Monday, December 14, 2009

Today is a Good Day!

A'ight, so this blog is nominally supposed to be about geeky things, things outside the mainstream, right? Fuck that, I'm talking about football!

So I was having a good day today. I handed in my paper on time, then went to my club's office (which the members had cleaned spectacularly- I feel a little guilty because I'm the office manager and I didn't do anything, but then I had a paper to write. But now I don't have exams until next weekend. Woohoo!) and played a good game of Civilization. After that, some friends came by and we were playing Scrabble- we ended right when I managed to make the word "Jots", the "s" also forming "quays", and that "s" was on a triple letter score. Almost 80 points. Muahaha.

After that, we played a round of Settlers of Catan, and I managed to pull a good victory out of that, too. It was awesome.

So I'm having a good day, and I go down into a hangout area in the school commons to relax some more. And lo and behold, it's Monday Night Football. And even better- my Niners are on! Now, I've been born and bred on the East Coast, so it's a little odd that I'm a San Francisco 49ers fan, but my dad always rooted for them and I picked it up as a little kid, so I've been a diehard Niners fan my whole life. And they're playing the Arizona Cardinals- if Arizona wins, they win the division and are in the playoffs. The Niners have been having a mediocre season this year, which is a lot better than they've been doing in the past few years, sad to say. So they were the underdogs here.

And you know what happens? Seven motherfucking turnovers, bitch! The Niners handed the Cardinals their asses on a silver platter, 24-9. 7 turnovers! It was amazing!

God, I love football.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What is this I don't even....or This shit is bananas.

OK, so a few days back I talked about how odd it was to get information on Viridian, the author of Team 8? Well, it seems the internet saw my post and said "Hey Rogue 7? I can do better."

A while back, I read this epic fanfiction- Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness. It's a Harry Potter fic, if that wasn't obvious. It's about Neville, Ginny, Luna, and the other people at Hogwarts dealing with the fact that they basically live in a totalitarian, Nazi state. And it's crazy. Absolutely crazy. The writing, I felt, was superb, characterization was great. And the end was heartbreaking, becuase the author basically took everyone and shoved them into a meat grinder. The sequel, much more of an original flavor thing, deals with some Irish mythology and a bit of King Arthur (and as I mentioned before, I suddenly want to look at it again and see how adding Fate/Stay Night would improve it- but then, I think just about anything can be improved by adding either Saber, Rin, or Rider.). But sweet onion chutney, was it dark. This eventually soured me on them a bit when I sat back and took a look at them- they were too dark for my tastes, too dark for the HP universe if you ask me. So I'm not interested in rereading, regardless of how good I found the writing.*

...and then today I'm browsing FandomWank (Fandom Wank is this online repository for people acting crazy on fannish parts of the internet (usually Livejournal), put up for public mockery. I found it through TV Tropes.) and who should pop up but the author of the fic, Thanfiction. Relevant post here. I start reading through what happened, and my jaw starts dropping. Here's what I get out of it.

Thanfiction, who identified himself as a dude originally, is suspected of being a somewhat legendary figure. Apparently, several years back, he/she was known as Victoria Bitter, a female person who apparently conned a large group of Lord of the Rings fans out of a substantial amount of money. And was apparently claiming to be channeling Meriadoc Brandybuck in her dreams. And apparently cosplayed as various characters for money. And was on the whole, rather crazy. Follow links around for the full story, because it's beyond me. And then people start posting about how Thanfiction is planning a con, and probably attempting to pull the same stunt, and posting some of his rather ridiculously overstated claims from various parts of the internet. Like about how he apparently fought on both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland and generally revealed himself to have an ego so big it was verging on creating a singularity.

So I'm sitting here absolutely stunned. A while back, I mentioned on a thread over on the Playground that I thought Dumbledore's Army was one of the best things I'd ever read (as I said, my opinion's changed somewhat, but I still feel they were brilliant pieces of writing), and he PMs me to thank me. Nice guy, it seemed, but it was just a little weird to get these messages. And now I find out...well, just look at this shit, man. It's unbelieveable.

I recall the debate that comes up whenever someone mentions Orson Scott Card- the author of Ender's Game. Now, I loved that book and a bunch of the sequels back when I was younger- the "Shadow" series was something of a factor in my decision to pursue an IR degree.** And then we find out that Orson Scott Card is virulently homophobic (I'm personally on board with the theory that he's so far in the closet he can see Narnia). Now, the question is, it it cool to like someone's works despite the fact that their personal views are...somewhat divorced from yours, putting it mildly, or in the case above, if the person is apparently a compulsive liar and genuinely nuts? I honestly don't have much of an answer for that question.

* To be honest, I'm fond of imagining what would happen if...say...Gaara or Nanoha showed up to defend Hogwarts from the Death Eaters. Imagining curbstop crossover scenarios like that is a fun pastime of mine. So I can look at it a bit like that- there's all this setup about how they're all going to die, and then Gaara shows up and crushes everyone with his sand. Yes, I'm odd.

** Looking back on the books (that seems to be a theme this post) with some knowledge of how IR actually works, I can see how completely ridiculous they were, which sort of limited how I viewed them as absolutely brilliant, but meh.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Manga Mayhem!

So I like aliteration. So sue me.

So here's all the manga I read in a 24-hour period today, despite having a big test and a 15-page paper due.

Naruto, Negima, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, MGLN Force, and the Haruhi Suzumiya Yuki-chan manga.

And you know what? All of them were kickass.

But I'm really tired, so I'll probably write tomorrow.

Naruto! Where to start....well, let's get the fact that Gaara's still just as cool as ever out of the way. He's pushed Naruto's buttons in exactly the right way to get him to see the truth about Sasuke. He's the one who's been the true friend, Naruto. So do us all a favor and go kill that motherfucking Uchiha.

