Protocol Snow

Archive for August, 2007

ETA: One Month

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Anytime I get a break from hardcore med school studying, I like to quickly browse through my RSS reader and check out the latest gaming headlines. In doing so, I desperately try to cling onto any trailing threads that lead to a life I left behind seemingly years ago. Yeah, medical school isn’t easy. It’s only the end of the second week!

Anyway, Halo 3. Exactly one month from now. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that I’ve been on a near complete media blackout so whenever I finally get an opportunity to play Halo 3, it’ll be a completely fresh experience. I’m counting on Bungie not to let my anticipation be in vain. It might be Christmas break before I get to unwrap my Halo 3: Legendary Edition.

What’s the most hardcore stunt you’ve ever heard of? How about dropping out of med school to become a Halo 3 master?

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about myself. I haven’t gone that crazy yet.

This is why I leave my consoles at home, a few thousand miles away. I don’t even want to be tempted.

Written by Protocol Snow

August 25th, 2007 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Games,School

First week over!

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I had orientation last week and just finished up my first real week of medical school. It’s been pretty much a nonstop session of lectures, books, and studying. I feel like I’ve been here a whole month already. Oh yeah, and we got our cadaver on the very first day and started dissections. Not as scary as I thought it would be. Most of the time, you’re too busy to be actually thinking that you’re slicing into a dead body.

I’ve had people tell me that after majoring in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins, medical school isn’t going to seem that hard. I’m not so sure about that, though I might have to wait until after a few tests before I can more accurately gauge. It’s definitely not going to be easy though, and my free time has drastically shrunk. I still have a backlog of posts to get through (I haven’t even posted photos from my vacation one month ago!) so those will be coming out… slowly.

I sure wish I could play Bioshock now.

Written by Protocol Snow

August 17th, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Posted in School

I may have spoken too soon…

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Yesterday I said that I’ve started watching dramas as they aired because subbing groups are so fast these days. Usually I wait until subtitles for the entire series are completed so that I can watch all the episodes continuously and not be stranded in the middle of a show. Well, I just found out that the subber for Papa to Musume no Nanokan has quit her project halfway through the series. Details are here, check it out to see some of the members throwing hissy fits. We have to remember that subbers take on projects purely for their own enjoyment and make no money, so appreciate them!

My Japanese skills are only adequate enough to understand roughly 30% of the average episode, but since I’m already hooked on this series, I think I’ll continue watching it. Stay tuned for impressions soon.

Written by Protocol Snow

August 7th, 2007 at 11:11 am

Posted in Asian drama

Yama Onna Kabe Onna impressions

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Usually I prefer waiting for a drama series to finish airing in its entirety before starting to watch it. This way I don’t stuck halfway through the season, waiting for weeks hoping for somebody to post subtitles. However, subbing teams are so on the ball nowadays that during this summer drama season, I’ve been following two series as they air. They’re so quick and reliable that you can download both the newest episode and the accompanying subtitles within a couple days of the Japanese airing. As always, check out the community at D-Addicts for details on the hottest dramas, new and old.

Coincidentally, I caught the premiere episodes of both these series “live” on TV while I was in Japan. One show is called Papa to Musume no Nanokakan and stars Aragaki Yui. I’ll talk about that one next time.

The topic for today is the comedy Yama Onna Kabe Onna, which stars Itoh Misaki, probably best known as the elegant Hermes lady in the drama Densha Otoko. She plays a luxury bag saleswoman named Aoyagi Megumi who works in a premiere Ginza department store. Unfortunately, her work attire isn’t very flattering; for that classic Hermes / Itoh Misaki look, you’ll have to wait for the scenes when she’s not at work.

Anyway, Aoyagi is a top selling bag saleswoman, but she has one small problem: she’s quite self conscious about her chest. That “A cup complex” is compounded when a new girl, Mariya Marie (played by Fukada Kyoko), with an enormous bust is transferred into the department store. She just so happens to be an excellent saleswoman as well, which makes Aoyagi feel even worse.

If you know Japanese, the title of this show now makes perfect sense. Yama Onna = mountain woman. Kabe Onna = wall woman.

As you might expect from the premise, breast related humor is very prevalent in Yama Onna Kabe Onna. On the serious side, the focus seems to be on Aoyagi struggling with her insecurities, though there’s also a little lecturing on what it means to work in a department store and to offer premium service. If you’ve ever been to a Japanese mall (or even a Japanese-owned mall in Taiwan or other Asian countries), you should be quite familiar with that level of service.

But for the most part, the show is about:

And what the heck, for good measure:

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. Yama Onna Kabe Onna is funny and Itoh Misaki is charming as always. However, four episodes have aired so far and it’s been pretty one-dimensional up to this point. I don’t expect that’ll change much, but stay tuned for a post-mortem when the series is finished in a couple months. I think there’s eight episodes left.

UPDATE: Post-mortem post

Other characters of note:

Ooyama Haruka (played by Koike Eiko). She is Aoyagi’s hostile rival, both professionally and romantically. She doesn’t miss an opportunity to get a jab in about Aoyagi’s chest. Quite evil looking, I must say. In real life, Koike Eiko is a gravure idol with plentiful assets.

Yoshino Kanako (played by Uehara Misa). She is a co-worker of Aoyagi and a supporting character who’s there for comic relief. You might remember Uehara Misa from the drama Nodame Cantabile, where she played Chiaki Shinichi’s ex-girlfriend.

12 episodes
Airing Summer 2007
Genre: Comedy

Official site
D-Addicts Bittorrent download page

Written by Protocol Snow

August 6th, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Posted in Asian drama