Musings of An Urban Ninja

So, it’s official.

I, Hiro, ninja-in-training have been bitten by the groupie bug.

After the awesome time I had at the Anime Festival Asia 09, I found myself staking out the Atrium of Cathay Cineleisure Orchard on Saturday to meet Sylvia Ratonel, Sezairi Sezali, Tabitha Nauser and Charles “Stitch” Wong.

To the uninitiated, that’s the final four of Singapore Idol 2009.

When the guys over at Tactical Urban Gears first announced that I was going to meet the Idol finalists, I went into panic mode. I mean what if I was knocked off my feet by the overzealous crowd and trampled to death? (Hey, you try being a pint size ninja and not have nightmares about stampeding feet!)

So to prepare for the worst-case scenario, I spent the week skulking around corners of the T-U-G headquarters, ambushing people and biting every available ankle that went by. I also practiced shimmying up long legs, short legs, sexy legs, hairy legs, sweaty legs. The T-U-G crew were not amused but being the good sport that they were, they put up with my idiosyncrasies.

Turns out, however, that my fears were unfounded. The crowd was pretty well mannered and there wasn’t even any jostling let alone stampeding.

Anyway, catching a Singapore Idol road show was quite the experience. The final four engaged the crowd like seasoned pros, educated the audience on AIDS and whetted fans’ appetites with their vocal prowess. I’m blown away by how comfortable they all look on stage that it’s sometimes easy to forget the youngest is only 17!

And what’s a road show without one-on-one pictures, right?

Here’s a picture of me with the lovely, lovely Sylvia.

She’s every bit as sweet in person as she appears on stage. And she is quite the trooper, too, belting out songs even though she had a sore throat. I mustered up the courage to ask her for a kiss, which she obliged.

Well, sort of. I mean, a ninja can dream can’t he?

And here I am with Sezairi.

Let me tell you, he’s one cool cat. He sportingly posed for a picture with me even though I have a katana on hand and could easily slice him open like an eggplant if he makes a false move. When somebody in the crowd asked what I was, he replied in that laidback way of his, “It’s a ninja.” like it was the most obvious thing in the world. Now is he awesome, or is he awesome?

And I was totally smitten by Tabitha.

She won me over with her outgoing personality and her heartwarming ways with her younger fans. She paid special attention to them and made sure that they all got the photos and autographs they were seeking. Sigh. You think she’ll adopt me?

And last, but not least, there’s Stitch, the beatbox man himself.

He’s very sincere and down-to-earth and polite. And that beatboxing talent of his is a quite the crowd pleaser. Hmm … maybe I should ask him to teach me some time. Coupled with a little throwing-your-voice skill, I could distract an enemy and make him look in a different direction while I strike. Sensei would be so proud.

Oh and Stitch also said that I was “so cute”.

Er, in a macho, testosterone sort of way, of course.

It should be interesting to see who will be the last two idols standing come December 27. And since the fates of the contestants literally lie in the hands of the voters, it’s anyone’s game.

So, anyone know where I can score a couple of tickets to the grand finals?

So for those of you who were waiting eagerly for the update of Anime Festival Asia 2009 Day 2 – Hi, mom! - first and foremost, let me apologize for the delay.

See, I meant to blog about it on Sunday night but life has a way of throwing a shuriken onto the best-laid plans.

Allow me to explain.

The day started out well.

I was happily exploring the AFA venue, doing touristy things aka geeking out over the upcoming collectible releases, taking lots of photos and making friends.

Meet my two new bffs, um, er, I forget their names.

Call me an equal opportunist. I don’t discriminate between species.

This is one time I don’t mind getting squished.

And then, without warning, everything just went to hell.

Word must have leaked out that I whooped Jason’s butt the day before, because all of a sudden I found myself being challenged to more duels than Michael Jackson has had nose jobs.

And let me tell you this: when you are fighting for your life, your thoughts fixate on the strangest things.

Like how some of these jokers had taken the whitening cream thing too far.

Or how each successive assailant’s weapon seems to be longer than the last. (Methinks that someone’s trying to compensate for something.)


And if you think swords were not bad enough, some even came at me with guns.

But I am not a ninja for nothing.

I’d been there, done all that, and got put on a t-shirt.

Of course, the best part about a fight is that there’s always a fair damsel or two or twelve in the wings waiting to coddle the brave victor, especially when they’re cute like me.

Sigh … if only all domestic help looked so good.

Um, I'm not seeing double, right? There really are two of them, right?

It is ridiculous how just sitting on a lovely girl’s lap can make the world seem right again.

There was even a marriage proposal which I regretfully had to decline.

Even so, all that fighting was not without a cost.

I hurt my right wrist and couldn’t work the keyboard properly hence the late post.

My hand has still not yet healed but one of the nice people at Tactical Urban Gears offered to type this up for me.