Anyways, the main meat of the chapter is Fu and Torune vs. Madara. Fu, as most folks have probably realized by now, is a Yamanaka. Torune, as it turns out, is an Aburame. Complete with microscopic kikai bugs that essentially work as a touch poison! Freakin' sweet! They find out that Madara has an either-or bit with his intangibility- he's either all there or not, so you've got to hit him while he's attacking. Once again, Kage Bunshin is a good tactical opportunity here. However, Madara adopts the expedient option of simply sucking the two of them into another dimension, though Torune does manage to get Madara's arm with his bugs before he cops it. Madara tears his arm off like it's nothing, and I will be willing to bet it grows back rapidly.

Now, Madara brings Sasuke out to take a shot at Danzou, and guess what? His right arm? Is covered in Sharingans that I assume he stole from the corpses of those killed in the massacre. I laughed so damn hard, because it's so ridiculous, and at the same time, so plausible. I don't know how that's going to work in a fight, except that I'd be willing to bet they pop in and out of his eye socket to give him different powers, since it seems that each Sharingan has different ones. This will be an interesting fight, especially since Sasuke's been healed. Who do I want to win? Well, I'm always up for Sasuke getting his ass kicked, but I'm going to throw the little fucker a bone here and say that he can go ahead and take this one. It'll help smooth Kakashi's transition into power back in Konoha, which will be a benefit for our side. I'm breaking out the popcorn, though.

On to Bleach. Son of a bitch, it was actually good this week. Tosen finally reveals some motivation (and is wondefully creepy in doing so- that mask is ridiculous) and it's confirmed- he is, in fact, batshit insane. Blinded by revenge and all that- he joined solely to take revenge on the organization that allowed the chick he was crushing on to be killed (by another shinigami, IIRC), and not to see justice done for the good of all. Komamura gets a great line about how that's basically impossible to reconcile with his worldview, so they're destined to fight. A pity he's going to lose. And Shinji reveals his Shikai against Aizen. A shame he's going to lose as well.

Really, my problem with Bleach is that the narrative structure just fell apart so badly. This is shaping up to be it. The grand finale. The battle Royale with Cheese. Once we're done with this, it's over. The manga would seem to be done. And...well, that's a criminal lack of plot for how long it's run. Look at Naruto- since this fight started (JUNE OF LAST YEAR!), here's what's happened- we got the fallout from Jiraya's death, Sasuke's fight with Killer Bee, the runup to Pain's invasion, Pain's invasion, Naruto's epic fight with Pain, the meeting of the 5 Kages, Sasuke's interruption thereof, and several other major events. Bleach? More and more fighting. Too little's happened- I feel like this is what Dragonball was supposedly like, though I never read Toriyama's manga. It's just too sparse plot-wise for me to be invested in it. But this week's chapter was good.

Negima! The gist of this chapter- Kurt Godel, you are an idiot. Negi kicks his ass with a perfect application of Taijuu rai-bunshin no jutsu (Mass lightning clone technique) to overcome the fact that he can't beat Kurt's shinmeiryuu one on one (I'd pay for a good training session with Setsuna afterwards). Unfortunately, Kurt's Hannibal Lecture cause Negi's magic ereba damage to kick in, and he's down. Kurt gets up and starts monologuing, and Chisame brings the house down by hacking through Kurt's VR program with her artifact. Way to go, Chisame! And then Asakura reveals that they've been spying on him and calls out a position to Ku Fei...who reveals that her Monkey King staff can become roughly the size of a skyscraper. It brutally pounds Godel into the dust. He gets back up to try and attack her...and guess who punches him so hard in the face his mother feels it? Takamichi, that's who! He's finally show up! That is a good thing!

FMA. Alright, so Pride forcibly opens the gate for Mustang. He goes through and...loses his eyesight. Oh shit. Of course, he can now transmute without a gate. He's dumped in with Ed, Al, Izumi, Hoho, and Father. Now, Al's soul is currently out on business from his armor, but he meets up with his body before the gate and realizes that if he goes back to his original form, he'd suddenly have 1's in str, dex, and con, and so decides to stay in his armor so he can fight. Which means his soul comes back and suddenly Father's plan can go off. Mei Chan shows up, I think (I don't have the scan in front of me), which is...somehow significant, I think. I guess if Father turns the alchemy off? I dunno. Oh, and Wrath and Scar are fighting. Two nameless warriors, Wrath says. Coool.

Mahou Senki Lyrical Nanoha Force- Magical War Chronical Lyrical Nanoha Force, as it's called, is looking like the setup for a 4th season, along with the more traditionally magical girl fare that is Vivid, focusing as it does on Vivio. This one deals with this dude, Touma, who rescues a girl, Lily, from some facility. Now, Lily seems strikingly similar to how Hayate was in that she's granted Touma this crazy gun-blade device with wreck-your-shit level powers. And now they're on the run from the cops- only in this case, the cops are Signum, Tea, and Fate. In this chapter, Touma reveals some backstory about how he's hunting for some particular people who caused a mining collapse that killed some people close to him...and they show up at the end of the chapter as typical badguys. Signum is awesome. Cool stuff, need more.

The...Something of Nagato Yuki-chan. Well, this is a sort of alternate-reality spinoff of Haruhi that's basically Yuki being moe. Go read it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

...Why am I talking about this?

I should really be editing my paper. But for some reason, I want to talk about Megatokyo. No, I don't know why. Nothing really of importance has happened lately. But it's my goddamn blog, I'll talk about it if I want to!

So. Megatokyo. Half internet legend, half internet punching bag. I'm fairly sure that Megatokyo's one of the earlier webcomics to really gain recognition and fame, so that it's creator* could do the comic as his fulltime job. So it's a big comic in the world of webcomics, but then again, there are quite a lot of those. That's what makes it the legend. It's big, and it's one of the rare big ones to be almost exclusively story-focused. I'll get to the punching bag bit later.

