Behind the Voices of the Characters

by Chloe Kong

Yo minna! (Translation: Hi everyone) Okaeri (Translation: Welcome back) to another session of Otaku Corner. Voicing for a role is never an easy feed and it takes hard work, passion as well as dedication to be a good seiyuu. The road to success in the industry is a challenging one and all seiyuu must go through a lot of hurdles, training  in order to succeed. Hence, this time round, we will be featuring a few seiyuus (Translation: voice actors) behind some of the roles that you might recognize. As the saying goes, two is better than one so here goes! Let us look at this talented couple: Suzumura Kennichi and Sakamoto Maaya.

Source: Voice Animage 2015

Source: Voice Animage 2015

Seiyuu #1: Suzumura Kennichi

Family name (in kanji): 鈴村

Given name (in kanji): 健一

Date of birth: 12.9.1974

Hometown: Osaka, Japan

Occupation: Voice Actor, Singer

Source: Voice Animage 2015

Source: Voice Animage 2015

Seiyuu #2: Sakamoto Maaya

Family name: 坂本

Given name: 真綾

Date of Birth: 31.3.1980

Hometown: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan

Occupation: Voice Actor, Singer

And here are the roles that they both voiced for together.

Series Suzumura Kennichi Sakamoto Maaya
1 Ouran High School Host Club Hitachin Hikaru Fujioka Haruhi
2 D-Gray Man Lavi Lou Fa
3 Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) II Thompsom Ciel Phantomhive
4 Soul Eater Kilik Lunge Crona
5 Star Driver, Sakayaki no Takuto Bou Tsukihito Endou Sarina
6 Coppellion Kurosawa Haruto Ozu Shion
7 Final Fantasy IV Zack Fair Aerith Gainsborough

 

Both of them were married since 8th of August 2008. This disproved the myth that says things will get bad if you are in a relationship with your colleague. Let us wish these two all the best as well as a joyful, fruitful and colourful journey ahead as we look forward to more of the voice acting in the future. So that wraps up another session of Otaku Corner and if you have anything that you wish for me to cover, feel free to drop a message at the ECHO newsletter Facebook page. Ja matta ne! (Translation:  See you again!)

Espression 8 Café

By: June and Chris

Espression8 Café, now where do I begin? The moment you stepped into the warm ambience of the café, an aromatic espresso scent comes wafting through while you just gazed admiringly at the interior decor, even before you feast your eyes upon the dishes offered there. Before I begin to describe my food adventures there (mind you, it was a long and incredible journey, like Bilbo Baggins’), I would like to start by describing the “origins” of this café. Espression8, this quaint name was actually the brainchild of its 3 bosses who just so happen to love drinking, guess what? Espresso of course!

Now comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the FOOD!!! My friend ordered Spaghetti Gamberoni Aglio, another ordered Smoky Salmon Hollandaise while I settled with Chicken Wrap Benedict. My dish so happened to be the chef’s recommendation so I wasn’t going to give up a chance on trying that and oh yes, that was one of the wisest decisions I’ve ever made. Tender chicken breast soaked in BBQ sauce wrapped with tortilla bread, topped with poached eggs and roasted vegetables, that dish was nutritious yet gloriously decadent. The slight hint of tanginess from the sour vinaigrette of the salad fused seamlessly with the sweetness of the juicy chicken breast, while the array of multicolours that decorate the plate just puts a smile on your face.

Frankly speaking, I’m not a big fan of “decorative food” but the coffee art that came with my friend’s peppermint chocolate unleashed my inner “fangirling” craze. Until recently, I have never actually agreed the concept of mixing peppermint with chocolate, to me it felt like an act of blasphemy. However, the adorable coffee art softened the cockles of my heart and after much persuasion from my friend; I was inclined to take a sip. Conclusion: my hypothesis has been wrong all this time. The peppermint though strong in flavor, did not overpower the sweetness of the chocolate, in fact it did the contrary; it enhanced the sweetness yet brought a refreshing twist to it.

