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Haibane Renmei: The Complete Series (Anime Classics)
Haibane Renmei: The Complete Series (Anime Classics)
Price: CDN$ 26.98
16 used & new from CDN$ 26.72

4.0 out of 5 stars Slow, but a heartwarming story of self discovery and acceptance, Aug. 13 2014
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Although not an amine with intense emotions or drama, this series is intriguing and heartwarming in its own way, really quite unique. It's very slow. Description of the plot and character development can be found elsewhere...briefly the story centres around a few characters in their after life - lost souls perhaps - but they are given a dwelling and a simple social structure separated from the real world and the classical vision of heaven. There they develop friendship and trust, and attempts to make self discovery, as they do not have memories of their former life.
The first half (about 8 episodes) is really quite boring with character development (don't expect any action), and the emotional range of the characters are very restrained, almost confined in a way. Much is implied, not said out loud. You kind of have to imagine yourself being reborn as one of them as a haibane, and you can feel the unspoken angst and uncertainty of what had happened in one's past, and make peace with yourself. Quite abstract, but that is the refreshing aspect of it. The series illustrates the internal conflict between the need for social bonding and trust versus isolation and self-reliance, some developmental psychology at work here.
The art work is relatively simple, not rich in details or complicated by CG. The atmosphere definitely gives a rustic feel, which I think reflects a traditional hand drawn approach to anime. I didn't feel engaged enough by the early episodes, which I watched over weeks, but I became captivated and finished the last 8 or so episodes in one evening. I can't say I love it, but I will definitely watch the whole series over again to look for those delicate moments and gradual build up of trust and self recognition.

Maoyu - Complete Collection (Blu-Ray)
Maoyu - Complete Collection (Blu-Ray)
Price: CDN$ 52.49
3 used & new from CDN$ 48.27

5.0 out of 5 stars A gem of a series, July 19 2014
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A comapct series, enjoyable story line with excellent detailed art work, engaging visuals and character deveopment and lively Japanese voice acting as usual. Genre is very similar to Spice and Wolf (humans are only as evil as, or more evil than spirits and demons), but here an interesting interpretation of war and politics by rules of economics. Overall quite an improvement over Spice and Wolf on all aspects except for the soundtrack. A gem and worth keeping.

LILLIPUT FA1000-NP/C/T 9.7" 5-wire Resistive Touch Screen Monitor with HDMI, DVI, VGA & AV Input
LILLIPUT FA1000-NP/C/T 9.7" 5-wire Resistive Touch Screen Monitor with HDMI, DVI, VGA & AV Input
Offered by Hossen
Price: CDN$ 283.98
3 used & new from CDN$ 283.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Works as advertised, July 16 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Needed a small monitor on my stereo component rack for my bluray player. A Sony full HD monitor costs >$2000 USD, so this Lilliput seems to be an acceptable compromise. Works as advertised, HDMI connects just fine. Have not tried other inputs. Aspect ratio has to be adjusted on the bluray player as there are no internal control for it; monitor's physical resolution is 1024x768...back to the days before widescreen. Cannot comment on the various screen adjustments (tint, contrast, RGB colors can be customized). Build quality...seems reasonable. Not sure how the touch screen should work; looks like it comes with a Windows 7 driver. Overall sufficient for a small monitor at a low price.

Oyasumi-Goodnight
Oyasumi-Goodnight
Price: CDN$ 21.84
14 used & new from CDN$ 15.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely lullabies, June 8 2014
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This review is from: Oyasumi-Goodnight (Audio CD)
The sound is a little forward and some equalizer leveling improves the sound but overall very pleasant traditional Japanese tunes and melodies to have in the background. Minimalist arrangement, 90% of the music is vocal. The voice is not so much sweet as it is motherly. Music that can keep your soul at ease.

