Why and How?

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When we get the dark alternate world of Back to the Future 2 in reality… This time, God did not bless America.

I’ve been trying to stay quiet about the U.S. elections mainly because I had lost hope the moment I found out that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were running for presidency and that there wasn’t much of a choice but to choose one of the two corrupt individuals. *sigh* Bernie Sanders was a much better candidate, though him endorsing Hillary Clinton was a bit disappointing and felt a little like him selling himself out to the very corrupt people he spoke against, but I’m sure that he didn’t have a choice.

With the kind of person Trump is… I’m not going to be surprised if WWIII starts (if we aren’t in one already, although I do think we are since the wars in the Middle East started. The U.S. is already at war with 7 countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia). Russia and China are two of the countries I have a feeling would get involved if Trump tried to mess with them.

However, if you think of it this way… at least Trump is transparent about everything that’s on his mind so people can take things into their own hands and prepare for what action to take next, whereas Hillary is more dangerous in the sense that she says one thing, but does something else or contradictory behind the public’s back.. Her actions don’t match her words. In this type of situation, people can’t be given a heads-up or prepare on what to do next.

…but I still can’t believe or fathom that Donald Trump is president. Everyone around me is asking, “Why?” and “How?” Many people at my work were all tuning into the U.S. elections using this site and checking every now and then hoping that Donald Trump wouldn’t win…and we’re all Australians.

It’s my first week on the job at a corporate company, so I didn’t want to talk about politics knowing that it’s a topic that should be best avoided by newbies ESPECIALLY, but with everyone else in the office talking about it… I really had to try hard to control myself. It probably gave off the impression that I wasn’t interested in politics (I was asked if I was and in my mind I wanted to say, “You have no idea how much I’ve talked about this topic since I was a teen…” xD). It made one of my colleagues even question if I was supporting Trump and that’s why I was quiet…hahaha, but I replied, “No, not at all! Actually, I was rooting for Bernie Sanders, but there isn’t much else to expect now that he’s not running for presidency.” She agreed.

This is the first time I’ve seen Australians incredibly interested in U.S. politics. Aussies have generally been known to be indifferent… but not this time. This just wasn’t people at my work, but even people getting off work and waiting in the rain for the bus to come and who were looking at their cell phones reading the news. One lady waiting next to me was on the phone speaking about the elections too. When I got on the bus, someone had put on the news at a high volume to hear of the announcement of the elections and some were quietly listening.

I knew that by the time I would get home, social media would have already exploded on the topic. My FB Newsfeed was FLOODED, some with jokes on how Trump can become president with no experience and how we commoners need 5 years of experience and a Masters degree for an entry-level role! xD That puts things into perspective of how much of a mess our world has become.

Not sure if I should be mentioning this, but I really do wonder what people would think if they knew that my family was family friend’s with one of my country’s ex-President’s family and that my relatives in the U.S. have met Obama in person and have taken photos with him…not just once, but twice (my relatives that have met him are VERY wealthy, by the way)? Even so, I don’t support any leader and that’s why I keep quiet. =P So many stories to share, though! From spies in 2 different countries (1 in my neighborhood that was a spy for the government and whose house I’ve been to since I was a friend of her daughter’s, and 1 that was my teacher, who was a spy for the British army in the Middle East and had mysteriously left in the middle of the year), to political groups, etc…but the Internet is not the safe place to do so unfortunately.

In general, I’m one of those people that come from a family that had ties to foreign affairs and politics, but none of those ties have lasted since nobody decided to go into politics after my grandfathers retired (its due to how corrupt politics is and that the good don’t last for long). So now we’re just commoners with the same struggles as everyone else. Funny how things turn out, from people with connections and privilege due to the status associated in being in foreign affairs to none at all. This is proof that nothing lasts forever, but I’m okay with it. We get to feel how the general population feels, or understand them from the same perspective, and at least we can go to sleep at night peacefully.

—Moonlight

“Final Fantasy XV” – “Omen” Trailer

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Luna and Noctis Fan Art
(Source: munette at DeviantART)

Hype! This new trailer for Final Fantasy XV (FF15) called Omen is SO good, even though the sound-effects at the end of the trailer sound like those in a typical Hollywood disaster or thriller movie! =P The music in it doesn’t sound very Final Fantasy-ish either, but it does go well with the scenes. ^^ It sounds almost like the “epic” category of music that I sometimes listen to on YouTube (funny, how when I saw the image used in the video that I have linked to, I immediately thought it could be part of FF15 because of the dog and atmosphere in the Dawn trailer).