Now then, as to the actual *content* of Megatokyo. It's...very obtuse to explain. Alright, so the plot begins with these two author avatars, Piro and Largo, hopping on a random flight to Tokyo. They get stuck there, and inexplicably land jobs- Largo as a teacher, of all things, Piro working at a game store, something at which he, unlike Largo, is at least marginally competent. They meet two girls, Erika and Kimiko, a former and aspiring voice actress respectively. There's romantic complications, various character drama, and a supernatural bent. No, I can't really describe it, not without going into furious detail and start straight-up summarizing the plot. If you want to know, read the comic yourself.

So, the reason it's an internet punching bag? Well, for one, it's very, very heavily anime-inspired. That automatically means it draws criticism from *some* folks on the internet, but fortunately, most of the places I go to don't really do that.** But the main reason? Well, it's slow. And I mean really slow. When I first started, it was supposed to be a three-day a week comic, and was plagued with a ridiculously erratic schedule. Now? Pretty much completely random. Two a week is very good, one a week is typical, nothing in a week is not rare at all.

Now, I read a lot of slow-updating webcomics. Order of the Stick hasn't updated since...the 29th, about a week and a half ago. And before that, there was a big gap as well. No Need for Bushido updates once every TWO weeks. Goblins is on something like a once a week schedule. So the slow pace doesn't bother me personally. I'm up to date with the plot, so I can follow it when I check in every few days to see if there's an update without missing anything. But to a lot of folks who are used to more regularly updating comics, they find it unbearable. And to compound their distaste there's a difference between how Goblins and OOTS updates and how Megatokyo does it. Megatokyo will post what basically amounts to the page you'll get in a standard manga. OOTS or Goblins will post about double that. Which means that even at the same update speed, you'll be getting half the content in Megatokyo.

And it really shows. The current chapter/day started...Jesus Christ, I think it was my freshman year. July 2008. Summer between freshman and sophomore years, then. That's about a year and a half, almost. And there's still quite a bit happening this chapter. Now, there has certainly been a lot of content in each chapter, but sweet onion chutney, that's a slow pace. It's not particularly new, either. So the plot moves at a pace that is approximately slower than molasses.*** Now, this doesn't bug me, like I mentioned before. Half because it's a webcomic I can check up on whenever I want, half because I appreciate the level of detail Gallagher puts in his drawings. But I can certainly understand why it draws the flack it does. And on a certain level, it slightly offends me that this is supposed to be this man's job and he doesn't have the professionalism to maintain a regular schedule, or push to get more content up. I can accept that he's raising his kid, but this is supposed to be a job, dude.

But you ask me, it's a good read, the characters are solid and interesting (Erika and Miho in particular are very plot-intesive characters, which is something good to read), and I like the art. So I'll keep reading. Fred, I can't really think of anything you'd reasonably do that would lose my readership, but at the same time, more is always better.

Oh, and Dom (I think he does tech work for the website, either way he's friends with Fred) has awesome blog posts that are consistently good to read.

Oh, and my current wallpaper
. I'm normally a Rider man, but damn.

* There was apparently some dramalama that went down a few years in the strip. Here's the skinny. For the first few years, there were 2 guys working on the comic. Rodney Caston (Largo) wrote, Fred Gallagher wrote a bit and drew the thing. Now, there were apparently creative differences over what direction to take the comic- give it something of a plot, or keep it light and unserious. Gallagher was in favor of the plot, and Caston was for the lighthearted stuff. Long story short, as evidenced above, Gallagher won and Caston left. The question in a lot of folks' minds is, how did he win? Gallagher says it was an amicable parting, while Caston claims that Gallagher basically took a "my way or the highway" approach. This all happened long before I read the comic, so hasn't impacted my enjoyment at all, but interesting to know.

** Which reminds me. Do you remember when I put up that business about how "the best fandoms are in places not actually for fans of a particular show"? I'm like that, only a lot more so, in real life with anime. I am a big anime fan, and not particularly shy about it (that's not to say I'm obnoxious about it or anything of the like. I hate those kinds of people- the kind who feel the need to parade it around that they're huge obsessive otaku. You're just making yourself look weirder, dude! It's just when someone asks me what I'm interested in, or what type of TV I like to watch, I'll say anime.). Now, admittedly, I don't watch a great deal, but I am a big fan. So one might be inclined to think that, upon hearing about an "anime interest floor" (My college has a particular section of dorms devoted to groups based around particular concepts- I have several friends on the Film interest floor, a few on the Music interest floor, I think there's theater and others), I'd be on it like the proverbial white on rice, yes? No. Helllllll no. I've never even so much as considered joining an anime club. And it's probably because of similar reasons to what I mentioned in that massive parenthesis above, about how I don't feel the need to flaunt that I'm a fan. I don't feel the need to be in close contact with other people whose sole connection to me is apparently that we both like anime. Nor do I want to be solely defined by being an anime fan, which I feel might be an unfortuante result of choosing to live there. Blah, massively off-topic.

*** What is it with me and these today, anyways? I just realized. The current big Bleach fight in Karakura town started right around the same time. A YEAR AND A HALF AGO! And it's covered approximately the same amount of content because christ, it's only been friggin' fighting. Tite Kubo, do you realize what this means? Fred Gallagher, a man who posts one page of his story a week, has managed to have the same amount, if not more, plot, than you have had writing a manga chapter a week. A manga chapter a week! 18+ pages! That's 17 times as dense! Let's look at Negima in comparison. A year and a half ago, Negi was...fighting Fate for the first time. Since then, we've gotten massive backstory on Ala Alba, Negi's trained up and fought Jack Rakan in a fight that was ten times better than what you've put out....I really need to stop myself from going off on Bleach. TL;DR: Bleach's pace is terrible and the manga sucks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Team 8

So, who here has read "Team 8"? I'm too lazy to link it, but it's the first hit on Google for "Team 8". Anyways, Team 8 is one of the best Naruto fanfictions I've had the pleasure of reading. It takes an alternate universe that puts Naruto on, well, Team 8. Kurenai's team. With Hinata.

