Issue 5 1st Semester Publications 09/10


Club address:

Incoming Presidential Address Outgoing Presidential Address KC Korner

Western Anime/Game Reviews:

The Boondocks -- An African-American Anime?

10 Red Faction


12 Local Manga: Loti

15 local Manga: Dream Walker

Japanese Anime/Manga/Game Reviews:

Happy Halloween!

18 Kuroshitsuji!

21 23

24 GadgetTrial


26 HK Anime, Manga and Games Convention 2009

omg the newsletter is finally up!!ll A huge thanks to all contributors (especially non club contributors!) and my Pub Comm!

This issue has lots of reviews thrown in, something I can't really control cos all articles are voluntarily submitted!

I got a lot of feedback bout the sucky layout the last time so I'm going for something more minimalistic this time. Hopefully it's cleaner and easier to read!

Also bear with the bad font formatting issues-- this is my first time using Illustrator C53. Cos of that the newsletter turned out smaller than expected too .... wryyyy ... ;_; I did specify A4 and 300 dpi!

Also apologies to writers, especially HonKeat, I seemed to have butchered your articles beyond recognition!

Aside from all that, I hope you all enjoy this issue!

Rui Jean said'

Incoming Presidential address

Greetings Readers!

posted by Claude aka Ruishen

have witnessed firsthand the newsletter's transformation into something that is much more than I had envisioned it to be. I give kudos to the editors who have succeeded me, who painstakingly retained the culture of the club, and the spirit of the newsletter

As you read this, by now, most of your midterms should have been over. Your immediate

concerns would probably be the looming project due dates. I therefore wish you all the

best in your school work, and pray that you achieve your dateline without too much

undue stress, Nevertheless if you should experience said stress, this newsletter should

provide an antidote to it!

Jam packed in every issue of the NUSCAS newsletter are manga and anime reviews and 3

event coverage, all of which showcase the vibrancy and diversity of the comics and anima-

tion scene in Singapore, The local comics and animation scene has definitely grown a long

way, and more recently we had had an infiux of events, both interesting and exciting, to

grace our lands. With greater investment from the government in developing media

content and grooming media talent, media development seems to be a highlight in the

next 5 years. Just June this year, the Media Development Authority of Singapore launchd

the Singapore Media Fushion Plan; a $230 Million plan to develop Singapore into a Global

Media Hub. Media is in focus today, and Comics and Animation will definitely be able to

catch the bandwagon. As our club goes towards further integration and fostering greater

bonds between its members, you, my readers, are directly in the spotlight!

I shall waste no more time. The scene is exciting, and this newsletter and our club is even more so. I invite you to take a peak at what we have to offer, and I hope that you enjoy every page of Issue 4 of the NUSCAS Club Newsletter. Do check us out at our forums too, at,andifyouarea member of the club do come to our fun-filld meetings!

Yours, LeowRuishen President

Outgoing Presidential Address

Tell me the tales that to me were so Jea,·

posted by Nick


:~~~C~~:;i~;~;ee~~~ ~~~~~:tl~~~~~~:r~SF~i~ra;~~1 ~~;e:~;~ly ."'-.- .................

987FM. August that year had just seen an epic battle between Code Red and the Backstreet Boys, and Code Red had finally triumphed with What Good is a Heart over the rather lame I Want ItThat Way. I wonder what you readers were doing/thinking back in 1999; you could always write in to let me know

It was also in 1999 that a group of university undergraduates got together and founded the NUS Comics and Animation Society. This motley crew of enthusiasts would grow steadily, attracting more adherents and like-minded people, until its official recognition, both within campus and by the Singapore Registrar of Societies in 2005

"Toto. I Jon'l lhink we're in KJll~,'~ JnYn1o,-~ .. "

Fast forward to the present. 2009 marks a decade of existence of the club. Much has since changed. Back in 1999, the dotcom bubble was just growing; a sneaky program called Napster had just been launched, and the value it promoted: piracy, would grow into a monster which still haunts us today. Piracy is now institutionalized, like it or not, and even with massive reform of the Internet, it is unlikely to ever go away.

