Otaku Corner

By:Chloe Konnichiwa minna! It is July and it is a new season filled with new series to watch. Here, I shall be reviewing two anime series. One was just recently released and it is still on-going while the other was released quite some time ago. So, here we go! Anime #1: Akagami no Shirayukihime (赤髪の白雪姫) Akagami no Shirayukihime Screenshot from the opening of Akagami no Shirayukihime Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tale, Shoujo, Historical Producer: Bones, FUNimation Based on: Akagami no Shirayukihime-manga (Author: Akizuki, Sorata) Date of released: 7.7.2015 Status: On-going (Credits to myanimelist.net for the information) Dive into the world of fairy tales and you would probably find Snow White there with her charming prince by her side. Welcome to the world of Snow White in this anime series called Akagami no Shirayukihime. An adaptation from the manga and the fairy tale that we are all fond of as a child. To simply put, this series is about Shirayuki (Snow White)’s life as a herbalist with red hair. In this adaptation, the storyline is based on the one that we are all familiar with but there are several differences.

  1. The main thing that draws interest to Shirayuki (or Snow White) is her red hair. In this series, her unusual hair colour made her the target to many parties throughout the series, including Prince Raj (who wanted to take her as his concubine).
  2. Shirayuki eventually works in the palace as a herbalist. Here, her character as Snow White has been portrayed as an independent, smart and kind person, who also has a vast knowledge about herbs.
  3. In the story that we were all told, the prince charming appeared only at the beginning and at the end of the story but here our prince (Prince Zen) can be seen being more interactive with Snow White.

The portrayal of the Snow White story was executed really well. The main elements such as SNow White, the Prince, the Poison Apple were all present in this series. From the music to the story itself, each and every scene kept to the fairy tale theme. Even though there were changes in certain parts of the story but it was kept true to its original reference with its own charms and creativity. Will this series ends with a happily ever like its predecessor? Who knows. (Reviewer’s own note: In Disney, Snow White can be seen singing in the movie and in the anime, the seiyuu of Shirayuki sang for the opening theme!) Anime #2- Free!-Iwatobi Swim Club Free!-Iwatobi Swim Club Screenshot from the anime Genre: Comedy, School, Sports, Slice of Life Producers: Kyoto Animation Based on: High Speed! Light novel (Author:Oji Koji) Air Date: 4.7.2013- 26.9.2013 Status: Finished airing As the theme for this time round is ‘Health and Fitness’ so here is another rather realistic sports anime. Swimming is the sports here and that is what this series is all about.This season mainly focuses on the high school life of these characters: Nanase Haruka, Tachibana Makoto, Hazuki Nagisa and Ryugazaki Rei. All of them are students of the Iwatobi High School and members of the Iwatobi High Swimming Club. The main thing highlight here is the sport, swimming. I find this series interesting and funny at the same time. (Spoiler: All of the members of that club has a girly name and it is rather comical when Rei was recruited to the club because of having a girly name). Although this anime can fair well targeted to the female audiences, but it is a rather good series. Other than seeing half-naked, well built teenage boys in their swimwear throughout the series, it is another heartwarming series and something relatable to the audience, both males and females. On a side note, this anime does encourage its viewers to take a swim in the pool.  Some of the reviewers (a few of them being males) online even went for a swim after watching it (No kidding!), even I had the urge to go to the pool too. Furthermore, this anime even motivates cosplayers to actually workout and get fit to cosplay those characters! A prove that anime can sometimes motivate you into doing things that benefits you (such as this one) So, that is all for now for this session of Otaku Corner. See you next time!

A Night of Musical Kaleidoscope

By: Sim Wan Yong

On the 22nd of August 2015, the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation organized a charity recital, collaborating with the Perak Society of Performing Arts which was led by Eugene Pook. The ensemble consists of 12 very talented musicians, including the clarinet soloist Andrew Simon. Sunway University Ensemble too performed several tracks under Rockie Siew’s guidance.

Ensemble Poster

Among the performed tracks were Bach’s elaborate 16th century Brandenburg Concerto No 3 in G major BWV 1048, Brahm’s more solemn 18th century Piano Quartet No 1 Op 25, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Bizet’s Carmen Fantasy, Yiruma’s River Flow Into You and Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’ when the audience asked for an encore.

Below is a video recorded as part of their performance that night.

