11 reasons you miss The O.C.

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Ryan, Seth, Marissa and Summer. Such an awesome and diverse bunch of kiddos. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 years since The O.C. went off the air, after 4 seasons of teenage (and adult) drama rollercoaster ride, bolstered with a solid dose of humor. While the acting wasn’t exactly the forte of this show, folks like Adam Brody (Seth), Peter Gallagher and Kelly Rowan as Sandy and Kirsten Cohen, or Melinda Clarke as Julie Cooper gave strong performances that really stuck in my mind to this day. While the series at times plunged into the ridiculously soapy turf, soon enough it always rebounded back on the right track. The direction of the plot was often questionable, but you enjoyed watching these great characters and how they deal with their problems. Here’s the top 11 reasons why you wish The O.C. kept going. Continue reading →

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Seiko Oomori, Zombie Chang, She Border Picture – my new CD purchases

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I bought a few new Japanese CDs recently – 2 of which happen to be created by fairly underground bands which managed to immediately win me over, while the third is a single that comes from an artist who’s currently extremely hyped in Japanese alternative scene. It’s another attempt at understanding the phenomenon behind the success of this peculiar singer. The popular doesn’t mean good, and the obscure doesn’t mean worse than the mainstream.

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Shiina Ringo 2016: televised shows and awards

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The bad taste in my mouth left by last year’s atrocious Coca-Cola song, Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri (長く短い祭), isn’t easy to wash off, but life goes on… Shiina Ringo appeared on the 66th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen, the Japanese New Year’s Eve music show, with the aforementioned tune and I loathed the vocaloid voice as much as ever. The act as a whole was visually great and Kamisama, Hotokesama intro bit was quite enjoyable, but the auto-tune just ruined the experience completely.

Anyhow, after few months of waiting on my part, WOWOW has finally broadcast a concert from 2015 tour. There was also another show of hers aired – a part of the 5th anniversary of Dream Festival on TV Asahi ch1, which took place on November 21-23 of 2015. What can I say – I’m crazy about her and she pretty much nailed it on both occasions, though there were few things I deem unnecessary. Continue reading →

Are the bankers as evil as we think?

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Over the last few weeks I’ve been familiarizing myself with the economic mumbo jumbo and reading up on the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Not going to lie, the economics and politics are 2 major things I tend to stay away from, as I don’t fully understand the former, and I get angered way too easily by the latter.
The recent Academy Award contender The Big Short, and the 2010 Matt Damon-narrated documentary Inside Job are the two movies responsible for my sudden interest in this subject matter.
They were not only compelling, but also made all the effort to present the circumstances of the crisis in an extremely coherent and straightforward fashion, so that even a layman like me got a lot from viewing them. Then again, ultimately I wish I didn’t know the dirty machinations that went on at that time.
So are the banks as bad as the filmmakers often make them to be? The short answer is they are far worse. Continue reading →