No food trip is complete without satisfying your palates with its signature desserts, Apple Crumble Mille Crepe and Nutella Mille Crepe. The creamy smooth multilayer texture of the crepes, the fragrant and poignant Nutella that tingle your taste buds, the buttery and ultimate classic comfort of apple crumble, all served with nostalgia. For someone who has been hankering to satisfy her sweet tooth the entire week, those 2 desserts were the perfect form of indulgence.

Located just next to Rock Cafe, this cafe feels like having an afternoon tea over at your friend’s house but with an extra hint of elegance and sophistication. Better yet, the price ranges from about RM 10 to RM35.  So if you’re ever looking for a right place to chill and hang out with your friends over a good cup of coffee and mouth-watering desserts, do step into Espression8 Cafe. Once you are touched by its magic, you’ll find yourself revisiting the café so you can savour it all over again.

The Plights of Student Rights

Written By Insyirah Ami

It’s safe to say that every educational institution should have a structure of student rights. Just like consumer, constitutional and civil rights, these rights are no less important in protecting its target group – students. A little backstory for thought: Due to the inequality seen in schools, it was the students of Europe and North America themselves that we have to thank for what we have now as student rights. Among these rights are the rights to free speech and equality; which, to most students, are the most vital.

Nonetheless, awareness of these rights is yet to be all-inclusive. Yoon Peili, President of the Student Action Team, expressed, “One right that students may not be aware of is the right to voice out any issues or problems they are facing regarding our campus.” While some students choose to vent their frustrations via the Sunway Confession Page on Facebook, the Student Action Team assures that their utmost priority is advancing student rights here in Sunway.

That target will not be so easily met, as voiced by international student Fiona Yu, “We don’t even know who we can talk to about our thoughts. They should have a way to communicate with us. Additionally, I’ve never heard about international student rights.”

Perhaps students won’t have to look too far for a medium to voice out, as plans are underway by student councils to improve student life and listen to the plight of the community. Student rights won’t be so easily improved overnight – it literally took the European student right movement years to have it generally accepted.

As a starting point, Tan Shu Fong, treasurer to STACT, stated that “One of the plans to promote student rights would be by setting up a white board at the energy hub or foyer twice a year to allow students to comment or write out their opinions or suggestions on improving their student rights on campus.”

However, it’s not all about voicing out – there are some student rights Sunway students are already enjoying. They have the rights of protection of the freedom of expression; protection against improper evaluation and improper disclose; freedom of participation; freedom of inquiry and expression; the right to access certain information and updates; et cetera. Admissions to the college, services, facilities and activities are open to all Sunway students without slight regards of race, creed or national origin.

Despite yet to be perfect, student rights here are going in the right direction. Although, as per usual, there are some cases that often get overlooked. ADTP student, Rebecca Loh expressed: “There is discrimination against international students scattered around among the guards and office administrators”. Her predicament was echoed by international student, Atif Mahmood, who worries that international student demands take a longer time to be met due to discriminations.

International student rights are inclusive of all student rights that local students deserve. In Romania (the country with the greatest student right legislation in place), quality education and service is a right in and of itself – sans discrimination.

Sunway may still have a long way to go. However, cooperation between students and the student council is pertinent in achieving that bright future we all dream of. Chow Shenn Kuan, Secretary to STACT, maintains that she hopes students can gain the confidence to voice out their opinions. “Trust us, approach us and ask us – STACT will definitely help you obtain or regain perhaps certain student rights you would like to emphasize on strongly,” she stresses.

In essence, the Sunway Confession Page perhaps isn’t the best place to voice out if you’re looking for change (although it may be a very good medium to vent). But then again, change won’t simply happen tomorrow or next week. To close off with a quote from Rebecca Loh, “There isn’t a clear cut, black and white sheet stating the rights of students. So, as a student, we should educate ourselves with our own rights.” Here is to an even brighter, sunnier (pun intended) future for Sunway students.

Why GST is the Best Thing to Happen to Malaysia

Written by: TotallyNotABNFan

Quote

Malaysia has recently hit a rough patch, with the news of the GST implementation assailing the people. However, GST is a good thing for Malaysia; it’s not tragic. That’s right, it doesn’t make people sad. It just makes people irritated, and it’s a well-known fact that when people are indignant and fired up, they do everything more intensely.