What about the local comics and animation scene? Suffice to say, the local comics and animation scene has benefitted the most from Piracy. The ease in which one can view the latest free copy of his/her favourite rnanqa title, or obtain fan-subbed episodes almost immediately after its airing in Japan via a multitude of ways has led to a huge proliferation of fans, tipping the scales in favour of Japanese comics and animation. After economic imperialism comes cultural imperialism. This trend has not been lost on the


"Withg,·catpowcrcomcsgrcatrcsponsit.ility_ "

The society currently lies at a crossroads. Given the name of our society, we are indeed poised to seize on these wave of changes, and move ahead. What of the society's future then? Do we continue as we always have, or do we seize the opportunities placed in front of us? 10 years have passed since the formation of the club. I really do think that perhaps a re-assessment, and if necessary, a re-orientation is due. Where will we go from here? I don't really know, but I have full faith in the current committee, and wish them all the best.

i\uspicuum MdiorisAcvi



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KC Korner 3

posted by KC

Although the name "Anime Club" has stuck with us, our official name is still "NUS Comics and Animation Society", That means we give our support to any form of art. Japanese or otherwise, and that includes support for local works. However, used to foreign works, readers tend to denounce local productions as poor imitations of the original, as overly cheesy, or trying too hard but failing. Animation flops such as Sing to the Dawn or Legend of the Sea did not help rectify that impression

The truth is that Singapore has a rich collection of local comics and animation, Most readers should remember Mr. Kiasu or perhaps The Celestial Zone. How good these were depends on your taste, but we have come a long way since then and there are several outstanding local creations for us to discover.

Let me throw out some excellent examples. World acclaimed Imaginary Friends Studios had their hand in many worldwide comic productions, such as in Freedom Formula. Otto Fong, ex-teacher-turned-cartoonist. had

appreciate works for its quality rather than its origins.

posted by Blackadder aka Charles

The Boondocks -- An African-American Anime?

When you think of the African-American community, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Scott Joplin. George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement? Or rappers, basketball players and gang violence? The latter is a predominant attitude towards the African-American community, to the extent that the outside world thinks of hip-hop when they think of the African-American.

The Boondocks is a work of satire, and it is adapted from Aaron McGruder's newspaper strip of the same name. It is, also, by far, one of the more interesting American animations I've seen. Noting that Sony Pictures produced the Boondocks, the animation quality should be familiar to those who have watched Sony cartoons before (Men In Black: The Animated Series and the Extreme Ghostbusters.) However, it is not an animation for

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original American setting

placed him in a coma, only to end up waking in recent times. Though the episode itself had a decent amount of humour, the speech that MLK gave at the end of the episode, suggesting that the African-American community today has not lived up to the efforts of the civil rights movement, drew criticism, no less from Rev. AI Sharpton, who demanded an apology for the episode. Likewise, in Season 2, the episodes that featured a twisted version of

The main protagonist is Huey Freeman, possibly the world's youngest Black leftist and Afrocentrist. Despite being 10, he draws inspiration from (he Guevara and Malcolm X, and is remarkably intelligent for his age, though he suffers from occasional naivete due to his youth. His brother, Riley, wants to grow up to become a gangsta rapper, and thus is his brother's biggest rival. Their grandfather, Robert Freeman, has lived a long life serving the black community and now wants to settle down in a rich white neighbourhood, hopefully begging his perfect woman.

The list goes on to include colourful characterizations like the loli half-Black neighbour and her family, one Uncle Ruckus who is a self-hating racist and Ed Wuncler III & Gin Rummy, who are based off Bush & Rumsfield respectively

The Boondocks has currently lasted for two seasons of 14+ episodes each. Season 1 was aired in 2006, while Season 2

Black EntertainmentTelevision were pulled off the air and only aired outside of the tf.S.

from rappers like Xzibit and Mos Def to even Samuel L.Jackson that some may end up erroneously writing off the show as capitalizing on black entertainment culture. However, this, ironically, is what makes the animation better than the comic, as it allows itself to consider both sides of the debate for the issues that it explores. At the same time, by

As mentioned earlier, the Boondocks is not for kids. Although there is no true nudity

isolation are relevant in similar postcolonial areas, no less Singapore

Mood: All hyped up

Listening to: Homies ova Hoes

RedFaction Review

posted by Sherman

Intuitive controls, user interface and gameplay. (Not to be confused with low difficulty)


The Good

Gentle learning curve.