To much of my surprise, I read some comments from non-Final Fantasy gamers saying that they might play FF15 after watching this trailer. xD It certainly does look appealing, but does anyone else feel that Noct looks slightly different from what we’ve seen of him in previous trailers? I’m pretty sure the no-shirt scene is fan service too. Haha.

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Pryna, the white dog that belongs to Luna and that can be seen throughout most of the Omen trailer.

In my mind when I think of a story, I actually imagine scenes that are epic like the ones in Final Fantasy, but probably a tad-bit more since they may be hard to execute into graphics. My mind becomes more creative or imaginative when I listen to music, but I’m sure that I’m not the only one that experiences that. Maybe one day when there will be technology that can create pictures on screen using what people are imagining in their minds, you will know what I mean.

Fans are wondering what message the FF15 trailer is trying to portray, as it seems to be quite different to the storyline that many of us are already familiarizing ourselves with from all the footage of the game that we have previously seen. The first thing to note is the title of the trailer, which contains the word “Omen”.

If one looks at the meaning of “Omen”, it is a sign of an event that has yet to come or will occur sometime in the future. Normally, it is interpreted as being a bad sign, like a black cat crossing one’s path (or we can add passing by a black dog with fiery eyes, as seen in the game’s trailer =P). Some fans are speculating that the trailer might be trying to portray what could happen to Noct if he sets out on his journey or mission alone and without any of his team mates that can help him in times of need or stand by his side.

One fan had another opinion and stated that Luna, Noct’s fiancee, might be dead and her soul could be residing in Noct‘s body, as she might be the ‘chosen one’ instead of him, and is why she is seen as a reflection of Noct throughout the trailer. Sounds like an interesting observation and I wouldn’t mind if that were the case. We need a heroine in this game, anyways. =P All the other FF installations did.

On a more clear note, the trailer does depict Noct as having a dark side (possibly due to the magical powers he receives?), which I remember someone guessing and writing about before this trailer was even released…maybe because of what Nomura stated back when FF15 was called Final Fantasy Versus XIII (FF Versus 13)? Noct‘s dark side can evidently be seen when he harms Luna, possibly even killing her. It is unexpected at the start of the trailer when Luna is trying to protect herself and says, “Noctis,” but we don’t know who she’s dealing with until the end of it. Nice (and also a sad) way to wrap it up.

Regardless of what everyone’s interpretation of the trailer is, it has got fans and non-fans both excited. Never thought I would be anticipating this game for 10 years – 10 flippin’ years. I still remember the first trailer when I was in high school and now I’m nearing my late 20’s, hopefully watching what would be the last few trailers for the game.

When I think about it, I realize that this year I was able to visit the headquarters for Square-Enix (the company behind the Final Fantasy franchise) from the outside in Japan, which I had never of imagined 10 years ago either. It was one of my teenage dreams to work for Squaresoft/Square-Enix. I’m nowhere near that stage, but still blessed to have been able to visit, alhamdulillah.^^’ FF15 will be out on November 29th, iA.

—Moonlight

“Moonlight Drawn by Clouds” OST – “No Sleep”

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It’s 1:15 A.M. and I haven’t gone to sleep yet, so I’m posting this song called No Sleep from the Moonlight Drawn by Clouds OST here. =P I like the sound of some of the songs from the drama, if not the cheesy lyrics. Soyou has a nice voice. It’s soothing to hear. This isn’t the first song that I’ve heard her sing for and liked.

The poster for Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, as shown in video with the song, is dreamy. It also has a spring vibe to it with the green leaves in the background and the flower crown that Ra On is wearing. Did flower crowns actually exist in the Joseon era? I tend to wear flower crowns on sunny spring and summer days. I find that they add a feminine touch to an outfit. ^^

Speaking of flowers and spring, one of my new Korean friends was up for a day trip to the Leura Gardens Festival with me and another lady two weeks ago. We all happen to be fans of flowers and taking lots of photos. It was really fun! We made a new friend that day too, who is from Changsha in China, but has been in Australia for a few years now. She’s a huge fan of flowers as well (her hair even has pink shades in it). It turns out that she watches K-Dramas and listens to a bit of K-Pop. xD