Anger is a great motivator for work.

By increasing the price of most goods on the market, I believe that the government is trying to indirectly (by which I mean unintentionally and probably also unnecessarily) instil the value of hard work into the people. I mean think about it, if you have to work even harder for something as simple as putting food on the table, are you more likely to be angry at the government or pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and work harder?

Exactly. Which is why the government is taking more of your hard earned money. Because they already have so much that they’re immune to its corrupting effects. I mean when was the last time you saw a government official being lazy? You haven’t, because you have no idea what they do because they have never been seen working.

Besides that many say that the GST could have been avoidable if only the government could rein in their spending. Well if you are one of those people I say you are misinformed. I can say this because reputable news outlets such as Utusan Malaysia keep assuring us in their eloquent pieces that the government has always done what is good for the people. Utusan is like the FOX news of Malaysia, always keeping things fair and balanced with a little bit of tasteful exaggeration here and there. Now I know you are in a great hurry to go look for these articles like the patriotic citizen you are, you probably want me to cite my sources. Well I can’t, because I haven’t found any articles but I assume that the bright writers and journalists of that venerable newspaper have indeed defended this new tax far better than a simple mind like me ever could.

Utusan is like the FOX news of Malaysia, always keeping things fair and balanced with a little bit of tasteful exaggeration here and there. They lessen the burden of the people by telling them directly what they should think and believe. Hence, they have done their job well. This is because whenever people come to me with facts that contradict Utusan I either shout at them until they go away or cover my ears and pretend I can’t hear them.

But even with all these good reasons to implement GST, haters like Tony Pua keep telling the people that GST is “confusing, cumbersome and costly to implement.” What does he know? It’s not like he’s an Oxford degree holder in Economics and all he has are facts and we all know the age of facts has come and gone and now the only way to get your point across is emotional rhetoric. He’s a relic of a bygone age when people were still reasonable and decisions were made based on facts, he has to get with the times and stop hating. Remember, GST is good, and people who disagree are haters and haters gonna hate.

Book Review

Source: problemouk@wordpress.com

Source: problemouk@wordpress.com

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Reviewed by Tiffany Hoo

The novel revolves around Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee, and Sarah O’Rourke, a magazine editor from Surrey, who became inextricably bound to one another following a brief encounter they shared in their past. The women have met once two years ago when Sarah and her husband, Andrew, were on a holiday in Niger Delta in an attempt to salvage their marriage following Sarah’s act of infidelity. The then 14-year-old Little Bee and her older sister, Niruka, were on the run from soldiers who burned down their village and were determined to have no witnesses to the incident. The two young girls sought protection from the couple but were eventually captured by their pursuers and that is where our story takes an unexpected twist.

We flash forward to two years into the future, where Little Bee has been illegally released from a British Immigration detention centre after a fellow refugee performs sexual favours for their detention officer. With her newfound freedom, the Nigerian refugee travels to Sarah’s home though it was not known to the latter initially. It is only upon the suicide of Adam over the guilt of his and Sarah’s tainted past that Little Bee reveals herself to the magazine editor and offers to care for Charlie, the couple’s 4-year-old son. The shattered Sarah relents with Little Bee’s offer of help.

Although one may find this to be a rather dark read to take up, it cannot be denied that this is a profounding tale. It explores the loss of innocence and the subsequent effects of the globalisation which are hardly confined to Achebe’s Nigeria of yore or to Britain’s “civilizing” mission. The author, Chris Cleave, attempts to look at this scenario from a different light. Instead of focusing on the postcolonial guilt and the African angst, Cleave uses his words to make readers ponder their views of civility and ethical choice.

Many may find the character of Sarah O’Rourke bland at first glance, but as the story progresses we see her blossoming under Cleave’s craftful words. However, it is the character of Little Bee that draws readers into the story. As she navigates the dehumanizing indifference of immigration detention with her little competence in English, this young refugee tugs at the reader’s conscience.