The Bad:

Missions are repetitive. Notmuch character interaction

Red Faction: Guerrilla, the third installment of the Red Faction series, is still set on the planet Mars. In the game, you play the role of Alec Mason, a miner who seeks to avenge his brother Daniel, a member of the Red Faction who was gunned down by the Earth Defense Force (EDF). He then joins the Red Faction to fight against the (ED F) to avenge the death of his brother. Armed at first with only an assault rifle, a pack of explosives and the Red Faction's trademark, the sledge hammer, Mason will have to complete missions to unlock more items and purchase them using 'salvage'. On Mars, 'salvage' is like gold.

Red Faction; Guerrilla has a flexible mission selection where players are able to choose when and how they want to do missions. The aim of the game is to win the war against EDF by reducing their influence on Mars. This can be achieved by completing 'story missions' and destroying key EDF facilities. Players can also complete side missions to increase Population Morale. Having high morale will grant you certain benefits, such as fire support from civilians when you engage the EDF, In addition, they do not curse at you for hijacking their rides. Instead, they will be cheering "Go qetem. Mason!". As you complete campaign missions, you will unlock territories which will make available more toys of mass destruction for purchase, more mission types and more rides. There is one drawback in the missions system implemented in the game though: missions can get repetitive after some time, When that happens, I grab (steal) a ride and drive around Mars. There are no restrictions in this game and anything goes.


inventive ways to unleash destruction upon the EOF.

From the arc welder to singularity bombs, the weapons available to the player are numerous. However, most of the weapons are created for one sole purpose: mass destruction. Big guns and immense firepower may be cool, but it is the limitless possibilities that the arsenal allows that makes this game unique. Ammunition also comes plentiful in Red Faction: Guerrilla. Back at the safe house, you can reload your arsenal for free at what I would

lecturers') name on it against a wall anytime.

Local Man a: Loti

posted by KC

The style as you can see from the sample are highly cartoonized which will probably appeal to most readers. The influence that Azuma-sensei's works had on Loti probably helped too. The charm of this book lies not in its art but rather in its story (or lack of it)

Loti was first released during STGCC '09 and is now available through Kinokuniya. Or if you feel like reading it without getting the book, this started out as a webcornic. Thus all the 4 kamas are available online at the official website. All you are missing out are the extra contents that Chin has added for the printed edition.

memories were brought back when reading 'Loti',


One of the first things that comes to mind when I first saw this was how similar it is in style to Kiyohiko Azuma's Yotsubato. When I posed the question to Troy Chin, artist of Loti, he candidly replied that Azumanga Daioh (also Kiyohiko Azuma's work) and Yotsubato


sensei's works, Chin felt that something could be done with our own local primary school settings.

However, once you get over the uneasy sense of 'Ripoff!", Chin's 'Loti' is a very cute portrayal of Singaporean primary school that I am sure almost all of us can

SamQle manga!


sou rce: ndex.php)

SamQle manga!

sou rce: ndex.php)

Local Man a: Dream Walker

manqa. To further enhance the Japanese connection, I would like to point out that anyone with a basic knowledge of Japanese would recognize that the protagonist, Yume's name means 'dream'.

Think Cardcaptor Sakura where a girl finds that she has magical powers and must learn to control and use it for the greater good. We even got a cute mascot (that turns out to be a bishounen) in the story to be her mentor. Throughout this particular volume, Yume will learn how to control her powers and make new friends/partners; all while fighting the 'monster-of-the-week', Then at the very end, they will face off with a


Elements of the Hong Kong comics-styled Celestial Zone, such as the special effects from the elaborate fighting scenes, can also be observed since the book is also supervised by Wee Tian Beng, author and artist of the various Celestial Zone series. There are some scenes where something just feels not quite right about the artwork but on the whole, the art is good and pleasant to the eye. Although I would say that the story could be somewhat cliche and predictable, Dream walker is still a comic worth getting.

Both English and Chinese versions of Dream walker are available at all leading bookstores and probably available at the Comix Pandora booths during any local doujin events.

SamQle Qages!


SamQle Qages!

source: :I/www.comixpandora.(om/DreamWalkerl



posted by Gabriel

There exists manga which make the reader go "This is really good!" right off the bat (which might proceed to be a disaster. or not), some of which are just plain bad, and some of which taketirne to fully mature into a

entire family. Supporting him is a crew of servants and one very special butler by the name of Sebastian Michaels - The "black butler-who lends the manga its name. Sebastian is the perfect butler - He is incredibly knowledgeable, completes all the tasks assigned to him within the allocated amount of time, fights with uncanny skill, cooks better than a world class chef, is skilled in all sorts of noble pursuits (such as dancing, playing the violin etc) and more!