The Mind Body Connection

By Tiffany Hoo

For years and years, scientists have gone through various research and tests to shed light onto an important question that has been plaguing the minds of human beings since days of yore; Does the roller coaster of emotions we experience day to day have an impact on our physical health? Well, the answer to that statement is a big YES! Although emotional outlook may not be a dominant factor in determining our physical health, it is undoubtedly a scientific certainty that it has an important role in maintaining our physical well-being.

The human body is a fascinating creation. It is not merely a bundle of muscles interlaced with millions of nerve endings. We are unique beings capable of emotions to which no scientific fact is able to explain the phenomenon. However, our thoughts, actions and feelings are stimulants which have the capacity to drive the body to respond to it differently.

Have you ever felt a headache, a change in appetite or suffered from high blood pressure without knowing why? Well, these physical signs may be your body indicating that you are experiencing a negative emotion right this second (even if your own brain is not aware of it yet!). For example, you may be suffering from a terrible stomach ache suddenly right before an exam is about to start. This may be due to high stress levels and anxiety causing your body to suffer a physical pain to demonstrate what you are unconsciously feeling in your head. The incident expressed is what scientists across the globe have dubbed ‘The Mind Body Connection’.

Hence, positivity is a key factor if we wish to experience both good health and have positive emotions. Positivity is known to be able to broaden our perspective of the world, which in turn inspires more creativity within ourselves, and create lasting emotional resilience against negative emotions such as depression. Considering how positivity is beneficial to us in terms of faster recovery from cardiovascular stress, better sleep, fewer colds, and a greater sense of overall happiness, it is good of us to practise positivity in our daily lives.

Recent study has shown that in order to offset a pessimistic outlook and achieve good emotional health, we need to embrace three positive emotions for every negative one. These positive emotions literally reverse the physical and detrimental effects of negativity and build up resources that contribute to a flourishing life of positivity.

Therefore, you have to start by expressing yourself in appropriate ways. After all, once you clear your head, good things happen to the rest of you. If negative emotions like stress are causing physical problems, hiding these feeling and repressing them will only make you feel worse. Understand that it is ok to let others know of these emotions, especially to your loved ones, without fear of being rejected by. Even if they are unable to help, letting them know of it will help lift a huge weight of your shoulder and leave you feeling more positive. You may also consider seeking help from a certified doctor or experienced counsellor as well. The most important thing to note is that positivity is a choice that no one else can make but yourself.

In conclusion, it is imperative for us to recognize and identify our thoughts and emotions, and to be aware of the impact they have—not only on each other, but also on our bodies, behavior, and relationships. Understanding these matters will help us in experiencing more positive emotions and good health.

Ways to Stay Healthy during Exams 

By June Ong

Ways to Stay Healthy during Exams

Ok so this is it, the moment we have all been waiting for…I mean dreading. The moment that our lecturers will make us never forget. The moment where our parents’ hard work and sacrifice do not come in vain. The moment that we turn sweat and tears into glory. A single moment in which we redefine ourselves. Alright, I’m not talking about representing our homeland and fighting on the frontlines of the battlefield but it’s close to it. I’m talking about… (Warning: Do Not Cringe nor Flinch) … EXAMS!!!!!

Righty mate, our worst nightmare has arrived and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. The only antidote to this horrible, terrible shadow is to forge straight ahead and just go with it. The recipe for success? Nooooo, I’m not here to lecture you about effective study tips or how to write brilliant mind-blowing essays, no, I’m here today to tell you about ways to stay healthy during exams.

1) Balanced diet

We all know this, obviously, but honestly how many of us actually do this? Look at us, exam period = stress eating time. We munch down on Mister Potato, stuff our faces with McDonald’s fries, tingle our taste buds with Jipangi ice-cream or satisfy our inner cravings with bowls and bowls of Kisses chocolates. Ok, I’ll admit it myself too, all these “guilty pleasures” do indeed help us de-stress, put our minds at ease and in fact, most times help us memorise! Yes we all say, “I’ll work out after the exams. What’s the big deal?” but seriously, do you really think all that working out will help burn every single calorie we consumed over that short stressful period of time? Of course not! On the other hand, some of us like to consume an “overdose” of mum’s homemade chicken essence soup, ginseng noodles, remedial herbal tea and etc. They may have their own beneficial effects but do not overdo it. Moderation is the key, or you may suffer severe diarrhoea the next day in the examination hall.