She likes Park Bo Gum since Reply 1988 and mentioned that she was trying to search for him on Instagram. On the other hand, I followed the actor that plays Byung Yeon from Moonlight Drawn by Clouds. It makes me feel like I’m following someone from the Joseon era on Instagram with the kind of posts that he has put on there while the drama has been airing. It’s funny. Imagine people in the past with Instagram.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been really terrible this year with updating my blog and even replying back to comments. My mind is in constant conflict with having to remember the multiple tasks that I have even while I’m at home. For some strange reason, whenever I start writing a blog post, I feel sleepy. O_O It doesn’t help that my mind gets filled with a lot of thoughts too…even random ones about the universe. =P

Just to give you an idea, my laptop is one of those in which I have three Firefox windows open and each one has multiple tabs open in them. Then there’s an Excel spreadsheet, a Word Document, etc. xD Guess you get the point.

Adding onto that, I’ve been caught up with K-Dramas these past few months and I’m finally down to almost completing two dramas that are currently on air, which are none other than Moonlight Drawn by Clouds and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. It’s sad that they will be ending soon, as now there will be nothing to look forward to at the start of each week. I wish the two dramas were longer. T_T

Moreover, I always forget that the actress that plays Ra On in Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, Kim Yoo Jung, actually followed me back on Twitter in 2012 (it was her real account!) when The Moon That Embraces the Sun was being aired. That was a great drama as well. Another child actress from the drama followed me back too. =P Of course… After all, I’m Moonlight. ^_~ Hehehe.

—Moonlight

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV”

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Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

Finally got around to watching Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, a full-length CGI film released in late August in selected cinemas outside of Japan, and I have to say, it was better than what I had expected! I won’t say that it was amazing, because I wasn’t exactly drawn into the first scene of the movie, but it progressed well and turned out to be really interesting – good enough to make me more excited for the game and give me a better understanding of the back-story or plot.

It was very unexpected of Square to actually release another Final Fantasy movie, considering how disappointing Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was and how it created a financial loss for the company to the point that most fans thought that Square should never venture into making movies again.

For this very reason, I wasn’t sure of how to feel about Kingsglaive when news about it dropped on March 30th, but I think Square kind of learned from its past and took notes from the publicly well-received Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children movie, which shows the events that occur after the popular Final Fantasy VII game and answers a lot of the questions that fans had on whether the characters in it survived or not while putting their life on the line to save their planet.

With Kingsglaive, instead of having a movie with the name “Final Fantasy” in it and being unrelated to any of the Final Fantasy games, Square decided to make a movie directly linked to an anticipated Final Fantasy game, which is none other than Final Fantasy XV, to stir more hype as seen in the the official trailer below.

Sure, having a movie as a back-story for the upcoming Final Fantasy XV game is also a way of milking money from fans, but maybe this might be a step for Square to improve and possibly delve into making more movies since they have the technology for it? A lot of video game companies seem to be releasing movie adaptations of their games these days. One major example of an upcoming movie adaptation on a video game is Assassin’s Creed. Not everyone may be comfortable with it, as video games are called video games for a reason and not movies, but I’m not entirely against it if it adds more depth to a game.

It was a good idea that I didn’t have high expectations for Kingsglaive to begin with so that I could actually enjoy it for what it was. This was based on my past experience of watching The Spirits Within, as I had high expectations for it that were, unfortunately, not met.

I watched The Spirits Within when I was on holidays in Australia in the early 2000’s. The only people that were present at the local cinema where the movie was screened at on a weekday was my dad, brother, a stranger sitting a couple of rows behind us, and I. Flash forward many years and when I am now living in Australia again, Square decided to only have the movie released for two weekends here at the cinemas and many people showed up to watch it. It was a clever idea that the movie was only screened for a limited time and that too on a weekend. It made me feel that Square really did pick up on its mistakes and learn from them, especially from a marketing perspective.

As for the movie itself… at first, I didn’t like how a lot of the characters had features that looked more Western in comparison to the characters in the game. I had already grown accustomed to the appearances of the characters in the game and I’m very particular about consistency in things like these, so that’s why I wasn’t really drawn into the movie at first sight, but some of the characters in it, such as the lead hero Nyx, later grew interesting.