Anyway, aside from the unfortunate encounters, I must say that I had so much fun at AFA 09 that I’m already looking forward to AFA 2010.

If you see me there, don’t be afraid to come up and say hello.

Oh, and I’ll try to keep the body count down next year.

PS To view more photos of AFA09, please go to our Flickr page.

So what did you do this weekend?

Me? Well, oh, nothing much.

Woke up at the crack of dawn.

Ran 20 kilometers.


Did some training.

Oh, and I attended the Anime Festival Asia 2009.

That’s right, boys and girls. You read it right. I, Hiro, ninja-in-training, had the privilege of attending one of the AWESOMEST EVENTS OF THE YEAR.

(I’ll pause a moment while you hyperventilate.)

And it was quite the action packed fest I expected it to be too.

I got there early and geeked out when I saw Mr. Danny Choo (OMG! DANNY CHOO!! BREATHE! BREATHE!) aka Mr. Tokyo Dance Trooper setting up for his gig. Better yet, he was unaccosted by his legions of minions. So being the big fan boy that I was, I went over and asked if I could take a picture with him.

I suppose I should be flattered he thought that I looked good enough to eat.

After my encounter with Mr. Choo, I was walking along, enjoying the sights and sounds, minding my own business when Jason “Friday the 13 th” Voorhees came right up to me and challenged me to a duel.

Clearly, he doesn’t understand that it is not the size of the equipment that matters but how you wield it.

As Mr. Voorhees was spitting teeth and cement out his mouth, this fella scooped me up and decided to make sport out of the short ninja, even if the said ninja was packing a wicked sword.

Now I don’t know how his mother raised him, but my haha taught me that it is rude to point. Suffice to say, his index finger is now out of commission for a while.

A long while.

Oh, and I got to meet Domo.

He’s so much smaller in person.

And for those of you who don’t believe that I am quite the ladies’ man, here's the proof.

Me and Witchblade.

OK, I know that no one is looking at me.

Here I am with the lovely Sara Nome from Macross Frontier.

Me being cuddled by Megurine Luka from Vocaloid.

(Watch the thorns on that rose, Megurine! WATCH THE THORNS!! OUCH!)

Bliss is being shared by Sheryl Nome and Ranka Lee of Macross Frontier. Ahhh ...

Chilling out with Sasami from Magical Girls Club. Doesn't that blue bring out my eyes?

Um, the one on my right is a girl, right? RIGHT?!!!

And before you ask, no, there is no Photoshop involved.

Also I wanted so badly to go to the I Love Anisong concert, but the guys over at Tactical Urban Gears said that we didn’t have any budget for that. And besides, they pointed out, it was way past my bedtime.

Oh well, I suppose there’s always next year.

Stay tuned for Anime Festival Asia 2009 Day 2 ...

My First Post!

Last week, Jake over at T-Shirt Alert asked me if I would like to be a guest author at his site. To tell you the truth, I wasn't really sure at first. I mean, what does a ninja know about writing, right?

But once I wrote the piece, something came over me. It's like how I felt the first time I held a sword, or threw my first star, or took my first tray of double chocolate chip macadamia cookies out of the oven, um, I mean BEAT THE BEEJESUS OUT OF MY FIRST PIRATE EVEN IF I WERE THREE HEADS SHORTER THAN HE WAS.

It just felt, well, right.

So I talked to the guys over at TUG to see if they could maybe let me start a blog. You know, just hack out a few dozen words once in a while about what's going on with them, or tell you about my day or geek out about how the first Matrix is the BEST MOVIE EVER (Whoa! I know kung fu!).

That, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, of course.

So here we are.

It's been an exciting week.

First, there's my article up at T-Shirt Alert. It's
here, if you want to read it.

Then TUG received a few excellent reviews and write ups
here and here and here and here and here. Thank you everyone!

And the ever talented Steph Bowe over at
Hey, Teenager of the Year! is hosting a contest over at her site where she's giving away 5 $10 Gift Certificates for TUG merchandise. Go enter here.

Oh, and my copy of Blogging For Dummies arrived from Amazon today. Yay!

So, there it is.

My first post.

Feel free to stalk and send hate mail.

Just remember, I can maim with my thumb.



Hello my name is Hiro and welcome to my blog. I am a ninja-in-training who decided to hop on the bandwagon and record my random musings in a public forum.

Here, you'll find me hanging out with some of the people I've met, geeking out over some of my favorite things and just talking about my day in general. Oh, and since I am the official mascot of t-shirt label Tactical Urban Gears(T-U-G), I'll also be filling you in on what's going down with them from time to time.

To view their merchandise - most of which features yours truly and my badass sidekick cat, Ono - please click over to Tactical Urban Gears' official website at www.t-u-g.com. Thanks for reading this and I hope you enjoy your visit.