friend's Zeta? Zaku II versus Tieren? Wing Gundam versus Nu Gundam? Who's 'bigger'? Who can 'eat' who? I don't know ^^;

I like to collect these cards though, not the real ones, but the ones occasionally posted by 'generous' people in online forums. I saw a few sets of Gundam Card Game on sale in my local toy store before, but I'm certain I'll never spend money to buy them ^^; since available budget I have would be going towards Gunpla instead.

Anyway, I always like these cards, the illustration of these cards are always awesome.

Leopard from Gundam X, and Force Impulse, which I'm sure which famous scene in SEED Destiny this illustration is based upon.

Some cards feature MSV mecha or those which never made it to anime or manga series, and these cards became the only place you get to see them in action.

Johnny Ridden's Customized High Mobility Gyan from some Play Station game (Gihren's Greed?) and Gundam Mk. V from Gundam Sentinel.

Of course, new Gundams are also available for those who do not assemble Gunpla or collect any of their action figures.

Gundam Card Game featuring Exia and Dynames are among the product 'web' based on Gundam Double O, capable of 'ensnaring' Gundam fans in almost any area XD

Characters and pilots are also not 'exempted' XD from being featured in Gundam Card Game as well

Shiho from SEED MSV and Master Asia. Shiho is one of my favorite female characters from SEED. Is she really the girlfriend of Yzak? ^^

Well, the possibility is never ending anyway :)

S Gundam and Fuunsaiki, Master Asia's horse. S Gundam's values at the bottom of the card are the highest among all in this posting, does that means he's the strongest?

If you a fan of Gundam Card Game as well, do share your experience or your collection in the comment section ^^

Miscellaneous Updates Again

Updates on:
(1) HG 1/144 Tieren Taozi, HG 1/144 Rudolf Wittgenstein's Customized Gouf Ignited, and other January 2008 Gundam merchandises
(2) More upcoming Sangokuden models
(3) Musha Keroro and Tamama

HG 1/144 Tieren Taozi, HG 1/144 Rudolf Wittgenstein's Customized Gouf Ignited, and other January 2008 Gundam merchandises
You can have a look at all the Gundam merchandises in January on Bandai Hobby Site. Here's the summary:

1. MG Black Tri-star's Customized High Mobility Zaku II - 4,725 Yen
2. HGUC ReGZ - 2,940 Yen
3. HG 1/100 Kyrios - 2,730 Yen
4. HG 1/144 Tieren Taozi - 1,575 Yen
5. HG 1/144 Rudolf Wittgenstein's Customized Gouf Ignited - 1,575 Yen

Here's the box art for Tieren Taozi. I'm sure if you watched Episode 10 of Gundam Double O (the episode where Gundam Nadleeh is revealed), you'll know which scene the box art is based upon :)

On the other hand, HG Rudolf Wittgenstein's Customized Gouf Ignited, the first of the four SEED Frame Astray models to be released seems quite cool - in which the level of coolsome-ness highly depends on your skills of airbrushing XD

A golden Gouf Ignited! Nice ^^

More upcoming Sangokuden models
As you know, the next Sangokuden model to be released is Kakouton Giros in February. But more are coming soon: grunt units from the story will also be released, which include GM in three different colors, and one type of Zaku. At the moment it's not sure the format of release - whether they will be bundled as a single box, or as separate releases. Also, and upcoming character, Jiang Wei (姜维)'s model is currently under development as well.

Also, another two character which may be released include Zhou Yu (周瑜) and Lu Xun (陆逊) from Sun Quan (孙权)'s army may be released as models as well.

Zhou Yu is that Hyaku Shiki in white armor standing on the right of Sun Quan; while Lu Xun is the red Zeta Plus right in the middle of the photo.

Musha Keroro and Tamama
And finally, a bit of update on Musha Keroro as well ^^

The straight assembled version of Musha Keroro - plenty of stickers is needed for the different parts, but how much can you expect from a 600 Yen kit anyway ^^
His loyal partner, Tamama is next ^^

Musha Keroro is scheduled to be released next February.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Kamen Rider Kiva

"The world is under the threat of Fangire, vampiric creatures that feed off the life energy of humans. Only a young hero who is the son of a human father and a Fangire mother stands in their way..."