The other servants, however, are a disaster. The cook ends up destroying everything he makes. The gardener makes deserts out of gardens. There is also the short sighted maid who should not be allowed to handle anything even remotely fragile. The good thing is that Sebastian's qualities more than make up for their lack of competence and hence the Phantomhive household runs smoothly regardless. This begs the question - why does Ciel keep these goons around? The answer, without spoiling anything, would surprise you.

. .....................• A definite selling point of Kuroshitsuji is the artwork. Kuroshitsuji adopts an almost shoujo art style. Kuroshitsuji ditches the usual flowery, sparkly background elements of shoujo and focuses this particular style on its characters, to good effect. Men are all slender, tall, and suave.

Ciel is anything but a perfect master. He is a 12 year old boy and behaves like a spoilt brat when it comes to his treatment of Sebastian - refusing to wake up, demanding desserts on a whim, throwing tantrums etc He also sets incredibly high standards for the running of his household, which becomes a problem for Sebastian since the other servants are rather incompetent

Yet. Oel is very intelligent and mature in his dealings with the outside world. The Phantomhive family owes allegiance directly to Queen Victoria and serves as a sort of secret law enforcement unit to solve criminal cases that the Scotland Yard is unable to resolve.

The characters in Kuroshitsuji each possess their own unique personality and are all very likeable -- even so the side characters, of which I shall not reveal too much for now. Suffice to say that the author of Kuroshitsuji has created an entire cast of memorable, well designed, and endearing characters.

As mentioned before, this manga starts off slowly. The first few chapters are initially dedicated to life in the Phantomhive household. While it provides excellent exposition on the characters'personalities and sets the context for the ensuing adventures, there are many who are put off by this, believing Kuroshitsuji to revolve solely around a romance between Ctel and Sebastian. However, this is far from its essence! Once the story steps out of the household, it becomes a totally different reading experience. We are thrown into the dark side of English society and follow our protagonist duo as they battle all sorts of criminal organizations, solve mysteries, and even take part in one cooking competition Kuroshitsuji, after getting over its slow start, becomes an intense read which is hard to put down.

Mood: GAR


carriages and Victorian style lamp posts adorn the streets next to Sherlock Holmesesque architecture.

recommendation for anyone looking for something to read that isn't your standard shounen series.

Tags: yaoi, fodder, shota, demon, goth, Victorian


I Annonymous said:

Lol first!



posted by Ruishen

What would you do if you are a world class computer hacker whose portfolio includes hacking into the Pentagon network, and in one of your routine hacks you discover the new plot of a powerful cult organization bent on committing genocide in Tokyo? Would you take on the mettle of being the only man who has the capacity to stop them?That is exactly what Takagi Fujimaru decides to do in Bloody Monday.

As far as detective stories go, Bloody Monday probably isn't the wittiest; but as far as thrillers go, this is some fine material. Fans of Death Note and Spiral should find Bloody Monday an absorbing read with unexpected twists around every corner. The characters are generally lovable and believable but some of them do fall into the generic camp too soon. Takagi Fujimaru himself is the hero of the story, yet sometimes he becomes rather short-sighted when dealing with other things. Throughout the series, Fujimaru's sister

Haruka remains the damsel in distress. There is almost not a single page where Haruka is not in trouble, not kidnapped and not awaiting rescue. Although this provides a reasonably strong justification for Fujimaru to fight the cult's activities, this over-use of plot device essentially makes the characters shallow. There is however a myriad of other interesting supporting characters such as the investigator Minami, who often acts as big sister to Fujimaru. The main antagonist Orihara Maya will also definitely appeal to some fetishes: These people serve to tip the scales in the series'favour.

The biggest issue I have with Bloody Monday is that it uses something I call the "Magic" element. This is the same element present in other series such as in Death Note and Code Geass, essentially an element within the storyline that bends reality and makes otherwise impossible events possible. In Bloody Monday, it is Fujimaru's ability to hack just about any computer. The problem

with this is that it is simply impossible. Many high level systems will be public-key

encrypted, which can typically take a supercomputer thousands of years to crack. To be

able to crack it in minutes, on his laptop which apparently has only two gigs of ram, 22

Fujimaru must be a genius surpassing Einstein. In the afore-mentioned works, the

"Magic" elements sometimes work to the storyline's advantage in that it creates surpris-

ing situations, but Bloody Monday has no such luxury. Because of the difficulty of hack-

ing, many ofthe hacking scenes can be summarized to Fujimaru typing away into the

computer, saying "okay ... and now to connect...okay, done", and, well, the desired effects

basically happen. There is nothing interesting that the hacking brings to the table