Now, it's superbly written and well-plotted. Naruto, Hinata, Kurenai, and Shino are all great characters, well-rounded, believable, and unique. Some of the side characters lose out a bit- in particular I think that the Naruto-Gaara interplay was weakened, as the story, almost by necessity, takes a bit of a different tack and lacks some of the similarities that made the interaction between the two so poignant. There was less emphasis on Naruto's "I GET you" towards Gaara that I loved in the manga proper. As Gaara's shot up the ranks of my favorite characters, I consequently find anything, even something as awesome as this, that draws down on his characterization, to be a bit weak. But it's still an amazing story and well worth your time reading it. Parts of it are much better than Kishimoto's actual work.

Unfortunately, it hasn't updated in a freaking year. Now, most folks who would be reading this have I'm sure experienced it with a favorite fan fiction that died on them. (I have the same hangup on Lelouch of Britannia, which is to Code Geass what this fic is to Naruto, except that Naruto didn't explode into the trainwreck that Code Geass did, so I think LoB is better.) But I have a bit of an interesting perspective on this. See, my DM, Joe (that's vague enough, right? If you read this, Joe, WIZARD IS CREDIT TO TEAM.), beta's for Viridian, the author of Team 8 (a beta's basically an editor, only with less authority.) So I get a bit of perspective on what this guy's doing since they're friends. Which has led to a bit of an interesting view- Joe's been telling me how this guy royally irritated him in a roleplaying game they were in over the summer due to excessive rules-monkeying and the like. It's an interesting perspective, how this guy who's written this absolutely brilliant work is revealed to be...well, I want to say less than perfect, I want to say. I mean, it's completely unreasonable to expect that about a regular celebrity, never mind a freaking fan fiction author, but it's still an interesting perspective to have, considering how fanfiction authors are among the most anonymous of folk. You don't even get the same degree of personality that you get with a forum username, because you're not interacting with that person, you're just reading their work.

I guess what it is is that I'm used to not having much of a face at all on the authors of the work, and in this case the face I get is a negative one. Plus it's interesting to hear gossip about a pseudo-celebrity, even if he is just a fan fiction author.

Oh! Right! Something I forgot. It doesn't help that the forum he has soured me on Naruto for a while. Not the author's fault by any means, but the main Naruto manga thread was nothing but hate-filled bile and contempt for the work and Kishimoto. When I first read the thread I had a fairly negative opinion of the manga and hopped right on the bandwagon. Thus, I continued to have negative reactions. When I stopped hanging around the forum and just reading the manga on my own, my opinion shot up on the manga. I went back in a few months ago to check if the opinions in the thread mimicked my own, and they hadn't in the slightest. I'm much happier enjoying the work than waiting on a guy who updates once a year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Naruto 474, Negima 272.


You know, I don't get people who say that Naruto's plot's gone downhill. There have been moments where things have spiraled out of control, been ridiculous. I'll be the first to point those out. But you get a chapter like this one, it ties everything together so smoothly, so well, sets things up in a way that is eminently logical and good, that I can easily forgive any occasional lapses. Or occasional shoddy endings to fights (Cool as it was, Kisame went down like an absolute chump. His player probably flipped the damn table over when that happened (I've seen lots of folks make reference to various characters as being played by people in Tabletop RPGs, and I like the metaphor). He got screwed over. Though it does seem appropriate, given how damn broken Samehada is.)

I'm off-topic. Naruto is having a total character moment here, and I'm flipping out. It's actually getting through to him! Sasuke's a tool! He's a douchebag! He's Fucking evil! He's not worthy of your support. What he is worthy of is a Rasenshuriken so far up his ass his mother feels it. Because Naruto, even knowing the truth you do, that Itachi was a "good guy", that doesn't change what Sasuke's done. Most of Konoha realized that Sasuke's a tool when he, you know, shoved his hand through your lung. And now Naruto's illusion that he can bring Sasuke back and they can all be one big happy Team 7 family has been shattered- literally, on one of the pages, a picture of the team before the timeskip shatters. He's gotten it, he's finally gotten it! And there's going to be a fight! They're going to fight, and it'll be the climax of the manga! Kishimoto's got it planned out, this is going to make sense! Whee!

Sorry. But I'm not done yet. Because the guy who helped him come to this relevation? Mainly? Gaara. Just when I thought the guy couldn't get any cooler, he goes and does this. He helps Naruto realize something we've all been praying he'll see for years now. With a few solid words, he makes Naruto get it. And now he might just possibly be my favorite character. That's right, he may have just passed Shikamaru. One of my favorite characters ever.

Oh! And we finally see Madara and Danzou in the same place, finally putting to rest that retarded theory (and in all honesty I was kind of scared Kishimoto'd do it) that they were the same person. Villain fight! Whoever loses, we win! Well, I mean, it's obviously going to be Madara, but this might take care of a major problem- Danzou's technically the Hokage. I mean, since Gaara contacted Kakashi, it's not as much of a problem as it could be, but it'll be nice if we don't have to deal with an organized Root.

Naruto's gotten so much better since I first caught up on the manga and I thought it was terrible. God, I love all these characters so much.

And Negima! Just as good! Jack Rakan will not listen to your puny "ability to rewrite reality", he'll still punch you in the face as though he were the hand of god. And apparently Fate manifested that whole "reality-warping" thing from doing something to Asuna. He. Will. Pay.

And Negi just goes and completely destroyes Godel with a few well-placed questions that finally uncover that Godel has an agenda that is very much not good. There's not a great deal to say about this chapter, except that it was awesome. Round 2...FIGHT!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Really Says Something...

So I've found what amounts to a fan-image wiki. Safebooru, it's called. Now, Danbooru, its big brother, is fairly well-known. It's a big site filled with images of whatever folks want to upload, tagged with appropriate descriptors for searching. Safebooru's the worksafe version of Danbooru. Danbooru without all the fan-porn. And fan porn is to be expected, rule 34 and all that, yeah?

