[Movies] Special Correspondents: “It’s a character development, sure.”

I actually like this movie quite a bit. Unfortunately, the ending and the conclusion left too much bad taste for me to remember that nice feeling. They rushed the story from the middle part until the end and it doesn’t even make any sense. Yeah, they went to Ecuador, and yeah, as expected they got caught for real, then BAAM suddenly happily ever after.

The heck? Are you kidding me?

Not to mention, the character development for Finch just made him worse for me. He was okay before, I could sympathize with him even when what he did was only whining about his no good wife and their marriage problem. But after the character development, he became so stupid (reckless and careless) and annoying. And since Frank felt guilty about what he did in of his ignorance, he became too meek to control his partner’s idiotic behavior.

I feel like they switched the roles. Frank, at first, was really annoying. He was an arrogant jerk, who couldn’t care less about others. But then, he grew. He realized his wrong-doing and became well, not so arrogant.

Meanwhile Finch, at first, was your average nice guy. And they changed him. He became disagreeable after he realized his wife really didn’t love him. AND HE DID SOMETHING STUPID OVER AND OVER AGAIN AFTER THAT.

Finally, they got home; somehow thanks to Finch (Frank was like secondary-not-really-important character in this part). But I won’t forget that he was the one who was being too careless in the first place and (one of) the reason they got trapped. And I’m not sure if what he did was brave or not. It was too reckless. They were lucky they could get out of there unharmed.

…or maybe I should say it was a miracle.


I wonder which news I should take as truth and which were not. Internet really doesn’t help. With how much useless information we have to read every day, it sometimes doesn’t even matter whether they are true or false.

[Manga] 3-Gatsu no Lion Vol 10: “The flag has been raised.”

I love Honey and Clover. Well, maybe I should say “like”, since love is a strong word and my feeling doesn’t seem to compare to that. But I know I have high respect for Umino Chika, and more after I began to read 3-gatsu no Lion.

Honey and Clover did a good job telling a slice of life kind of story. However I do think it suffered quite a bit by being too dramatic at the worst of time. I mean, love is a strong word, but it wasn’t actually that strong that it could control you without you let it first. And before I forget, I have to say I never read Honey and Clover. I just watched the anime. So I don’t really know Umino Chika’s style as mangaka until 3-gatsu no Lion.

Different from H&C, 3-gatsu no Lion actually gave me not-so-good first impression. I don’t understand shogi, and I’m a very bad chess player, I never played a game with other people, but when I played against computer, I only win by luck or using undo option. Then the main character, Kiriyama Rei, came out to me as a weak looking ordinary boy, just genius enough he could be a pro shogi player when he was in middle school. It sounds contradicting? Yes, because it is.

I ranted about Konoha (MC from Bungaku Shoujo) before in my goodreads review. And Kiriyama was a bit like him at first. He had more justification for being that than Konoha, though. However, after a while I began to warm up to him. His character development was really good. And after 10 volume passed I just realized I’ve had forgotten about him as that weak looking boy.

He became stronger. And it didn’t seem forced at all.

Then when he did something that betrayed our/their expectation, what could you do except smile wryly and let him do his way. (well, you could always sigh and show your disappointment about that).

[Movies] Zootopia: “We’ve taken the guilty ship.”

I like the premise of the story. That is, you can’t judge a book by its publisher. Because publisher doesn’t publish the book that you want, they just publish the books they think you want. And it’s not wrong. It’s a logical move. The only problem with this practice, there are always something unusual and unexpected you can’t guess.

So, what the heck I am talking about?

Of course, I’m talking about Zootopia. The premise of the story is good, simple but good. And the plot is interesting–enough. However, I have one problem with the culprit or… the antagonist. I mean, since the bad guys were from the same species, it feels a little bit like they just exchanged the roles of the Cinderella with her step sisters. Or little red riding hood with the wolf.

Why it felt like they blamed it to only one person—or in this case, one species even though we know the fault in our stars—cough—pardon the lame joke. Even though we know the fault actually lies in our society.