2) Get enough sleep

Nuh-uh folks, “burning the midnight oil” is not a phrase you’re supposed to associate with during exam periods. Not enough time to study and cram all the facts? Well, you should have done it before the exam period. (P.S. I’m not trying to be that cranky old woman who lectures you about early preparations for exams) but honestly, you won’t really input more knowledge into your brain. Even worse, you might even drain yourself so severely both mentally and physically that the next day, you’re not up to your optimum performing level. Now isn’t this a “lose-lose” situation? You do not want to show up with panda eyes at the after-exam bash, do you?

3) Always take 5

Never, I repeat, never overdo anything. Do not sit there and stare at your Chemistry course book for 6 hours straight until you end up looking like a glazed-eyed zombie. Remember to always take a breather in between. Listen to music, read your favourite book, do planking or even just close your eyes…..Anything to help you reconnect to the real world and recharge your brain capacity. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You’ll find that taking resting intervals in-between studies does help you to study more effectively and decreases the strain being placed on your brain and health.

There are many other ways to stay healthy during exams and if you have found one that works best for you, stick with it and do not stray away. Do not make exams a cause for the devil of sickness to come knocking at your door. Who knows? You might even slim down a few pounds and gain a more radiant facial complexion during examination periods. To recap, do not neglect your health just because of exams. Your health is priceless, it is precious and it is gold. Good luck and stay healthy!

Club Features – Sunway Parkour Club

By: Sim Wan Yong

Parkour, L’art du Deplacement, was known as a French military training involving overcoming obstacles, running, vaulting, swinging, quadrupedal movements and many more, with aims to find the most efficient way to move from point A and point B.

Although still unofficial, Sunway Parkour Club has been up and running since April 2015 with meetings up to two times a week. With the motto “Strong body, strong mind, strong spirit”, the members are taught that they can endure much more than their minds assure them of. Should the members ever feel demotivated, our coach, Han, would remind us with a phrase, “We start together, we finish together,” and urge us to support each other.

Students that inquired about the club were worried about joining due to reasons such as their lack of stamina, strength or other physical factors. Do not be discouraged by these matters! Everyone starts somewhere, and a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. As a teaching assistant in the club once said to me, “It is important not to feel discouraged or inferior when seeing the others doing much better than you are.” That was easier said than done as even now, I still feel inferior at times, being unable to do many things that others can. As I look back to myself three months back however, I can see that I have strengthened myself, both physically and mentally. The coach reminded us often not to compete with the other members, but if we were to compete, it’s best that we compete with ourselves from day to day.

What might seem impossible to you now may be something you do routinely a few months later, and this applies to parkour as well. As you progress in the club activities, you learn to apply the art of movement even in daily lives, overcoming obstacles in your path and pushing the limits of your body. Indeed, we do not just overcome our physical challenges as we overcome our mental barriers as well. We learn to assure our minds that we can do something when we have learnt the correct techniques to do a certain move.

We learnt to be confident, but never reckless. At times, our muscles would burn and hurt from the continuous practice, but we stop and listen to our body when need be. We learnt to endure our physical limits and overcome them slowly but surely. Perhaps the most important of all, we learnt to support each other in a close-knit community of people that loves the art of movement.

Club Activities Details

Registeration fees: RM20 (One-time), Monthly fees to trainer: RM20

Tuesdays : 1630 to 1800

Thursdays : Optional additional free sessions every fortnight, 1630 – 1800

Facebook Page: Sunway Parkour Club

International Conference For Young Leaders – Taking Entrepreneurship To The Next Level

By: Chloe

The International Conference For Young Leaders event (ICYL for short) was an event held at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur. This conference carried the theme Changing Communities Through Social Entrepreneurship. It opened opportunities and space to enhance the involvement of Malaysian youth in social entrepreneurship that could help to spearhead the Malaysian economy towards sustainability as well as local and regional networking. Even while having to wake up early in the morning and to travel to such a far place, the three participants from Sunway University had a good time there. Out of the three of them, ECHO had the opportunity to hear from two of them.

Question 1: What do you think about entrepreneurship?

Chloe Tee (C.T) :  I have worked in that field before without knowing anything about social enterprising (Doing good and getting profits at the same time). It is like combining two different worlds, like a paradigm shift. This event has given us a deeper insight about the topic.