Although the tale does leave readers on a bitter note as we reach the conclusion of the story, Cleave finds a way to shed light on even the darkest of situations.  The sight of Charlie playing happily with a group of Nigerian children sends a message to us that though we may not be able to change the present we know, hope still lies with the next generation. All we need is optimism in order for humanity to triumph.

Install The New Generation – Student Council Installation

by: Chloe Kong

As the saying goes, “Out with the old and in with the new”, the day has finally come for the new generation of brave knights to step up to the round table. The term of the Sunway University Student Council (Term 2014/2015) may come to an end but that is not the end of that amazing student leadership body.

On the 20th of April 2015, the installation ceremony of the new Student Council was held to welcome and to grace the new team of 2015. Smartly dressed in formal attire, everyone was there to give their support, congratulations and wishes to the new team for the best of luck in their upcoming year of service. The contribution of the predecessors was also acknowledged and their service throughout 2014 was appreciated and greatly admired.

Without further ado, let us hear from different perspectives of a few individuals that have gone through the entire process.

Chow Shenn Kuan – Treasurer of the Sunway University Student Council (Term 2015/2016)

Picture1

Photo Credits to Yannik Fernando
Facebook: Yannik Fernando Photography

Greetings, fellow Sunway students! To start off, I am Chow Shenn Kuan and I will be running for the Treasurer post in the upcoming term in the Student Council. Hailing from a rainy, miniscule town up north in Malaysia called Taiping, Perak and being a rojak of Siamese and Chinese; I stepped foot onto the grounds of Sunway campus for the very first time last year in 2014. I graduated from Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT) and currently, I am taking the Sunway-Lancaster programme BSc (Hons) Business Studies.

The experience of the whole Student-Council-Election was really overwhelming for me. The election process and campaigning is what I would deem as something I have not been through before so truthfully, I was a little lost.

With the knowledge of having no competitor, I prepared myself to be ready for the role as a Treasurer. However in my perspective and rationality, I will not skew my role in the Student Council as I am always prepared to broaden my responsibilities as a student leader in the campus.

Personally, I was approached several times before by students in the Student Services Department (SSD) or in the Student Leaders Office (SLO) who would enquire about joining the Student Council. As usual, multiple questions were forwarded. An intriguing question I was forwarded was if I regretted joining the Student Council. In less than a heartbeat, I breathed in and with no slight hesitation, I uttered the word “No.” with a smile.

Plus, a hilarious thing I would like to share was that someone even composed a beautiful poem about my election as the treasurer on the Sunway University Confession Page – this ipso facto made my term of election even more unforgettable!

There were butterflies in my stomach. Trust me, I was filled with anticipation, a little confusion and definitely anxiety. Well, I felt jumpy and nervous about the whole election-campaigning matter as I’ve only decided upon taking up the role in a rather prompt manner. I postulate that I’ll stumble upon many great discoveries in Student Council, just like all of the incredible things I’ve been through in the Student Action Team (STACT).

Ashten Avinash Anthonyand

Ashten Avinash Anthonyand

Photo Credits to Yannik Fernando
Facebook: Yannik Fernando Photography
My name is Ashten Avinash Anthonyand and I ran for the Director of Academic Affairs post. Currently, I’m in my first semester of the second year of my degree programme, pursuing BSc (Hons) in Actuarial Studies.

This is my second time undergoing election. Therefore, I have some experience on campaigning from the previous cycle. One of the hurdles that I have encountered during the election was to get people to know me. In order to do that, I attempted various streams, such as the Internet, posters and even through word-of-mouth.

In both years of running for a position, I had a competitor. The addition of a rival made the election much more challenging. Even so, this is a healthy competition and it has pushed me to work harder.

The whole process was a great experience. Throughout the election, I gave speeches in classes and I also gave information on the voting process. Other than that, working alongside the other candidates had also provided me with extra exposure. Overall, I am happy with my campaign.