Yes, I know it doesn’t mean to be like that. As Judy said, there was mean bunny, as there was mean fox. But since the bad guys (the main antagonist and crew) were composed by only one species, you couldn’t help but think they are the bad one. Like we thought the wolves are bad because we read the little red riding hood story, or the cats are stupid after we watched Tom and Jerry.

It wasn’t that simple, right?

I know maybe they did it just because it was easier to understand if the bad guys portrayed by only one species, to avoid confusion, etc. And if we wanted to make some excuses, it was a family related kind business; you can’t trust strangers with such thing, yeah. But well, I still don’t like it. Since it gave too much hint to the otherwise potential twist.

Well… there was still one nice twist. Thank goodness it wasn’t with the power of LOVE and PEACE.


I know in Zootopia universe they were living together in harmony. But what the heck did the predators eat? Was there any meat? Meanwhile the bunnies still ate their carrots happily.

(Answer: They were evolving to have a sweet tooth).

[Anime] Black Lagoon: “Rock and Groove.”

Black Lagoon – Second Barrage… I wonder why they didn’t change the title to R2 or maybe Rock and Revy or Double-Are. Seriously… why named it Black Lagoon if you didn’t even tell the stories about them? In S1 they always put focus on Revy (and Rock), sure, but they at least, still gave enough screen time for Dutch and Benny. However in S2… nothing. Just nothing. They were too busy wasting the good characters just for developing bad characters. I didn’t know what the author/director/writer was thinking when they made this.

To be fair, yeah, Revy is not that bad. Rock is not that bad. But they, sure, loved to whine about their life. I’m sorry to say… but I don’t give a crap about your viewpoint, your belief, your oh-s0-wise-words. So stop… stop spouting your philosophical nonsense as if they were the truth of the world. I’m not sharing your view, and you won’t persuade me!

Not to mention, for the story that is supposed to be realistic, Black Lagoon is nowhere near it. Destroying enemy base with only one… or two people? They didn’t even get any scratch even when many bullets passed around? And I’m not sure where they packed their ammo because from what I could see it was almost like unlimited.

The character development is bad, if there was any. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel the change within Revy’s personality a bit too forced. Why she grew to be a softie all of sudden? Why she was attached to Rock that much? I watched the previous arc and she was still the same as always, but then baaam! suddenly she was being overprotective of Rock?

And Rock got his chardev in S1 Eps 1-2, after that… he was a stagnant character who didn’t even know where his stand though liked to force his opinion on others without thinking, without knowing anything, without even considering his own strength. Did you have the right to judge other? To give value with your own view? Could you please at least defend your opinion with your own power? Lucky he was the main protagonist (maybe I shouldn’t use that word since I don’t give him any sympathy), so the Author won’t make him die just like that.

Dutch and Benny of course didn’t get any development. They focused to the antagonist or that main char’s arc too much they didn’t even have time to develop the main char’s story. It’s laughable really.

The only savings… or maybe the only remarkable thing about this show is the art. The animation is very fluid and nice. The character designs are good too. You can tell the difference between—important—characters (with the small fries) easily. And although the color looks a bit too bright in my opinion, it’s fine.

[Books] Fangirl: “I’m not a fangirl though I could fangirling when I was in the mood.”

2.5 sebenarnya. Saya nggak begitu raeg pas baca novel ini. Dan mungkin bisa 3 bintang kalau aja saya nggak dipaksa baca fanfic DracoHar—uhuk, maksud saya Simon x Baz. Saya nggak gitu ngerti apa hubungannya dengan cerita utama, selain sebagai fanfiksi yang ditulis Cath dan alat buat nunjukin kenerdy-an dia. I mean… kalau pun bagian itu saya skip dengan senang hati, kayaknya saya nggak bakalan missing anything kan? Kecuali kisah Simon and Baz, of course.

