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Dad Awards

By Kokoro-chan

Hello people! Father's day is just passed again and anime has a rich variety of father figures each uniquely different from another with colourful personalities and peculiar traits. So, in celebration with the event let's meet the anime daddies in a cozy little award ceremony of our own

Most level-headed dad: Souichiro Yagami of Death Note
Caught between his responsibility as the police chief and fatherly affection for his son, Yagami still manages to do the right thing in the end, which in itself is quite brilliant.

Best charming smile dad: Fujitaka Kinomoto of Cardcaptor Sakura
There's probably no competition here, this man's by far the most ideal dad in anime.

Best annoyingly cute dad: Death Scythe of Soul Eater (ignore the ominous name)
While flirting with other women when your daughter's getting bashed by evil witches may not be a good idea, you've got to admit that this guy even manages to do that in a cute way…and hence the countless shinigami chops (sigh)!

Best dual-personality dad: Shirahama Mototsugu of History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi
A serious and strict father to his kids but a teary whining mess in front of his wife. I must say I admire Kenichi's mom, she sure knows how to handle children, both young and old!

Best Dynamic personality dad: Isshin Kurosaki of Bleach
Now here's one dad who's truly man enough to try out every possible role to maintain a super-charged atmosphere at home (that includes the role of the in-house pervert as well). Nevertheless he is the kind of dad who's always there for his kids whenever they need him.

Most genuinely evil dad: Lord Roun of Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden
This man hires assassins to murder his one and only son, a celestial warrior who had been prophesied to bring misfortune upon his father's kingdom.

Best Foster Father: Kaien Kuroso of Vampire Knight
The closest and best thing to a dad that two helpless children with disturbing pasts (Yuuki and Zero) could ever ask for. Once a merciless vampire hunter and later himself a pioneer of vampire-human co-existence, chairman Kuroso is also one of the most deep-set characters in anime.

So that was it for the dad-fest. Here's wishing a happy father's day to all the anime dads!

(The views expressed here are solely of the writer's.)

Release the stars

By Ahsan Sajid

It took a couple of hours after listening to the album Release the Stars from the prince of singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright for it to properly sink in. A sleep and a couple of glasses of water later, re-listening to Release the Stars from start to finish was again an experience that would require some getting used to. So maybe the casual pop listener would be better off setting the album aside and not listening, letting it collect dust, and waiting to become rich, for it is inevitable that Rufus will be legend in the next ten years. But for a more determined listener, dissecting this work of art will prove a treat, rather than labour.

If there ever could be an artist that captured the grace and cadence of Edith Piaf while staying rooted in the urbane grit that embodied much of blues and jazz music, it's Rufus Wainwright. With the success of his albums Want One and Want Two of 2003 and 2004, 2007 saw the release of Release the Stars, in collaboration with Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys.

Release the Stars is at once intensely personal and utterly theatrical with Wainwright playing both neophyte and homme fatale in a series of increasingly dramatic pop-operas about true love gone not so much bad, as sad. Is it too fanciful to call it pop-opera? Release the Stars presents tragic themes of self-loathing and unrequited love, delivered in a perfect tenor that is hollowed with life's sorrows, amid ambitious and epic orchestral arrangements reminiscent of The Beatles.

The songs are extremely well-produced, often with full orchestration; Wainwright has a knack for lingering melodies and concrete imagery, but there is, if you were looking for it, a lack of pop hooks. You won't find yourself humming Wainwright. You will find yourself at pains trying to remember what that one song sounded like. It'll be a horrible feeling, until you can listen to it and remember again. Almost like withdrawal syndrome. But apart from the catchiest track in the album, Between My Legs, you will be hard-pressed to put a finger on the music. This is a good thing, according to this reviewer.

Is Wainwright creating pop music with opera influence or opera with pop influence? Asking yourself this question means you've properly experienced Release the Stars. I am heavily indebted to my friend Alvina for introducing me to this album, and Wainwright in general.

E3 2009: Booyah!

By Emil

E3. Electronic Entertainment Expo. One of the biggest gaming events of the year. This year's one was no less bigger with some of the baddest kick-ass games showcased, and the presentation of a 'ground-breaking' new technology, E3 '09 left people wanting, in the sense that they couldn't get enough. Let's be at it then.

The biggest exhibition was probably from Microsoft, who totally stole the show from Nintendo and Sony. Project Natal is the next big thing for the Xbox 360 and it seems to work. Full body motion capture, player recognition, facial expression recognition and so much more- the controller is no longer that little thing in your hands. It's you.

I see many problems ahead for this technology, but maybe, it'll work out.

Metal Gear Solid: Rising is coming out, and the first MGS game to come out for the 360, as well as the 360. Though, I'm not a fan of the series myself, I'm fans of other things to know how awesome it feels to know that a sequel's coming out. The inclusion of the 360 platform is sure to please a lot of gamers who'd have been otherwise left out.

In uninteresting news, Crysis 2 was announced.

Mass Effect 2, Bioware's awesome RPG, made an appearance in the form of a cool trailer. For those keeping scores, Shepard can die, as stated by Casey Hudson of Bioware.

Dragon Age, yet another Bioware RPG (don't you just love these guys?). The world has moved on, and Bioware's keeping up with that.

Let's not forget Alpha Protocol, a modern-spy RPG that looks oh so cool and feels oh so cool, and therefore must be oh so cool. Yeah, I can't wait for this oh so cool game. 31st October 2009.

A trailer for Star Wars: Old Republic is out, and… well, let's just say the trailer itself is so cool, it beats the movies hands down and blind folded. The force is very… very strong with that game. Sad that it's a freaking MMO.

Gameplay was shown Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST, which is pretty cool. Speaking of Halo 3, Bungie announced the coming of Halo: Reach, a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved.

Good news for fans of that red-capped plumber. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, with co-op play, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story… That's a lot of Mario games… Kind of creepy, but what the hell. In Other Nintendo news, there's another Legend of Zelda game coming out again, probably by 2010.

God of War… now that was an awesome game. Gawddamn. Literally! New gameplay demos for God of War 3 for all the deicidals was showcased, as well as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which I hear is pretty much keeping the PS3 alive.

Final Fantasy XIII had another trailer, and some gameplay footage.

Beatles: Rock Band was featured, and more trailers were shown for Crackdown 2, Gran Turismo 5, The Saboteur, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Mod Nation Racers, The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearer and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.

Assassin's Creed 2 had a trailer as well which was pretty swell, except it doesn't mean squat if it's going to be as boring as the first one. That would be sad. Erm. Yeah, not really. But, anyway. The trailer was pretty cool.

That's pretty much for what went on in E3. The coming year promises enough bangs and booms to keep us sated for about… well another year. But hey, it ain't so bad.


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