Cheng Yee (C.Y) : It has nothing to do with the course as it is more about business. I did some research about entrepreneurship but I could not get the meaning. After listening to the speakers, I understand it better and I have learned more outside of the classroom.

Question 2: Without really knowing about entrepreneurship, what interest you to join this event?

C.T: I have been interested in as I have always wanted to start something by myself so I thought just go for it despite the unknown.

C.Y: I do not have a clear goal or image prior to the event. Enterprising has always been my interest. I wanted to do more besides earning money as I want to leave an impact in the future.

Question 3: What have you gained from the talk?

C.T: Firstly, we have gotten a lot of insights about social enterprising. It was a networking session so we were exposed to various kinds of businesses. In my opinion, businessmen are too cunning so we cannot trust them fully. Hence, we must learn to analyze and that is one of the things we have learned there. Other than that, we also manage to listen to real life stories from other people who attended the event. Those stories were really inspiring.

C.Y: As a person who has the interest for it, I now have a clearer picture about social enterprising and how to proceed from there. This event has also allowed me to not just to get to know more about it but to also learn from the speakers as well as to obtain a clearer picture of what social enterprising does. Oh and we got to know many others who share the same interest.The speakers there have also exposed us to many topics regarding world issues that we did not know of due to our comfort zones, helping us to be aware of global issues and such.

  1. About the event (Part 2)

C.T: The food was nice. There were food catered for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It as if we were there to eat (laughs)

C.Y: Throughout the conference, the participants were well taken care of. Transportations were a problem for us though.

Question 4: Lastly, what message would you like to give our readers?

Students are encouraged to participate and invest time wisely as it is the golden time for people to learn. There may not be any more opportunities like this in the future so do not wait. Find your interest and do something more valuable.

P.S from Chloe Tee and Cheng Yee: A big thank you to Ms.Evelyn for the guidance and follow up. It was her who posted the events and she was really nice.

Sore Throat Remedies

By Elycia Lee

It’s that time of the year when many of us fall sick, and one of the most common sicknesses is of course, sore throat. But then again, sore throat happens very often, and some might find it a waste of money to visit the clinic for such a small matter. Even so, you’d still want to get better as soon as possible, right?  
 
So, here are several ways to relieve your sore throat (if it’s not too serious) and hopefully they may help you get through the week, especially for those who are having their finals.  
 
Remedy 1: Honey 
 
Here’s a pleasant, sweet cure for the throat. Honey mixed in warm water, tea or simply taken straight up has long been a home remedy for sore throat. Studies have shown that honey is an effective wound healer, which means it may also help speed healing for sore throats. 
 
Remedy 2: Salt Water 
 
First sweet, now salty. Several studies have found that gargling several times a day with warm salt water can reduce swelling in the throat, break down secretions and loosen mucus, helping to flush out irritants or bacteria.It is recommended to dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water, or for a more accurate ratio, one teaspoon with 8 ounces of water.  
 
Remedy 3: Water 
 
Water is important, no kidding. Staying hydrated is an important part of treating a sore throat. When you’re dehydrated, your body is unable to produce enough saliva and mucus to keep your throat naturally lubricated. This will make the swelling and inflammation worse and you will need even more fluids to help ease the pain. If you think plain water can get a bit bland for you, then try warm teas or warm soups. Any drink will do as long as you drink often. 
 
Remedy 4: Cough Syrups 
 
This is quite similar to honey, but unlike honey, it’s not a natural remedy. Over-the-counter cough syrups can help ease soreness, even if you don’t have a cough (yet). Like drops and sprays, they coat the throat and provide temporary pain relief. 
 
 
Personal recommendation: Warm Honey Lemon Water! (WHLW) 
 
I would suggest making WHLW as the honey water itself is a wonderful throat relief. Moreover, lemon contains citric acid which helps break up the mucus that causes sore throat and is rich in vitamin C, a good boost for the immune system. Lemon is also a natural antiseptic which helps to kill the bacteria or viruses in the throat. Its juice increases salivation and helps to moisten or lubricate an irritated throat to get rid of the sore throat.  
 
It’s really easy to make WHLW! Just follow these simple steps:  
1.  Get a fresh lemon and slice it to a thickness of your own preference, then boil them in hot water (the amount of water depends on how much honey lemon you wish you make). 
 
2. Pour it into a cup to cool then add honey while cooling. Adjust the sweetness using honey. 
 
Voila, you’re done! 🙂