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Artwork on Insomnia
(Credit: Square Enix)

King Regis looked almost the same as he does in the game so I wasn’t too bothered about him, but Lunafreya looks a lot older and noticeably different in the movie. Don’t get me wrong. The one in the movie looks nice, but maybe as a separate character altogether. On the other hand, Noctis, the game’s lead character, and his gang consisting of Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto, don’t appear throughout much of the movie. They’re outside of Insomnia, the main setting of the movie, and Noctis‘ whereabouts is where the game is meant to pick up the story from.

Apart from that, the graphics in Kingsglaive were AMAZING! The Final Fantasy series doesn’t fail to disappoint in this aspect. Insomnia, which is home to King Regis and his son Noctis, is really beautiful. I could see a lot of inspiration drawn from the city of Tokyo, especially the districts of Shibuya and Shinjuku (with display advertisements for UNIQLO and JAL that you can catch in the background if you watch closely =P). It’s sad to see that much of the city is destroyed when the peace treaty between Insomnia and Niflheim, an evil empire with ulterior and hidden motives, doesn’t follow through.

Seeing Insomnia destroyed also reminds me of the many beautiful cities in the Middle East, rich in history, that have been destroyed because of war. -_- If people actually knew how pretty Syria used to be, they would have created a huge outcry at its destruction, but because it’s not a Western country…it doesn’t seem to really get much coverage of how it truly used to be before greed took over the nations that set its eyes on it. It’s also worth noting how we have games that focus on war, and how we have to be a hero and save the world in it… but when it comes to reality, we’re so helpless. To think that war is still taking place in the 21st century… when will we learn?

Anyhow, my post was mainly going to be on the end credits theme of Kingsglaive with the following video, but it turned into a general post about the movie, which I don’t mind. With that said, the OST for the movie was awesome and I’m looking forward to what other amazing tracks we will be hearing in the game, IA. The tracks that we have heard so far sound great.

Final Fantasy, in general, known to be the video game series with some of the best video game music in history. Even so, it only seems to get much appreciation from gamers rather than non-gamers, as the latter aren’t as aware about the franchise. However, when I introduce some of my favorite role-playing games to my friends that don’t normally play video games, they tend to usually fall in love with the graphics and music in them, and Final Fantasy is definitely one of them!

I grew up with Final Fantasy, so it will always be considered special to me. It was the beautiful ballroom scene with Waltz for the Moon playing in the background in Final Fantasy VIII that made me so intrigued about the game, and the rest is history. It has been a very long wait for the next installment in the series, and even if it’s not as epic as it’s intended to be, I’d be happy to play it just for the nostalgic feel.

On an important note, the release of Final Fantasy XV has been delayed from September to November. I’m okay with that. I have waited for the game for 10 years already, so waiting for another 2 months isn’t a big deal. Especially if the delay is for the purpose of perfecting the game and delivering it in its highest quality. Though, I might have a feeling that one of the reasons for the delay is because the release date for the game was too close to the release date of Kingsglaive and the company wanted to let the movie sink in first. =P

P.S. I met a girl my age named Luna from Italy at a sushi place during lunch hour from work last week. We were strangers sitting next to one another, and once we started talking, we got into a whole entire conversation and became friends. She informed me to join an event with her on the weekend, but I had other plans. This is the first time in my life here that I was able to become friends with a stranger like that in the city, where people normally keep to themselves if they don’t know you. When she mentioned her name, I said, “It means…,” and at the same time we both stated, “Moon.” I replied, “My name means Moonlight…what a coincidence!” xD

Furthermore, I’ve been watching a lot of K-Dramas since last month and have even finished watching a couple of them without taking long breaks, which means that those dramas have been really good! You can probably guess which K-Dramas I’m watching right now…. one has the word “moonlight” in its title and another has the word “moon”. Hahahaha! Both dramas are really dreamy and fantasy-like, and some of the scenes are incredibly beautiful, especially the scenery of the characters looking out into the sunset. I was anticipating both dramas before they were even aired, so it’s nice to no longer wait!

Love in the Moonlight/Moonlight Drawn by Clouds surpassed my expectations, though, and I found some interesting facts about the Goryeo dynasty after my growing curiosity about it when watching Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. I was very curious, because normally in saeguks or Korean historical dramas, the focus is largely on the Joseon dynasty and it was actually during the dynasties before that, such as the Goryeo dynasty, where there used to be a lot of trade with nearby countries and people of different races or religion taking place, even with Muslims that eventually settled down in Korea! The country started to become more homogeneous and secluded during the Joseon dynasty, but before that, it was quite open to different groups of people beyond their borders. Quite interesting to know.

