Friday, May 16, 2014

Saijou no Meii

Just recently, after discontinuing my C-E translations with Odd Squad Scanlations due to schedule clashes, I've started working on Saijou no Meii with 1|2 Scans.

About the Manga
Saijou Mikoto is an extremely talented surgeon who innovates in the field of pediatric surgery. His mandate comes from having been saved at a young age by the leading pediatric surgeon Shindou Mamoru. A little slow-witted, but when it comes to medicine he is indubitably a genius.

Mikoto aims revive the pediatric surgery department at Heisei Central Hospital, but life is not that simple... Masamori Taira, the Head of the Taira Group which owns 57 Heisei hospitals in Japan, is without child, and has announced that he will bequeath ownership to the best doctor in any of the Heisei Hospitals. Mikoto is embroiled as he champions his own brand of justice.

The storyline is littered with hospital politics and interesting characters as he strives to change the Japanese medical system for the better.

About the Artist
The manga is drawn by Hashiguchi Takashi who is best known as the author of Yakitate Japan (which sparked my interest for baking). For Saijou no Meii, he works with Irie Kenzou. Together, they have also created the sequel Saijou no Meii - King of Neet.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nana Maru San Bantsu 7O3X

This is not a run of the mill shonen manga which you often see in Japanese comic magazines. Personally, i find it rather interesting. Something like Bakuman which is also rather different from other mangas in the shonen genre. This type of manga is typically called a cult hit as it not a mainstream fantasy/battle manga.

7O3X is about a boy named Shiki Koshiyama whose knowledge is incredibly diverse. He spent many years as the library representative of his class and as a result has read a lot of books. Read on as he is pulled into the Quiz Research club by his classmate Mari Fukami and the Club's president Gakuto Sasajima and explores the world of competitive quizzes.

"It's always too late to press [the buzzer] after you know what the answer is. "Buzzing in" is a race with a margin of less than a tenth of a second." 
- Mari Fukami, Class D, Female Library Representative

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bakuman! バクマン




The manga is written by the Author-Artist Duo, Ohba Sugumi and Obata Takeshi  who brought us the hit manga/anime DeathNote. Recently, there has been an anime produced for Bakuman. It is scheduled to be 25 episodes long. 

Please comment and if let me know if you guys can't find the episodes. I'll upload it somewhere.

Do read the manga as well! 




About the Manga/Anime:

Protagonists Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi form the Author-Artist Duo Ashirogi in order to pursue their dreams. Mashiro's being to write a popular manga, turn it into an anime and get his love interest, Azuki Miho whose dream is to being a voice actress, to star in his anime.

Follow them as they overcome various trials as they strive to write popular mangas and meet various people who become mentors, rivals, co-workers and even Takagi's wife!


About the Artist: 

Obata Takeshi is one of my favourite manga artists, who generally works with a manga writer while he does the drawings. He is most well-known as the manga artist who worked with Yumi Hotta for the very interesting and refreshing manga Hikaru no Go which I highly recommend too. 

His art has evolved over a years and has a wide variety of styles evident in his works Cyborg Grandpa G, Ayatsuri Sakon, and Deathnote.

The pictures here are covers of volume 8 and 10.






Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sugar Glazed Donut Recipe

Hello all, decided to share my sugar-glazed doughnut recipe after seeing White Lia blog about it. Makes about 10 donuts.
Sugar Glazed Donuts on a plate (Don't they look delicious?)

Ingredients

Part 1
100g Bread Flour
70ml Water

Part 2A
250g Bread Flour
150g Plain Flour
10g Milk Powder
50g Sugar
1 tsp Baking Power
8g Instant Yeast
6g Salt

Part 2B
160ml Cold Water
1 Cold Egg

Part 2C
50g Unsalted Butter

Part 3
160g Icing Sugar
25ml Water

Utensils
Kitchen Weighing Scale/Machine
Wooden spoon
Roller
Frying pot/deep-fry pan
Plastic Kitchen Wraps
Bowls


First Part - Preparation
This part takes about 15-20 minutes then 12 hours of waiting. A good idea would be to do this part the night before so the 12 hours waiting can be spent sleeping :)

1) Place the 100g flour into a bowl (one big enough to enjoy instant noodles is good). 
Mixing in a bowl is easier and won't be as messy.

2) Boil 70ml water and pour the boiling water into the flour. 
a) Measure the 70ml or 70g properly, a bit less is okay but not more or your dough might become sticky. 
b) Since the water is so little, you don't need to use a pot to boil it. Simply put it in a porcelain mug and microwave it for about 40s to a minute. 
c) Don't just pour it all over, just in the centre.

3) Use a wooden spoon (wouldn't want to scald your hands) to mix the two ingredients together. Then use your hands until it is well mixed.
a) Slowly scoop the flour from the outer part into the wet portion of the flour. Mix as you can. Don't worry if it seems like it not taking in the flour or getting dry. The water's just enough. 
b) Once you have mixed until you can't seem to do anymore since the entire thing is covered in flour and dry, you have to start using your hands. By now, the flour shouldn't be too hot.
c) Take the flour left around the bowl and press it into the dry dough. It should be warm to the touch. Flatten and round the dough and you force the remaining flour into it. It should not be sticky, if it is, you probably didn't measure 70g of water properly. 
d) After around 10 minutes of pressing in and kneading the dough until it is well blended, it should look like a small bun, the texture should be smooth. Make sure it's well-mixed.