Well, last night I was doing a Fate/Stay Night image trawl, with distractions for various other shows/manga. Now, the site told me that there are apparently around 350 pages worth of images. And so I scroll through, grabbing the cool ones that caught my eye. I think I got more than 100 from just FSN alone, when all was said and done. Now, I get to around page 230, and it starts throwing up blank pages. And I've figured out why. Y'see, all images on Danbooru get uploaded automatically to Safebooru, provided that they are, well, worksafe. But evidently some of the code is a little wonky, because I think what I am seeing is the total pages for Danbooru. Which means that all told, there amounted to about 120 pages of porn. About a third of the images, and that's comparatively low.

Now, I'm not some sort of prude who objects to porn on principle. Or even Fate/Stay Night porn. I'd be a hypocrite if I did, if you catch my meaning. But I do find it to be somewhat excessive. For all the bandying about of that tired old phrase "The Internet is for Porn", I genuinely think it's not- that there is far more non-porn than porn. It's really something when a good third of all the images on this site are not worksafe. It crops up a lot in other parts, too, that folk are sex-obsessed, but still, y'know...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Goin' to Tokyo.....

It is relevant to this blog's interests for me to state that from March 23 to July 11 (tentatively, I haven't gotten much information yet), I'm going to be studying abroad through IES in Chiba, Japan, just outside of Tokyo. No, I'm not just going because I'm an anime, manga, and video game 'tard. I've got a keen interest in Japanese culture and history. Hell, I'm writing this as a break from a history essay I'm neck-deep in about Japan during World War II. So I felt like that announcement is relevent, especially since it'll mean I'm at home for 3 months between the end of my first semester and when I leave, which is going to affect how I consume media- less internet, more TV and video games.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fate/Stay Night has ruined Arthurian myths for me.

You want to know why? Three guesses. First two don't count. If you know anything about F/SN, you may in fact have this problem yourself.

Yes, it's Saber. I simply cannot look at anything about the Arthurian mythos without thinking to myself "the King Arthur character I know best is a girl." And an attractive one at that (Though not the most attractive in F/SN. Mmmmmm...Rider.) This invariably means that I break out in a fit of giggles when I picture the love triangle with Guenivere, remember that retarded movie with Kiera Knightley (another Mmmmm... if there ever was one), or anything of the sort. I don't even know what's going to happen the next time I try to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I think my brain might explode.

So have I talked about Fate/Stay Night before? Lemme check. Nope. Fate/Stay Night is an interesting concept. It's a Visual Novel* where the porn is not only incidental, but detrimental to the overall quality of the work. Type/Moon, the creators, are perhaps the most famous Visual Novel creators out there, and Fate/Stay Night is their magnum opus. It tells three stories, entitled Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven's Feel. They all have the same characters, but radically different themes, focuses, and plots. Each focuses on a different heroine, whom you sex up over the course of the route.

Now, obviously, there's a lot more too it than that. Like I said before, the porn is incidental. Alright, here's the gist of it. There's this event called the Holy Grail War. Seven mages summon seven "heroic spirits" and do battle in order to claim the Holy Grail- not actually the cup used by Jesus at the last supper, but just a really powerful artifact supposedly capable of granting wishes. These "heroic spirits" are reincarnations of mythological heroes- with the caveat that in this world they actually exist, so no Superman or Goku. Participants include the aforementioned King Arthur, Hercules, and others (who they are is generally a spoiler). I'm in a cool RPG where I've partnered with Fafnir (look him up.) So, they fight it out with really cool powers. There's some great storytelling and characters in this, despite how incredibly screwed up things are (the setting is very complex, but that's part and parcel of Nasu (the author's) writing style). It's hugely popular and actually quite cool, so check out either the anime, the actual visual novel, or any of the other stuff.

* A visual novel is basically a choose-your-own-adventure book on a computer. I mentioned similar when I talked about Persona, but this one has much less player choice, except the choices matter more.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Naruto 469

Hey, I feel like talking about this week's Naruto chapter!

So, Danzou's crew pulls one over on the Byakugan-mist guy following them and I hope that's not the end of him, because I liked the guy for fucking up Danzou's plans. The Raikage's appointed leader of the shinobi alliance, because he appears to have cooled his head a bit, and the only one still recalcitrant is the Tsuchikage, who apparently fought Madara. Want some backstory on that. So now we have a solid 4-village alliance, the only outlier being, funnily enough, the leaf village. Given that it's highly unlikely Danzou will be able to influence Gaara or Kakashi, and that Konoha has an able stable (heh) of Byakugan users, I suspect that the leaf, under the leadership of a new Hokage, will be part of the alliance. Danzou and Root will most likely go rogue. Maybe that's where Madara will get some of his cannon fodder? Root?

On to quote "important" stuff /endquote. Sakura confesses to Naruto. She lies through her teeth about not liking Sasuke anymore, and that she's got a bunch of reasons to like Naruto now...while she rolls decently on bluff, Naruto, who has most likely put points into Wisdom as he's leveled up, rolls well on Sense motive and calls her B.S. End chapter.

So, I liked the political end here- we've got a solid alliance that could prove to be real grounds for an overarcing peace come the end of the problem with Madara...without Naruto having to do a thing! Though, much like the real world, it'd probably degenerate once peace broke out. So it goes. I was pulling for Gaara, but I'm a hopeless Gaara fanboy.

On the shipping front, I am very glad that Naruto called Sakura out. The impression I got with regards to what Sai told her and her subsequent reaction is that she felt really, really guilty for what she saw as leading Naruto on this whole time and taking advantage of his good nature. She still does love Sasuke (why, I couldn't tell you. He's a tool, but you knew that already.) but she's trying to be nice and say all the right things to Naruto to help him and prevent him from going off to stop everyone trying to kill Sasuke. You could really tell- and I must give some credit to Kishimoto here, the art expresses this very well-that her heart isn't in this, and Naruto realized that. Major points to him for realizing that this was all fake and not putting up with it.