Trus soal karakter Cath… dia itu cukup ngeselin. Dan bisa jadi banget dalam hal-hal tertentu. Bukan berarti saya nggak ngerti personality dia, kenapa dia melakukan itu, etc. Saya ngerti sebetulnya. Tapi karena saya ngerti, beberapa hal yang terjadi pada dia, dan reaksi dia kerasa lebih menyebalkan. She was actually pretty fortunate.

Sebagai contoh, saya cukup ngerti perasaan dia waktu di awal kehidupan kampus milih menghindari dining room di asrama dan makan err… calorie bar selama beberapa hari (atau minggu?). Karena itu setiap dia melakukan hal yang menurut saya ngeselin pun, saya selalu berusaha bikin justifikasi buat dia. Termasuk ketika dia dengan begonya ngumpulin fanfiksi sebagai tugas kuliah.

Tapi… saya nggak bisa bikin pembelaan apa-apa waktu dosen Cath ngasih kesempatan kedua buat dia nulis cerita sebagai tugas akhir matkulnya dan Cath nggak merasa grateful sama sekali. Udah dosennya ceramah panjang lebar, ngasih motivasi, dan memberikan perlakuan khusus untuk Cath… dia malah kayak anak kecil dikasih permen supaya mau ke sekolah biarpun telat juga tapi malah ngelunjak minta cokelat. Gimana nggak bikin kesel (apalagi dia bukan anak kecil)? Ditambah lagi, dia hampir menyia-nyiakan kesempatan tersebut demi fanfiksi. Trus meskipun Cath akhirnya bikin ceritanya beberapa hari sebelum deadline, setelah sebelumnya dikasih kesempatan satu semester (Prof, you were too kind, be my lecturer!) untuk nulis short story 10k words (eh iya kan? Saya lupa), cerpen dia dengan sangat magical bisa mendapat penghargaan cerpen terbaik buatan mahasiswa S1 atau sejenis itu.

Damn Mary Sue.

Kesampingkan soal Cath, ada beberapa plot yang… kok kayaknya tidak diselesaikan. Soal ayahnya yang rada weirdo (apa dia weirdo dari dulu atau karena cerai?). Soal Wren yang mabuk sampai hampir koit. Soal ibu mereka. Soal kenapa Wren tiba-tiba mau mulai komunikasi dengan ibu tersebut. Soal kuliah Cath (seriously, setelah semester pertama, nggak ada lagi cerita soal kehidupan kuliah dia kayak gimana).

I mean… dibanding ke arah mana cerita ini berakhir dan berjalan, saya sebetulnya lebih penasaran sama plot-plot itu. Not to mention, I can’t care less about Cath and Levi’s relationship or Simon and Baz’s. Tapi ternyata scene lovey-doveynya banyak banget, bikin saya eneg. No. Please. Kalau kalian mau kissu atau flirting, nggak usah diceritain juga nggak apa-apa kan. Or at least, nggak usah sedetail itu. Ini masih di tengah cerita kan!? Gimme a break, please!

Or should I say: Riajuu, bakuhatsu shiro!!

[Books] 1984: “Why did you expect the worst from humanity?”

Setelah sekian lama menjamur di to-read list. Akhirnya beberapa minggu yang lalu saya selesain baca juga. Walaupun jujur, mungkin karena udah jamuran, atau emang saya nggak perhatian, saya baca 1984 tanpa tahu kalau novel ini bercerita tentang dystopia. Makanya sebelum-sebelumnya, waktu nyoba baca, saya selalu stuck di bagian… “Big Brother is watching you~ teehee~” part.

Ha? Big Brother? Who? Ini cerita soal apa sih?

Dan nyambung juga waktu kemarin akhirnya berhasil baca sampai akhir. Yah. Mungkin saya kurang konsentrasi pas baca sebelumnya.

Jadi… ini dystopia…? O.K.

Saya akui saya bukan fans genre dystopia. Bukan berarti nggak suka juga. Tapi saya bukan tipe yang bakalan teriak-teriak kyaaa genrenya dystopia kyaaa soo cool kyaaa (saya sendiri nggak tahu apa ada orang yang beneran kayak gitu). Saya belum pernah baca Hunger Games yang buat anak zaman sekarang adalah novel paling ngetren di genre ini. Saya juga nggak selesai nonton film Battle Royale gara-gara saya nebak nggak bakalan ada happy end buat semua karakternya.