Mood: Awesome

Listening to: Over the rain -Hlkarl no Hashi-

Kobato, Anime!

posted by Lai Yeng

If you are tired of watching antrne of which the storyline involves weapons, fighting and the like, Kobato might just be the anirne for you. Adapted from the manga created by CLAMP, it has begun airing in Japan recently. In this anime, Hanato Kobato has a wish to go to a certain place. For her wish to be granted, she has to fill a magical bottle with shards of the hearts of people who are in pain. Kobato thus needs to make these people happy. In this story, her companion is a plush dog by the name of loryogi

Score: 3.5/5


Gad et Trial 2

posted byTHK

simply follow instructions or to possess human 24

emotion as well. In order to solve this problem, two different armies are made to fight

each other. The army with a better war result will be chosen as winner and manufactured

every battle.

One more thing I would indicate is that your opponent will always get some advance units before you, which means you fight in the disadvantage condition. Some people may rage about this unfairness, but in my opinion it is a challenging task that I myself take pleasure in.

Just like utawarerumono, there is usually some text to be read before each battle commences. Luckily an English patch is available for download for the many people who cannot understand Japanese. With this, I hope you all will enjoy playing GadgetTrial

Mood: pleasurable Listening to: GoGo Girl!!


Hong Kong A & G Convention


posted by PeiJing

This year's convention took place at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition center. It was a Games, Animation and Cosplay extravaganza featuring merchandises, model competitions and performances from allover Hong Kong and was definitely an event not to be missed!

It took place from 31 st July till 4th August. Over the course offive days, there were events lined up that were suitable for anyone, from the regular onlooker to the hardccre otaku. In this article, a brief description of each exciting event is featured.

For the Gundam Meisters

If you love all things Gundam, then you would have enjoyed the range of model kits on promotion. There were merchandises from the various Gundam series, even up to the latest, second installment of Gundam 00. The model-kits, ranging from the Highgrade all the way

looked out for special-priced items, such as the Strike-Freedom Lightning edition for a mere 620 HKD (120 SGO) from Bandel's main booth I On top of that, there was also a Mecha-themed

11th ACGHK 2009



For the Weapon Wielders


For the Creative Cos players

Cosplayers could also have looked out for ready-made

full set costumes that were on sale. The price ranged from 250-700 HKD (SO-140 SGD) and came in S, M, and L sizes. One should also have kept an eye out for the Cos play Area, where some of the best cos players in Hong Kong could be found.

If one was an aspiring cosplayer, one could also have gone to a special booth which loaned costumes and props for one to take a photo in. So one could dress up as one's favourite character for an inexpensive amount and take a photo as a souvenir

There were more than twenty booths scattered throughout the auditorium featuring arsenals from different series. Some gorgeous favorites that we all love were the morethan-one-metre-Iong Buster sword (wielded by Cloud from Final Fantasy VI!), Mugen (wielded by Kanda Yuu from D. Gray-man), the Bankai (wielded by Ichigo from Bleach) and so much more! Each sword was between 30-200 HKD (6-40 SGD) and were positivelya steal compared to the rates we get in Singapore. Furthermore, many of them were fashioned down to the finest details and, most importantly, were able to pass through the customs

Beyond all the anime, there were also various manga titles on sale at heavily discounted rates (especially if one was intending to buy a substantial amount), and they offered even better deals if one intended to purchase the entire set at one go. For example. Gundam 00 was going at 25 HKD per book (5 SGD). Where one decided to buy the whole set, for instance

Otto men, seven books only cost about 32 SGD. On top of that, many of the vendors would throw in a freebie or two just to make the manga shopping experience more complete. (I for one. got a Natsume Yuujinchou limited edition Nyanko-sensei beachba!l. it is so cute!) Some of the titles were done by the local authors and these are not available in Singapore. Further" more, the quality of the books from Tong Li and Kadokawa is also superior compared to those from our local production line. In conclusion, what better time is there to go manga-gaga?

For the Comic Collector

This is as far as I can write with the word limit. In short. the convention was exciting and definitely a must-go for all true-blue Animeclub members!


posted by Ani-tan

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Editors notice:

This is in place of the Neko 4-koma that didn't turn up in time for this publication.

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