Thursday, March 24, 2005

Inactivity, a poem for all lazy bloggers

I will not be active,
For unfortunately I am busy,
Work has held me captive,
My absence I regard as uneasy.

I am on a journey,
Free time is a luxury,
To earn me some money,
Procastination of the blog is my sanctuary.

- A Lazy Blogger ( member of the Procrastinators Club of Malaysia )

posted by wyejon at Thursday, March 24, 2005 (permalink) | 0 comments | trackbacks

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Shurato a.k.a. Shulato

A few weeks back Siew Toh mentioned to me about an anime series she watched when she was way younger. She happened upon the VCDs in Jaya Jusco and she remembered not having watched the ending so I bought a copy last week and we watched all of it within the span of a week. Reason being that the VCDs cost me RM99.00 and only came with a 2 week warranty. There's more to this story, read on.

Shurato is a 38 episode TV series first aired circa 1989, which makes this show over 15 years old. Wow! Shurato's closest relative in Japanese anime is the Saint Seya series ( which sadly I have never watched ). I'm not going to give a review of Shurato because that's not the real point of this post so if you're interested in finding more about Shurato please visit Arcadia's Shulato Shrine.

The main characters.

Now for the real point of this post:

In recent years anime DVD and VCDs have been popping up in many shopping complexes. They are widely available and their selection is quite good ranging from old classics to obscure titles you will likely not want to watch. One thing you notice up front though is that they are not cheap ( to be fair anime can not be found cheap anywhere in the world ).

What's not obvious however is that despite all the Original Hologram Sticker brandings ( see first two pictures ) there remains no way to purchase legal original anime videos in Malaysia ( other than importing them directly from Japan or America ). Believe it or not every single anime I have seen being sold in Malaysia are pirated ( bootleg ) copies from Hong Kong or Taiwan.

The title in English reads "Heaves (sic) Wars Shurato". The hologram sticker on the top right corner reads "TULEN KPDN & HEP ORIGINAL"

The blue sticker at the bottom is issued by the "Lembaga Penapisan Filem Malaysia" ( Malaysian Film Censorship Body ).

This was not the first time I have purchased anime discs ( in this case it's VCDs but usually they are DVDs ). As such I knew what I was getting myself into. The thing is, if you're purchasing videos of older animes don't expect good video or sound quality and if you can't understand Japanese you better be good at reading Chinese because the damn bootlegs typically come with good Chinese subtitles and terrible subtitles for English. Look at the picture below... I did not make this up!

"My imeartant inneenea is gone!"... what the fcuk?

I'm pretty forgiving with bad subtitles though. As long as I can follow the show then it's ok with me. However this "original" product had another surprise for me. I mentioned earlier that Shurato was a 38 episode series. The Shurato VCD box set that I bought consisted of 19 VCDs, each storing 2 episodes. Imagine my surprise when Siew Toh put in Disc #18 and clicked the play button:

"Welcome to Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty with me Lorraine Hahn and Dan Childs"

Disc #18 was a show about cosmetic surgery hosted by Lorraine Hahn. Lorraine Hahn of course is the host of CNN's Talk Asia. Who would have guessed that she endorses plastic surgery. OK... what the fcuk happened to Shurato? Disc #18 is where all the events are resolved but instead of that we get to see Lorraine Hahn and some stupid fella go interview some plastic surgery patients. They also have a scene where this doctor slices up a woman's neck using a scalpel... crap... I'm not gonna sleep well tonite.

I'm really bitter about this and I'm going to go back to Jaya Jusco tomorrow to get Disc #18 changed to the proper one. However being a bootlegged "original" product I expect that all Shurato VCD Disc #18s are of Lorraine Hahn babbling about plastic surgery so I may probably replace my Shurato VCDs with another title or get a refund altogether. Wish me luck!

posted by wyejon at Sunday, March 06, 2005 (permalink) | 3 comments | trackbacks

Friday, March 04, 2005

Yuri Japanese Restaurant, Alamanda Putrajaya

Alamanda Putrajaya is the closest thing to a real shopping complex ( or mall if you're American ) that you can get in Cyberjaya. With only two floors it is easily dwarved by 90% of the other shopping complexes in nearby Kuala Lumpur. While shops on the inside may be well patronised, those that are located outside the complex are woefully under-patronised. Such is the fate of Yuri Japanese Restaurant.

I first heard about Yuri from a colleague last week who mentioned that he found a Japanese Restaurant which served set lunches for only RM9.90. Cheap as far as Japanese Restaurant standards go. Set lunch in this case refers to what is widely called Bento ( Japanese Lunch Box, see my Sugimoto review a few entries back ). Being a glutton for Japanese food ( or food in general... who am I kidding? ), I could not pass on this oppurtunity.

Yuri Japanese Restaurant is located in an adjacent building to Alamanda Putrajaya. Head to the outside from the Food Court and look to your right. You will first see a restaurant named "Cosy Corner" ( Cosy Corner looks rather interesting by the way). Yuri is next to it.

Standard issue Japanese Restaurant entry.

Bland decor. Very spartan and un-Japanese like. Restaurants should always be judged by their food however and not their decor.

Chicken Katsu Bento.

Fried Mackerel ( Saba ) Bento.

And my favourite Japanese dumplings ( Gyoza ).

Me and Siew Toh both ordered the set lunch ( RM9.90 per serving ) which includes a choice of main dish, white rice, salad, fruits, some pickled lobak and miso-soup ( bean soup? ). Pretty standard dishes for a typical Japanese Bento. I was feeling greedy so I also ordered a dish of Gyoza ( RM8.00 for 5 pieces ). As is the usual practice green tea is served free of charge.

Ordering the mackerel was a big mistake. It was our first time ordering mackerel so we didn't expect the strong fishy smell. Chicken Katsu was ok though and quite enjoyable. The gyoza was as expected... nothing great here altough the sauce they served along with the gyoza was quite unique. I'm guessing they mixed up some soy-sauce, chilli, sesame seed oil and vinegar to produce the dipping sauce. Nice, I should try mixing some myself some day. Special mention should also go the the rich miso soup.

Overall this place is really just mediocre. The price won't break your budget though and the food is decidedly better than Sushi King.

On the way out I took a look at one of their advertising banners and saw a All You Can Eat like promotion available on weekends and public holidays. For something like RM40 you can choose from a variety of 75 dishes. Not too sure how this works but it does sound quite interesting.

posted by wyejon at Friday, March 04, 2005 (permalink) | 2 comments | trackbacks

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