Now, here's the real question. What does Naruto feel about Sakura, particularly in light of Hinata's confession to him? Before Hinata's move, it was fairly well-established that Naruto still harbored a crush on Sakura. When he still had a wisdom penalty, he was constantly bugging her and asking her out on dates. Has he really done that since the timeskip? Has he recognized that this girl was absolutely dedicated to Sasuke (once again, inexplicably...maybe not seeing as how Naruto himself is so dedicated), and given up? It'd help that Hinata let him realize that there are other girls out there, including cute kunoichi with long black hair and white eyes who've pined for him for ages...sorry. Shipping preferences showing. Anyways, I'm curious as to how this'll be resolved.

In other news, Rick Castle just uttered "Bam Said the lady" in the episode of Castle I'm watching. I believe that Nathan Fillion just threw in a shoutout to his ODST role as Sgt. Buck. Now more than ever am I convinced that Mr. Fillion is a God among men.

Edit: Upon further viewing of TV Tropes and subsequent searching of Nathan Fillion's facebook page, Bam Said the lady is in fact Nathan Fillion's own catchphrase. Which is just as awesome.

Edit the second: And upon further use of my internet-fu skills, apparently Mr. Fillion got Bam Said the lady from ODST. So I was right the first time. Yay.

Checking In...

I'm just throwing this up because I feel like I should have something up. Schoolwork's been heavy of late, so I really haven't been watching/reading/doing anything worth talking about. Still, there's a few things to share.

This is something quite cool. The chick doing the singing in that song, as well as the others on her channel, is Cristina Valenzuela. Obviously, judging by that and the fact that she was apparently discovered at an Anime con a few years back, she's something of an anime fan. She's gone on to voice, among others, Nanoha, and I am currently absolutely addicted to her version of Super Driver I linked. She's got one hell of a fangirl's dream going on, so more power to her.

Bleach has been pretty boring as of late, so there's not much to say there. I'm just so damn sick of the Karakura fight and still boggled by how the pacing got screwed up. I mean, where do you fucking GO from here? Once this fight is over, that's it, innit? The manga's done.

At least it makes Naruto look better.

Naruto is good- Kisame vs. Killer Bee! Fuck yeah! Madara has an absolutely stupid plan for world domination...well, it's not stupid in its execution, just ridiculous. I mean, a 10-tailed beast (as I've said many a time, it should be the 45-tailed beast for maximum lulz), mass brainwashing, the fucking moon? It's a Saturday morning cartoon villain plan, and since I reduced Naruto to that in my mind, I've been able to enjoy just about every single aspect of it.

Negima...need more info before making judgment calls.

Need to catch up on Umineko.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Have Found The Magical Formula

...unfortunately, it's what lets me study. That combination is hot tea, cold temperatures, late nights, and anime music. I mention this here because I don't particularly feel like parading that around my Facebook account.

Examples Of What I'm Listening To.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Haven't done THAT in a while.

So I was relaxing in my club's office this afternoon, idly surfing the net, and eventually planning to call up some friends to go hang out on a Friday night, you know? Well, that plan got changed rather swiftly. I was reading something, and it brought up Baba Yetu- the absolutely amazing opening song from Civilzation 4.

Now, when I was younger, back in high school, I was absolutely addicted to Civilization 3. My mom got it for me as a birthday gift (when I had wanted Age of Empires 2- shows how much I knew!) and I got hooked. I'd come home from school and play for hours and hours. But, I grew up and grew out of it, particularly when my mom would hide the discs and then just flat-out lose them.

So someone brought up the song, and I immediately got a massive bug to play the game. Now, I had left my copy of Civ 4 at home- I don't play much at all anymore, and my mac has some issues when it tries to run the game- so I was thinking that I wasn't going to get my fix, but I turned around and saw that the office computer had a copy ready and waiting. So I fired it up. My first game I went with the Japanese on Noble difficulty, and I was staying reasonably competitive. For some reason, Sulemain, the guy I was next to, was just blasting ahead scorewise, for reasons I could not fathom. I could see that if I was gonna win, it'd have to be a long haul, and I wasn't really up for that, so I quit and started over, knocking down the difficulty and playing the Celts. I had a very nice starting position- on the coast with some good land and resources. I explored west, and ran into Stalin. Lovely chap. He was right in the middle of my prime expansion space, so I built up 2 Chariots and 2 archers and killed him straight off. Moscow was a crazy city, in the middle of a shitton of floodplains, which meant that it'd be a population powerhouse. I planted some good core cities, and met 2 neighbors to the North. I had snagged Buddhism right off the bat, so that allowed me to get them on my good side pretty quick. I filled in a good chunk of land, then went to my usual strategy of sitting on my ass and building. I constructed several wonders in one city south of my capitol in particular, when I noticed that I was making a lot of culture. So I figured I'd use my capitol, the city to the south, and Moscow to go for a culture victory- you have to have 3 cities with 50,000 culture by the end of the game. That entailed a lot of temple-building, selective builds of Cathedrals, and spamming wonders. In the process, I got obscenely rich with good builds and wonders, and I pretty much just coasted. The entire world had a bad case of "peace"*- there was only 1 war that I know of after I wiped Stalin.

Fun times, and a weird relapse for me.

* Speaking of peace, President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize! I'm a little skeptical, but Yay!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

So they're apparently making a movie of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Now, I have yet to bother to watch more than three episodes of the new Haruhi season- I couldn't be assed to keep up with the eight repetitions of Endless Eight, and Sighs never interested me, but this shit right here? I'm on it like white on rice.

And a sort of self-contained plot like this I think would do really well adapted into movie form. A 2-hour movie is roughly 5 episodes, which is plenty of time to cover the light novel in plenty of detail (and by plenty of detail I mean many, extensive shots of Yuki Nagato looking cute). This is not the sort of big-budget hollywood adaptation that would rape your childhood and destroy things in pursuit of money. Japanese studios know how not to piss off Otaku (they also know how to piss off Otaku, very ably, but...) . Really, they'd have to try very hard to screw this one up. Big budget+Haruhi-trolling=win. So I'm optimistic. But given what they did with Endless Eight...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Umineko No Naku Koro Ni+ Subaru Nakajima!