—Moonlight

DMM.Planets Art by teamLab

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Why wasn’t this collection of art installations called DMM.Planets by teamLab around when I was in Tokyo!? T_T This would have been a dream and a must-see for me! Everything about it is beautiful, dream-like and magical!

So jelly of those that got the chance to see this. All the awesome exhibitions, including the Sailor Moon exhibition at Roppongi Hills, happened either before or after visiting Tokyo. Guess I’ll have to live through the experience through other people’s videos for now. =P

After watching the above video, I noticed that I’ve seen something similar to The Crystal Universe from DMM.Planets during VIVID Sydney, but on a smaller scale. VIVID Sydney should think of collaborating with teamLab and have something like DMM.Planets for next year’s event. It would be HUGE, as VIVID is all about lights, music and ideas and teamLab seem to deliver that, or probably even surpass that! Someone please pitch in this idea!

P.S. Imagine the lights flickering on and off at DMM.Planets and the monster with the flower head (how fitting for the setting) emerges from Stranger Things? O_O Instead of it being a scary scene, this is where Eleven confronts the monster and tries to tame it with her mind by sending it a message through the lights and the projections in the water. Moreover, the Upside Down, being dark and almost all-black, can transform into something similar to DMM.Planets when Eleven has control over it rather than the monster (or any other sinister creature that lurks there).

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Within a Week

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Colorful Sky

(Source: Unknown)

There have been a few things I have wanted to blog about over the weekend, but wasn’t able to due to some of the things that have been happening in my personal life.

My maternal grandma passed away the day-before-yesterday. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. May Allah grant her a place in Jannat-ul-Firdous (the highest place in Heaven). Ameen. I’m going to miss my grandma so much. An image of her sweet smile and happy face keeps replaying in my mind. She was one of the reasons I would want to visit Pakistan. Not being able to hear her stories about the past and words of wisdom, or eating her yummy food (especially her daal aka lentils, which I used to call “Naani ki daal”), anymore makes me sad. I wish I got to spend more time with her, but I guess Allah had written her time.

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OMG’s “Cupid” and KARA’s “Cupid”

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Note: This is a post from May 27th, 2015 that I didn’t publish. I’m trying to get my old posts out every now and then, so I can clear them from my drafts. With that said, the new generation girl group that caught my attention before TWICE has been OMG aka Oh My Girl. I didn’t get around to mentioning them, but I anticipate their songs, since they’re catchy, while their MV’s are unique.

It’s also sad to hear about KARA disbanding, but it was going to happen sooner or later. As stated before, I feel that K-Pop companies are allowing old groups to break apart so that the focus is on the new groups.

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Just noticed… When I saw KARA‘s Cupid MV today, I thought… “Why does this sound familiar?” and then I realized that one of the new girl groups has a song called Cupid as well. xD OMG‘s Cupid is probably the only debut song from a girl group that I like so far this year. I know that it’s cheesy, but the concept suits them very well and is perfect for their age. They’re all really cute. The song is catchy too. I usually skip over most K-Pop songs by new groups (and a lot of old groups), but this one retained my attention somehow. Furthermore, one of the members in the group looks like the Korean actress Han Ga-in.

KARA, on the other hand, has a more mature concept for their song, Cupid. Their video, which was released a month after OMG‘s, is alright minus the emphasis on the booty (but they’re most iconic song MR, which was really popular, emphasized on that and didn’t look vulgar like most booty shaking in today’s K-Pop. Guess it’s all about the body language and the way one is dressed). =P Their makeup and jewelry is always on point. I actually like KARA‘s songs. Their previous song, Mamma Mia, is more catchy to me than Cupid, though.

There isn’t a lot of originality in the title of songs when it comes to K-Pop. =P It’s like Red Velvet‘s Ice Cream Cake and f(x)‘s Ice Cream, and both of those groups are under the same entertainment company (a stupid sly one, may I add). f(x) as a whole; however, is an original group. Probably one of SME‘s most unique groups, which they don’t promote as much in comparison to their other groups. I do like f(x)‘s old songs, like LA chA TA, in comparison to their new ones. You don’t have to listen to them more than once to find them catchy. Once is enough to keep you hooked!

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Looking back at this post, and reading the content in it, it seems like it was a little rushed, but this is as good as it’s going to get when wanting to make a simple point about two MV’s having the same song title. =P

—Moonlight