Note: Both expressions are written by the individuals that are listed in the articled

TEDx – Be Inspired

By Chloe Kong

Just when you think going for a talk would drain your attention, TED proves you mistaken. Despite it being the first ever TED talk in Sunway University, it was a really worthwhile experience. The TEDx Sunway Club launch was something that motivates you and gets you thinking “What have I been doing all this time?” or quoting the MC of the day,“What have I been doing with my life?”

On a Saturday morning when most people are still lying in bed, the participants have gathered in front of the auditorium located within the new university building. The event started off with a light breakfast. After that, the students made their way to the auditorium where the event commenced. It started off with speech given by the Head Curator of Ted Kuala Lumpur which was then followed by the speech from the Senior Executive Director of Sunway Education Group, Dr. Elizabeth Lee. A little ceremony was held to officialise the launch of the Sunway University’s Tedx Club that morning.

The talks began with Ms. Heidi Quah as the first speaker of the day. Being only twenty years of age this year and still pursuing on her further education, her contribution to the society is really impressive. As the saying goes ‘Never judge a book by its cover’; though nervous as she was on stage, behind her lies the repertoire of her achievements as the founder of Refuge the Refugees [RFTR]. In three years, she has established three schools in Ampang and has helped many refugees in that journey. Her story may wowed and inspired many but little did we know about the mountain of hurdles that she has been through. Through many trials, challenges and sacrifices, the refugees under her care are now successfully living their lives to the fullest.

Next on the podium was another female speaker who also contributed to the society through her charity and she was none other than Ms. Ng Yeen Seen. She is the Chief Operating Officer at the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) and the Senior Director at the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS). According to Ms. Ng, this NGO started out with literally nothing but their mobile phones. Sounds impossible? Not for this passionate lady.  The flood that struck Kelantan has not only affected the people there but more importantly, it has greatly affected her family. With that determination, she began her project with whatever she has. It was a dark Christmas for those who were living in Kelantan and Ms. Ng did her best to gather doctors, nurses, medics and supplies before rushing to the aids of the victims. Getting donors was never an easy feat but she managed to pull it through to the very end as she was able to get help from Britain! Her efforts have touched many victims and they were really thankful for being able to live through the ordeal.

If you were to think that it is crazy to bring in an artist into a Ted talk, then this speaker will blow your minds. Third on the list was someone none other than a top beatboxer of the nation, Cody Foo, also known as Coex onstage. A talented beatboxer as well as the founder and CEO of BeatNation. Cody entertained the crowd with his beatboxing skills that wowed the audience. His seemingly impossible performance gave life into the gloomy room as the audience cheered and he performed one round after another of beatboxing.  A quote from him that he repeated several times through his session,“Creativity does not exist; only expression does.” Cody emphasized a lot about expressing oneself through the talk.  To Cody, learning how to pick up an art form is the fastest way of expressing oneself with the goal of being equipped in order to become a great artist. He also said that such actions will give the chance for others to express themselves and to sell ideas. Nevertheless, it was really exciting yet unforgettable to be able to witness a beatboxing performance during a TeDx talk.

After hearing three incredible individuals delivered their speeches, who would have guessed that the final speaker was an urologist? A  clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Monash University, Sunway Campus and a Consultant Urological Surgeon at Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, this father of two has studied in three different universities of Britain before coming back to Malaysia. With a really good sense of humour, Dr George Lee’s stories amused, entertained and made his listeners roaring with laughter.  The few experiences he shared with us included his travels in the UK, his near death experience and not to mention his first Ted talk phone call invitation being mistakenly heard as ‘sex talk’. In his talk, he brought about a few kinds of fear:  the fear of the unknown; the fear of change; the fear of death. Having experienced many different things, Dr George lived his life to the fullest as if every day was his last and he even told the audience that every breath he took each morning was a bonus. He even encouraged us to overcome those fears and appreciate what we currently have.

Afterwards, there was the first ever Ted ‘Questions and Answers’ session! Due to the hectic schedule, Ms Heidi Quah had to take her leave after her session and was not present for the session. Questions were directed to the remaining three speakers and all of them answered with really meaningful answers.

Kudos to the team who made this event a success! All of those who were present throughout the event were able to take away something meaningful and precious to them. Dear readers, the next time you think of giving up? Listen to these Ted Talks and they will sure to inspire you one way or another.