TOP EDIT: And a tribute to a good image that was taken down from TV Tropes and now needs a home. Subaru, you're ten times more badass than Lara Croft.

So I've been marathoning this show today (at the complete expense of any work, I might add), and I'm honestly really enjoying it, particularly since I have absolutely no idea what's going on. It's a novel experience, honestly. I can't even describe the damn premise, I don't get it myself. Ah, what the frak, here goes.

So back in 1986, a rich family showed up on their own personal island with some servants to conduct a business meeting with regards to the passing of their patriarch. There's a legend surrounding the family and the island with regards to an ancient witch who formed some sort of contract with the patriarch to get the family finances up, and now she's come to collect on the debt owed.

People start getting brutally murdered, and the whole thing's a mystery as to who did it. The real question is, is there actually something supernatural going on or not? I don't have a damn clue, and I'm just waiting to see how it ends. Go watch it yourself.

Edit: I caught up with the fansubs. Still hooked, still absolutely clueless as to how things are going to go down.

Roleplaying Talk

So I thought I'd talk about my various roleplaying games today. I've gotten involved in 3 real life games this semester at college (I'm a member of my school's gaming club, so there are a lot of folk running games. I'm also involved in 3 online games. It's interesting the differences in the characters I've created for these games.

So the game I've technically been involved in the longest is the first Naruto d20 game I got into on the GiantITP boards. It's a prequel game to the main Naruto setting, in a homebrewed village of Callos_deTerran's creation- Kagekure, the village of shadow, if I translate it correctly. The Naruto d20 ruleset we use is ridiculously overcomplicated. It's more than 900 pages long, and a good half of that at least is rules for the various jutsus and techniques you can use. In practice, the rules are actually pretty simple, since, just like how in in regular D&D you don't need to know every spell that can ever be cast.

So in this case, I thought up the most complicated backstory I've come up with to date. Here's a link to the actual character sheet, but the essence of it is that he's a Nara clan member who was framed for being a traitor by a deep-cover mole from the Hidden Stone (an enemy in the war), and he had to flee to Kagekure to get rid of the ANBU. This gives him a whole host of issues, which I really regret not being able to develop a bit further- the game had a lot of issues, mostly related to the fact that our GM joined the army and went to basic training with no access to a computer to post. So it goes, but it's picked up a bit more as of late.

The next-most-recent game is the most in-depth of my Play-by-post online games- Team Rin. I'm playing a character I originally based on Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia (with the result that my build sucks total ass), but, based on various developments that have occured over the course of the game, has developed into a bit more of his own entity. The most important bit is how he (his name's Yuu Nagase, btw) got himself a demonic arm and is now contractually obliged to be revenge-focused. I've also been developing that the demonic arm gave him another occupant in his headspace, which I've been playing with at various times.

Most recently, there's a Modern NarutoD20 game where my character is...well, that's private. I will say that I am quite fond of the build for this guy, though. He's a bit lighter in the damage-dealing department, but he can counter that by being very good in the defense department (when he's going all out- that is, he's got his Byakugan and speed ranks up, he'll have an AC of 29, and a reflex save of +13, I think, with evasion) and he'll be hitting touch AC with something like a +12 to attack. So in that sense, I'm going to enjoy playing this character.

Now, as for my real-life games, the first one is your basic D&D campaign- we've only had 2 sessions, and the setting is fairly basic right now- we're exploring a city with something odd about it that's been cut off from its sister city across the river. I'm playing a swordsage (Tome of Battle class) and, for a change, it's a female. Fortunately the Swordsage class means I can play her fairly reserved and quiet, and the campaign's a lot more hack-and-slash anyways. It's a nice way to get into playing a female without worrying too much about roleplaying, since there isn't a lot. My character's been pretty effective- Swordsage is a good class, but her damage output is low right now (I'll get a feat next level that'll help). That meant that I was pretty much useless against a Wereboar we fought last session with DR 10/nothing I had, until I went and grappled it in a fight I was practically guaranteed to lose. That gave my other party members enough of a chance to kill him. Fun times.

Next is the Birthright game, the very roleplay-heavy political mod my friend's running. The setting is akin to that of pre-Norman England, and I'm embroiled in a war for control of a particular province. Basically, an older family got replaced by a newer one (that I'm a member of) and resisted rather violently. They lost, rather spectacularly, and were besieged in their capitol. The lord in charge of the seige was an absolute tool, and he's been doing a lot to get me killed, so I've pretty much set myself against him. I thought I had an absolutely flawless plan to bring him down, but someone's pointed out a flaw in the plan, and that really offends me. I'm not terribly good at improvisation, and for once, I'd like for something to go my way.

The last game is my Sunday game, which is about a group of ne'er do wells making money in a city of adventure type setting. We're all either True or Chaotic neutral, and unashamedly in it for the money. It's still one of the most unified and coherent groups I've been a part of, with a decent amout of surprisingly good roleplaying to go aloing with it. Lots of fun, and really simple.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Something Interesting I saw.

I'm posting this mainly because I don't think it actually warrants a post on the General Anime Discussion thread over at GiantITP.

So I saw this Article when I was perusing the NY Times, and I thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

It's very interesting how I'm getting all the way through the comments, and no one has mentioned visual novels in any way, shape or form. I've been getting absolutely enthralled with Seorin's Let's Play of Fate/Stay Night that I mentioned earlier- it's miles better than Tsukihime- makes more sense, easier to read, better characters, much cooler action, particularly as Unlimited Blade Works gets going, and I've also discovered that, with glasses as opposed to that blindfold she normally wears, Rider is smoking hot.