Hosa CDL313 Digital Audio Interface, S/PDIF Coax to AES/EBU
Hosa CDL313 Digital Audio Interface, S/PDIF Coax to AES/EBU

3.0 out of 5 stars Works, but not quite audiophile solution, June 8 2014
Got this with the hopes to connect the bluray player (Pioneer BDP 62) SPDIF out to the DAC's AES input. It works without a glitch, but the sounds is a little off (probably introduced by the internal power circuitry) compared to the playback of the same digital CD files (from notebook to DAC via USB). It seems to work better for higher resolution audio materials (bluray, SACD). Overall a decent product even though it may not be completely silent in the signal path.

Alfred Brendel: Liszt Artist's Choice
Alfred Brendel: Liszt Artist's Choice
Price: CDN$ 31.39
21 used & new from CDN$ 26.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good music, Feb. 10 2014
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Excellent sonics and performance. Very engaging music...clearly a master pianist. 3 CDs presenting compilations of recordings (analogue and digital) made between 1972 and 1992. No complaints about remastering techniques...the transition from one track to another seems well managed.

Pure i20 iPod Dock
Pure i20 iPod Dock

4.0 out of 5 stars So far so good, Feb. 10 2014
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This review is from: Pure i20 iPod Dock (Electronics)
Just a first impression review. Tried it with music files from a first generation iPod touch and the iPod nano (4th gen). Works well enough with the internal DAC, analog RCA out to amplifier. Straightforward. Like the fact that there is a coaxial (and optical) digital out, in case we'll upgrade to a new DAC later. Seems versatile. Not sure if it works with the new iPad Air/Mini with lightning; would need adaptor.

NETGEAR WNCE2001 Universal WiFi Internet Adapter
NETGEAR WNCE2001 Universal WiFi Internet Adapter
Price: CDN$ 74.99
14 used & new from CDN$ 72.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works as advertised, Feb. 2 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought this for my Pioneer Elite bluray player (BDP 62FD), for which you can order a WiFi adaptor as an accessory at twice the price. The Netgear is pretty straightforward to set up, no problem following the instructions. Would buy it again if I have another component that needs a Wifi adaptor.

Wolf Children [Blu-ray + DVD]
Wolf Children [Blu-ray + DVD]
DVD ~ Colleen Clinkenbeard
Price: CDN$ 19.97
18 used & new from CDN$ 19.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The strength, courage and faith of a single mother..., Dec 15 2013
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I didn't think too much about wolf children when I ordered the bluray/dvd, but the number of awards to this title meant there must be a lot to see in this film. And it delivers an experience that I find difficult to describe. While the plot is fairly straight forward (a young woman falls in love, happily delivers two children, husband dies, finds herself ostracised from urban society, escapes to mountain village and endures much hardships so her children may have the freedom to become who they want to be), the beauty in this film is in the way it conveys the inner emotions in the heroine, both within herself and when she interacts with her children and the villagers. The background music adds resolve to the emotional depth of the film; in spite of great adversity and turmoil, the music keeps a steady, light and somewhat content kind of mood. Even when the hardships seem unbearable (maybe they're hardships only relatively to all the comforts of urban middle class affluence), I can follow with the heroine on her journey without excessive anguish or sorrow that the story represents. At times I wonder if it is humanly possible to have this kind of endurance, but of course there must be countless stories of single mothers or single parents who have to endure many kinds of hardships to raise their precious little ones. It is actually unfortunate that their tales are rarely told.

The picture - the art work, cinematography etc. - is superb in quality and realism. I first started watching it on a 55" TV, and after switching to my home theatre projector (~120" diagonal), I could see more details in the scenes. Overall this is a wonderfully constructed and emotionally engaging film, a subdued spectacle of love, faith and inner strength of a single parent with a seemingly impossible task of raising two half wolf, half human children in today's society.

Hero Soundtrack
Hero Soundtrack
Price: CDN$ 14.99
23 used & new from CDN$ 5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I expected more, Sept. 1 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hero Soundtrack (Audio CD)
Bought this together with Crouching Tiger soundtrack, and this Hero soundtrack is a bit unidimensional to my ears. Same score repeated in different instruments, but seems lacking in variations. Not particularly captivating without the movie itself.

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