A Chat to Inspire

Just as everyone was enjoying the scrumptious lunch after the talk, ECHO was given a chance to ask two of the speakers a few questions

Interviewee#1 : Cody Foo a.k.a. Coex

Cody FooQuestion 1:

Is there any advice that you would like to give to the students in general or those that wants to pursue the art side of education?

A: First step, you have to convince your parents to give you’re a gap year to figure out what you want. Find out what you’re passionate about doing. Then, you have to find out how you learn. Lastly, be uncomfortable. Explore.

Question 2:

What keeps you going and doing what you’re doing?

A: God. He has been good and I believe that there is a purpose in every pain.

Question 3:

Lastly, a quote that you would like to end this session with?

A: “Be uncomfortable, because being comfortable is the opposite of being productive.”

 

Interviewee #2: Ms. Ng Yeen Seen

Ms. Ng Yen SeenQuestion 1: What advice would you give to those who want to start out on something new?

A: Firstly, it is important to know your own strengths and limitations. One must know their own capabilities and limitations before taking anything head on. You must also know your surroundings and environments. (Are you the first person to do it? Is it a cliché thing?) For example: Whether it is at a workplace or in school, one must always do research (SWAT Analysis) in order to get to know the ups and downs as well as the current trends.

Secondly, from my own perspective, preparing to face challenges and the unknown is another vital thing. You must always know the resources because it is impossible for things to go smoothly all the time. A plan B must be ready as an alternative. For more insurance, a plan C could also sometimes some into consideration.

Building a good profile is often something crucial to a person. Trust, credibility and confidence are not something that you can buy with cash, they must be earned. It takes time for them to be tested and proofread so that a good platform can be created.

Question 2:

What are the Do’s and Don’ts when starting a charity?

A: The objectives must be clear from the beginning so that a goal or a target can be set. Other than that, you must access the market to get to know what is going on there. You must give a reason for the public to support your course of action. Another thing to take note of is that the charity that you created must be registered. My last point for the question would be to run it with a lot of integrity.

Question 3:

Lastly, what message or quote would you want to leave the readers with?

A: Do not sit and wait for things to happen. One individual may be one small unit but when people come together, great things can happen. Lead the change and be the change that you want to be.

Bonus Question:

How do you overcome failures?

A: If you give up on yourself, no one will help you. Hence, you have to pick yourself up, hold your head up high and move forward.

Communication Tips – 5C

By Joel Thum

Communication is the key in any relationship. For a tranquil life with another individual, proper and functional communication is essential and it is the main means to understand the need of the other party. Interpersonal communication is the exchange of information between two or more individuals. Here are some tips on effective interpersonal communication.

Control

When you are the controlling party in the conversation, it does not necessarily mean that you control the person’s thoughts and actions. To be in control, in this context, is to be a cause for communication. Take responsibility for tasks and avoid throwing blames or excuses. Acknowledge that you want to act on something rather than just be told what to do.

Creativity

It is important to be flexible in your thinking. Although instructions or information transferred from another may seem rigid, it is not impossible to think out of the box and be creative when perceiving a message. Being flexible also means to adapt with various types of communicators. Adaptation in various circumstances helps to reduce conflicts as well as arguments.

Curiousity

While trying to know more about another individual, we tend to be curious. Being curious is perfectly normal and it brings about questions. However we have to be cautious about our level of curiosity. Questions asked should be appropriate in context and in level of relationship. As an example, an employer-employee relationship is different from friendships and thus the questions ask should be different from questions asked to a colleague.

Can Do

In relation to being creative, a can do attitude helps in effective communication. Can do implies your willingness to adapt to the situation needed. You should not be too rigid in your own opinions to the point where it hinders an open communication, but rather, have an open mind to changes and new ideas.

Contentment

At the end of every communication, we acquire information or knowledge. Being contented helps to build confidence because holding an amount of information brings about significant influential power. Being content also requires the ability to share information with another party, bringing about an effective communication. Being selfish meanwhile would not be as productive as working in a duo or team.