Makanya, saya nggak heran kalau saya ngerasa setengah nyiksa diri baca 1984 sampai selesai. Ridiculously suram sampai bikin pusing kepala. Mulai dari motto ridiculous the party:

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

Sampai konsep doublethink yang bikin watdeheck. Setelah selesai mengenali dunia “1984” (yang tbh, IMO rada bertele-tele, muter-muter bikin tambah eneg. Apa mungkin ini sengaja buat menguatkan atmosfer kelam untuk pembaca? hhaa :v), seperti yang diduga MCnya ketangkep dan… mulailah cerita soal penyiksaan yang well… horror.

Endingnya juga as expected.

And it is fine.

Tapi ya… tapi… masalahnya… dari awal cerita ini dimulai, tokohnya itu udah berasa di titik bawah. Tinggal disentil dikit, dia bakalan jatuh berjumpalitan. Nah… setelah jatuh itu, terus dan terus dia ada di titik terbawah. Sama sekali nggak ada tanda kalau bakalan ada morning rescue (I’m sorry for the inside joke) yang bakalan muncul. Jadi pas akhirnya begitu pun… well… siapa yang heran *shrug*.

Karena dari awal saya cuma liat penderitaan dia tanpa sedikit pun adanya harapan. Waktu dia makin jatuh pun, saya juga cuma bisa ngeringis sedikit tanpa peduli apakah semuanya akan menjadi lebih baik atau nggak. Selain itu karakternya juga not really likeable. Oke, saya kasihan sama Winston, sama Julia karena nasib mereka emang bikin kasihan. Tapi ya… sebatas itu aja.

Anyway, di atas saya komentar kalau 1984 itu ridiculously suram. Alasan saya pake keterangan tambahan ridiculous adalah karena betapa stupidnya sebenarnya hal-hal tersebut—the party, motto, sistem doublethink dan penghapusan sejarah secara shameless dan terang-terangan tersebut. Kalau dipikir secara normal (iya, otak saya diwired berbeda sama mereka di cerita, karena lingkungannya juga beda, iya), apa ada manusia yang nggak ngerasa aneh?

Dengan kata lain, karena saya baca ini tanpa ada niatan untuk merelate atau mempercayai apa yang terjadi, kesannya jadi ridiculous. Iya, saya tahu hal-hal yang diceritakan di novel ini mungkin (dalam skala kecil, dan rahasia). Tapi ya itu.. rahasia. Saya nggak bisa bayangin mayoritas orang bisa sebegitu bego atau sebagian bisa sebegitu jahat. Makanya saya susah buat baca tanpa ngerasa kalau ini fiksi sekaleh.

[Books] Around the World in Eighty Days: “It’s not love at first sight, nevertheless it’s love.”

I was pleasantly surprised, when in the middle of reading this, I realized, I was actually starting to care for the characters more than I expected at first.

Mr. Fogg was really a gentleman although he was cold and almost as calculative as robot.

Passepartout was nice, a bit careless but nice. Even though his luck was bad, he meant well.

Aouda, hmm, I’m biased to female character, and she was the only woman appeared in this novel. I don’t think I have to explain why I like her.

Detective Fix was… just… stubborn. Rather than dislike him, I think I should just pity him for trusting his initial instinct too much. He was a good addition for the plot. I won’t try guessing which path the story would take if he wasn’t there to be the spice.

Well, if I had to describe my experience reading this novel, I think it felt like falling in love slowly (and happily, mind you). You weren’t enamored with them at the first glance. However, after befriending them, knowing them better, you couldn’t help but care. Then, you started to root for them; you wanted them to be happy, as if their happiness had been linked to your happiness.

And the ending was just perfect.

My ship was sailing exactly as the story always hinted along.