4) Now comes the waiting, cover keep the dough in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
You can use a small tupperware for this or if you don't have one, use a bowl and cover with plastic kitchen wrap. The purpose of this 12 hour wait is such that this section of the dough can act like a natural fermenter. (like how chinese bakers of old keep a portion of the dough they make from the previous batch and mix it into the newer batch)


Second Part - Kneading
This part takes 1 hour of doing then 40-60 minutes of waiting. Wash your hands thoroughly before doing any kneading. This may be a little tiring when it gets to Part C. Take the butter out of the fridge first so it is soften under the room temperature and becomes easier to mix in later.

Part A) 5 minutes
1) Put the 250g Bread Flour, 150g Plain Flour and 50g Sugar into a bowl. Sprinkle the Milk Powder, Baking Powder, Salt and Yeast around. Use a spoon to mix them all together until well-mixed. Then put it onto a clean flat surface.
a) Use 2 flat tablespoons for the milk powder, 1 tablespoon for the salt about 1½ tablespoon for the yeast (this is using Singaporean Spoons (5ml), US Spoons are much bigger (10-15ml), try using half the amounts instead or simply measure the number of grams the usual way. 
b) Sprinkle them about. If you put it all in one spot, the salt will kill the yeast and you'll get flat donuts.
c) A clean table-top or baking tray or the inverted side of a plastic chopping board would do nicely for a clean flat surface.

Part B) 15 minutes
1) Make a small indent in the centre of the Part A pile and crack and put the Egg in (No shell please) then use the spoon to stir up the egg before mixing and slowly pour in the 160ml Cold Water. Mix until you get a rough dough.
Follow the same general idea to knead. Scoop (with your hands) the flour mixture on the outer portion and fold into the wet portion. Mix until you get a rather rough dough, like granules, small lumps of dough. Try to make sure all the flour is in.

2) Now, get that Part 1 dough out of the fridge and mix it into the Part B dough. 
You might want to break the part 1 dough into smaller pieces before mixing it in, but I like to just put the whole thing in, less work. Knead the 2 together until you get a rather dry dough. 

Part C) 40 minutes
1) Put the butter into the dough and fold it in. Knead until you get a rather elastic kind of dough.
Expect the dough to become rather sticky because of the butter. Continue to knead until the dough is no longer sticky like the butter but is instead well blended and smooth and it becomes more malleable and elastic.

Part D)
1) Cover the dough and let it proof for 30-45 minutes or until it grows to double its size. 
A big plastic container would do nicely, and you can use plastic food wraps to cover it inside. This is so that the yeast can do its work. Put it in a room warm dry place (room temperature for South-east Asian Countries, around 30ºC would be good)

2)  Take out the dough and mould it into a round shape. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Proceed to Part 3.


Third Part - Cooking 
This part tales 10 minutes of making, 35 minutes waiting, 15 minutes deep-frying.

1) Roll the doughnut dough out until about finger-width thick (1cm would do as well) Cut with a 10cm round doughnut cutter and let it proof for 35 minutes.
If you don't have a doughnut cutter, just use any round circular object (like those covers used for plastic jars for the big circle and bottle caps for the hole in the centre. Make sure the circle object it has a hole on top for the air to get out or when you press it into the dough, your doughnut pieces will become flat.
After you cut out the doughnuts, you'll have some leftover dough. You can knead it all together again and proof for 20 mins then cut them out again (and proof again for 20 mins) or simply use them in their funny shapes. If you don't knead them properly and let it proof, you'll get oddly shaped donuts as the parts not mixed well will expand and go out of shape when you fry them. Don't say i didn't warn you.

2) While waiting for the doughnuts to proof, you can prepare the sugar glaze syrup. Boil 25ml water (again just use a microwave it takes less than 30 seconds) and pour it into a small bowl with 160g Icing Sugar. Mix with a spoon and you will get a thick sugary syrup.

3) When the donuts have been proofed, heat up the oil in a small pot. About 1.5 inches of oil would be good, just make sure the donuts can be submerged in the oil. 
Use a wooden spoon/chopstick to check if the oil is hot enough (small bubbles will form when you put the wooden spoon/chopstick into the oil).

4) Deep-fry the doughnuts in the hot oil until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool.
Don't let it get too brown or it'll be to hard. And not too light either or the dough inside might not be cooked. The doughnut dough will expand when cooked. so make sure your pot is not too small. It's easier to deep-fry one or two at a time.
Don't eat the doughnuts just yet. Let is cool first and the insides firm up so that  the layer inside won't get stuck together. And don't forget the sugar coating.

5) Dip the donut into the sugar syrup and coat the surface and they're ready to eat!
Just put them in laterally and take them out and turn them over. Let the sugar syrup trickle down the sides and cool.