No no, I'm not talking about Wesley Snipes's Blade here ^^

Anyway, Blade is supposed to be born of human mother and vampire father. Instead, that's the primary plot line for the upcoming Kamen Rider Kiva.


I really like the design of Kamen Rider the first time I saw it. But the theme of vampire in a Kamen Rider series just doubles my interest in it.

This new series will be on air in Japan on the 27th of January. I better mark that date on my calendar ^^

I wonder if his ultimate foe is going to be someone like Count Dracula XD

A very funny-looking Changer...

...called Kivat-bat the 3rd

Kamen Rider uses the whistles on his belt called Festles to access his attacks 0_0

His ultimate attack is call Darkness Moon Break, which seems like a K-O kick in this photo.

Kiva's base of operation, Castle Dran, which is the combo of a castle and a dragon.

The basic figure of Kiva will be out at the end of January at the price of 840 Yen.

Another action figure scheduled, with plenty of articulations for all his action poses. His leg armors can open to reveal his ultimate attack as well!

Read more about this upcoming Kamen Rider series on Wikipedia.

Most images from Toysdaily.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Soul of Chogokin God Mars and Daimos

As mentioned some time ago, after Baikanfu, the next Soul of Chogokin is the unbeatable God Mars.

Apart from the awesome transformation, there are plenty of action of each of the smaller robots. Wow!

The comparison between the new and old God Mars clearly demonstrates the advancement of technology is improving the coolness of toys nowadays ^^

A fighter jet set consists of three planes called Combination Mech (?) are included in this SOC release. One of the planes is extremely tiny ^^;

The next Soul of Chogokin after God Mars is Daimos.

There's no mentioning of its release date and price though.

Still remember Daimos everyone? Personally, I have very vague memory about the story and the characters actually. It was one of the many on-and-off Japanese anime I watched when I was young. I only remember the opening scene where Daimos in his truck mode would fly off a cliff to the sea and the container of the truck would open and transform. The front of the truck opens and reveals Daimos's head.

Now that I think about it, that scene is as clear as yesterday ToT

I didn't watch much of Daimos actually. Like several other anime back then, it was aired for a short while, and then a new one came. I don't know why was there such arrangement by the TV station, but I suppose I would have remember Daimos more if I watch more episodes of it. Anyway, it's still a very brief but sweet part of my childhood memory.

The opening scene of Daimos - totally nostalgic~
Can't see anything? Follow this link to Youtube.

All images from scans of Dengeki Hobby February issue.

1/144 Gundam Astraea


After much 'taunting' (we just get to see some photos of its part tree, and a finished model without any pose), finally someone assembled and reviewed the conversion kit of Gundam Astraea from Dengeki Hobby ^^

Arigato Cagalli-bi-san!

Cagallibi_Astraea_02_s Cagallibi_Astraea_03_s
Being a prize from a hobby magazine, don't expect the quality of the kit to be on par with the models from Bandai, but a little more patience and hard work can definitely improve the appearance of your Gundam Astraea.

I think the beam part for the beam saber is from 1/144 Virtue ^^;

Cagallibi_Astraea_06_s Cagallibi_Astraea_07_s
The beam rifle actually belongs to HGUC Hazel Custom or Advanced Hazel XD

All images from Cagalli-bi.

By the way, have you notice something funny about the package cover of Gundam Astraea? ^^

No? OK, here's the answer: (highlight to read) the designation code for Astraea is supposed to be GNY-001, but the box printed "GYN-001" instead.

Just for laughter XD

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Updates from Hobby Japan February 2008

Some information on Gundam merchandises selected from Hobby Japan February 2008 issue:

HG 1-100 Kyrios - Guess what, the mecha part of the shoulders are still molded entirely in white :( Plenty of painting to do then, if you want your Kyrios to resemble the anime version.


HG 1-144 Gundam Throne Eins - You have probably seen a lot of this new Gundam from Gundam Double O, which is yet to appear. This time we get to see Throne Eins's weapons - a small rifle, and the expendable rail gun. Nice~

Since all three Thrones have different designs and weapons, I guess the other two might come out as separate releases in the future. See the design for all three Thrones here.