Couldn't resist taking a bite^^
Legend:
White Words: Main Instructions
Gray Words: Additional Instructions/Tips

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Over and Over, Again and Again

Here's a treat for you! It's an original soundtrack entitled Over and Again, music and lyrics by White Lia (She's my Sis. Check out her blog too!

video

View the original upload on youtube here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weeeek

Nandemonai or Weeeek by the Japanese Pop Group NewS. This is based on the days of the week in Japanese.

The main lyrics go like this: 
Ashita kara, mata nichi getsu ka, hora, 
sui moku, mawatte, kin do~
Nichi - Sun; Getsu - Moon; Ka - Fire; Sui - Water; Moku - Wood, Kin - Gold; Do - Saturn
~youbi and the words correspond to the days of the week starting with Sunday following the list above.

video

The catchy tune and wonderful dance moves have caused many videos with anime characters following the Nandemonai dance moves and many are beautifully done. Below is a video known as Fukkireta done (not by me) featuring the characters from the hit anime Deathnote!

video

Friday, October 1, 2010

7 types of Lies

Lying comes in many forms. Some we would probably admit to doing on almost a day-to-day basis, others we give silent approval for. But when does lying become something acceptable, or if not acceptable, when is it necessary? And when, do lies become truth and truth become lies? Let me explain what is generally agreed to be the 7 main types of lies.

1) Blatant Lies - This is when something someone says is untrue or when someone gives false information. [I didn't bring my homework because I left it on my table and forgot to bring it after finishing it.] This is one of the most common forms of lies that is often used in our attempts to justify a mistake or shift the blame to someone else. [It wasn't me, she was the one who asked me to do it.] [I returned you the money last week, don't you remember?] This type of lie is generally frowned upon. It is generally used to benefit yourself without helping others in anyway. Sometimes, this is referred to as black lies.

2) White Lies - These are generally used with the intention to help someone else. ["Am I going to die daddy?" The tiny girl asks in a barely audible voice, laying in a pool of blood, your hands hugging her. "Don't worry dear, everything is going to be alright."] Often enough, they are used for their placebo effect. There are times when people think that something they do helps them, it does even when it actually does not. This is credited to a psychological effect that is triggered in the mind, often linked to how positive thinking or optimism helps people. Some people believe that such lies should not be told but its generally the "I'm going to die in 1 month" and the patient sinks into despair versus the "I only have one month left to live but I'm going to make the best use of it I can" outcome where it is often not known which choice, telling the truth or a white lie would be more beneficial to the patient.

3) Lies of magnitude - These are commonly termed as exaggerations. When you exaggerate, you are not objectively providing information. [You're the most beautiful woman in the world.] Often enough, such lies are used in the form of flattery or boasting. Making something seem better than it actually is also falls under this category. Often used in advertisements [5 times better than other dishwashing liquids] or [Removes twice as much plaque than toothbrushes of other brands]. With no actual standard or normal product to compare against, there can be no actually validation of the fact. Sometimes it's simply [Whiter], [Better], [Highest Quality]. These are some examples of puffery. Sometimes it is used inversely, making people think you didn't do so well on that test so that you seem 'modest'.

4) Lies of misdirection - "What is O-N-E?" you ask someone, lifting up one finger. "1." He replies. "What is T-W-O?" you ask again, lifting up two fingers. "2." He replies again. "What is 1 +1?" you ask finally, lifting up three fingers. "3." He mistakenly replies and you have just committed a lie of misdirection. Often enough this is used in games like bridge, poker, Bang! to make others believe that you have something better or worse than you actually do. Intentional baiting someone is also classified here. Most often, these as used by magicians to make you take note of something else while they trick you.

5) Partial truth - Not telling the whole truth is also a form of lying. That is why in court you take oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. When the group gets together to find who stole the stack of chips on the table. "Who did you see go into the room?" you were questioned. "Teddy." you say, 'forgetting' to mention you saw Deborah looking suspicious as she left the room. When giving information out of context or in an intentional sarcastic way can also mislead the listener to believe that you are not telling the truth. [Yeah, I am the one who took the money.]

6) Self-Deception - Sometimes, we lie to ourselves without even knowing that we do so. We believe that we are doing the "right' thing or the best that we can when in fact we are not. Being overly optimistic to the point that we believe that we can do better than we can also falls in this category. The Arbinger Institute covers this nicely in their book, Leadership & Self-Deception. Do get the book if you have the chance.


7) Potential Truths - Saying something as if it were fact without knowing for sure that it is true is also a lie. Fabrication is also included in this category. Rather than something that is just pulled out of the air, it could also be a misinterpretation of information or drawing false conclusions. Like explaining a scientific concept without actually knowing the fundamental principles and making it seem like you know what you are talking about or telling someone who asked for directions the way to someplace when you don't actually know where it is.


There are also some other forms of lies such as Jocose lies (which includes teasing or what we generally consider as kidding), Noble lies and Lies-to-children (such as the existence of Santa Claus or simple over-simplification of certain ideas or concepts that are too difficult for children to understand for example death or childbirth.) which are not covered in this article.