HCM-Pro and Super HCM-Pro - Plenty of images and information on the recent and upcoming HCM-Pro figures in this issue of Hobby Japan, which include Kyrios, Virtue, Special Painted Exia, Ground Type GM, GM Sniper, and Hi-Nu Gundam.

Also, it's revealed that the second Super HCM-Pro is currently under development! If you're amazed with what the first SHCM-Pro can do, get ready to experience the excitement all over again ^^


BB Senshi Reissue - Apart from Musha Keroro on the right, a list of vintage BB Senshi models to be reissued next February is included. There are a total of 19 of them. I don't have much knowledge on BB Senshi ^^; but I do recognize a few from their high price XD - BB #120 Shinsei Dai Shogun (2,100 Yen), BB #107 Gundam Dai Koutei (2,730 Yen), and BB #100 Sennari Dai Shougun (1,050 Yen). So if you miss any of them the last time, don't miss them again this round.


Turn Delta - Not an upcoming Gunpla, but a mod work by the Jun III. The beam wings are extremely beautiful :)

By the way, if you don't know this already, MMF-JG73L Turn Delta comes from SEED C.E. 73 Delta Astray, the side story of the Cosmic Era released after Stargazer.

Personally, I would prefer it if Bandai can put some effort into researching mecha like this Turn Delta to be released as Gunpla instead of all those SEED Frame Astray color variations -_-|||


All images from Hobby Japan February 2008 scans.

Katoki's Gundam Exia & MG Black Tri-star's Zaku II

The first 00 Region figure, which is the GFF equivalence for Gundam Double O is scheduled to be released in March next year, and the honor goes to (of course) the protagonist Gundam, Exia. The price is 4,200 Yen.

Amiami_00Region_Exia_01_s Amiami_00Region_Exia_02_s
So this is Gundam Exia in Hajime Katoki-senshe's mind ^^ Everything is a lot sharper now, and I really prefer the face design of this GFF 00 Region Exia to the Gunpla version :)

Amiami_00Region_Exia_03_s Amiami_00Region_Exia_04_s
I don't support including any warning decal to any of the Gundams in Double O though, since any of them might give away technical information about these mecha to the world.

That's the ideal color for GN Sword in my opinion ^^
Images from Amiami

Another GFF figure is the Limited Edition FA Gundam - February release, 4,725 Yen. RX-78-2 fans and GFF fanatics beware.

Amiami_LimitedGFF_FA_01_s Amiami_LimitedGFF_FA_02_s
Amiami_LimitedGFF_FA_03_s Amiami_LimitedGFF_FA_04_s
Do you like the new color scheme for this FA Gundam?

Amiami_LimitedGFF_FA_05_s Amiami_LimitedGFF_FA_06_s
The features of this so-called Limited Edition figure is just 'limited' to the Full Armor armor pieces. The Gundam inside is based on Gundam Ver. Ka from GFF Perfect Gundam.
Images from Amiami

You can also have a look at Zeonography Zeong/Perfect Zeong on Amiami, which you have probably seen in an earlier posting on my blog.

On the other hand, a bit of updates of the upcoming MG Black Tri-star's Customized High Mobility Zaku II Ver. 2.0:

MGBTS_Zaku2_01_s MGBTS_Zaku2_02_s
If this is the final color distribution for the new Zaku II, I can see there are several parts which need painting already ^^;
Apart from the new bazooka, there are four parts which are different from the first Zaku II Ver. 2.0. Are they enough to justify the extra 1,000 Yen for this MG?

Overall, this new Black Tri-star's Customized High Mobility Zaku II looks much more streamline than the first one. The thrusters on the legs and the new backpack seem more natural on this Zaku II than the original one. I'm not sure if it's because the proportion of Zaku II Ver. 2.0's body is bigger and made the extra equipments look smaller; or the backpack and legs are made smaller to achieve the same effect ^^;

Anyway, although I'm a Zeon fan, I'm quite certain that I'll pass this Zaku II ^^; I'm trying to save up for some older Gunpla, and also, to fulfill my wish to collect all the four 1/100 Gundam from Double O ^^