Anyways, there's a lot of talk about how this whole thing "will destroy reading" and cheapens its value, blah blah blah, because the imagination is apparently super-important and only comes through if one reads words printed on paper. It's always very interesting to look at this from the perspective of someone who is so ingrained into the types of entertainment that my laptop has pretty much become another appendage for me, and the resulting fact that I don't read nearly as often as I used to (When I was a kid, I absolutely always had my nose buried in a book.). But I don't think that my creativity or my imagination has been stifled by shifting my enthusiasm towards anime, video games, and the like. I mean, how the hell do you measure friggin' imagination? Playing pretend? I did that more for Power Rangers than any books I read. Creative Writing? Well, I don't do that, but look at all the friggin' fanfiction that exists out there. Once again, I'm asking just how the fuck you measure imagination. Are there tests?

Also, there's a lot of complaints about how kids today aren't focused, all A.D.D-like. Well, I haven't really seen that, and I don't think it's true of a lot of otaku culture- you've gotta have a pretty good attention span to buckle down and watch various shows, or read that 1,000,000-word fanfiction. So I think a lot of the people commenting on the article are, in fact, full of shit. It's in the storytelling that lets you dig into the characters and analyze them, it's the storytelling that makes a deep work of literature. That's true regardless of medium. It's just that movies, video games, and the like have other things they can fall back on when the story sucks- spectacle, gameplay, pretty music. Books don't have that luxury.

Thoughts, anyone?

Monday, September 14, 2009

And Every Time She Makes A Point You Have A Counterpoint...

So, to immediately contrast what I just wrote, the next film our professor showed was a piece of propaganda from the Ultranationalistic Japanese side, all by one dude, that came out in the late 60's. Supposedly this fuckwit wanted to restore the glory and honor of Japan that it had had during WWII. Now, this moron had been too young to fight in the actual war, so methinks a bit of disassociation resulted. Anyways, same deal, here are my notes on the piece. This one's less WHAAARGGGGABBLLLE and more "sweet onion chutney this is retarded", but I think it's an interesting bit as well.

Rite of Love and Death- Mishima Yukio.

Private home movie- famous, ultranationalist Japanese author in 64/65. Tried to rekindle Japanese militaristic spirit after the western conquest.
Written, acted in, and directed by this guy. No dialogue, silent movie. Group of young radicals in 34 decided to restore the Emperor to power. Shows the con
Reiko, the lieutenants wife has seen in her husbands face the resolution to diea as he leaves for the palace in the morning following the coup…and I missed the rest.
Kanji on the wall means “be sincere/dedicate yourself” as we see this woman doing calligraphy. Shot of porcelain animals. The woman takes one and holds it, thinking of a hand that I assume is her husband, seeing the back of his head as he…shapes her face in his hands? Weird. Dude hugs his wife as he’s in uniform, and she doesn’t even move, just kinda gets knocked over. Shots of hands moving. All of this is with dramatic music that seems really inappropriate. Shinto shrine floating in midair that she’s picturing.
Ch. 2 At midnight, the lieutenant appears at the door, the guard has been changed and he has to go kill his comrades in the morning. He’s got to kill them to remain loyal, but he can’t so he’s going to kill himself, and apparently his wife’s coming with him.
He’s coming home, hands her his sword and coat, they’re sitting, her Seiza, him Indian-style. Woman brings him the calligraphy she was writing earlier, he goes to hold her. They reenact killing themselves, because this is a cheap home movie and they don’t actually have special effects. He mimes stabbing himself in the gut classic style, she does herself in the throat. They make out.
Ch. 3
This is a pure and passonate as a ritual counducted before the gods. They are alble for the first time in their lives to reveal unabsshadly their most secret desires and passions…missed the rest, and now they’re naked next to each other. Did they not fuck beforehand? A sword, then alternating shots of their eyes…now they’re making out more and apparently actually doing it, and I’m wondering if this is a propaganda piece or just a couple’s sex tape….as the scene goes on, it’s looking more and more like a sex tape. Something…fuzzy, I guess it’s her hair. See dude now in uniform, he closes her eyes, holds her face, kisses her. Shot of various supposedly beautiful parts of her, but the melodrama is killing me here. More making out and the sex tape theory is looking stronger and stronger.
Ch. 4- the lieutenant does himself in.
He’s in a diaper, puts on a kimono, they write out calligraphy that I can’t read, shot of that Shinto shrine from before, he actually puts on his uniform, and then sits in the traditional position as his wife sits with him. She bows, he takes the wakizashi, wipes it off, and unbuttons his shirt…and takes off his pants. Not making this up, folks. Ouch, he’s going for the femoral artery…or the gut. The gut works, too. Mimes stabbing himself, because again, no FX Budget, and does the cut across his gut, with fake blood spilling out, and that actually looks pretty realistic…I guess, having never seen any fillet themselves bfore. Wife is getting blood on her kimono and crying, and dude hams up the death scene even without dialogue. He’s really bloody. This is why they had a dude with a sword behind you, to whack you so you don’t die horribly like this. Wife wants to stay with him , can’t move, and looks like a puppet as she goes over to him and he continues to ham out the death scene. Now, how does she kill herself?
Ch. V- Reiko’s Suicide.
Guess we’ll find out, eh? She walks around her husband’s body, goes into the next room, goes into her won little room if the little beauty thingamabob’s anything to go by, she goes up to it, takes out a mirror, and starts doing makeup. Gotta be pretty when you die, eh sister? Ooh, she’s got a knife in her kimono. She goes back to herdear old dead husband, having stabbed herself and bleeding out, and tracing blood all over the nice floor. Where’d she stab herself? I don’t really care. She puts the dude’s hat back on his head, then places his body laying faceup, and apparently the knife is through his neck? She kisses him and did she stab herself or not? Oh, no, not yet. She takes out her little tanto and apparently all the blood was his, and she stabs herself in the head with the knife and kills herself, and they’re all lying there pretty. They got transferred into one of those zen sand gardens somehow.

This is from the people who brought you Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, folks.

And here's a bit of story about what happened to this nutjob.

Mishima made film to try and encourage the spirit of nationalism and sacrifice that he thought had been lost- the militant nationalism- by the US occupation. Mishima and about a dozen friends trained with the JSDF, so he knew something about the army, and he had some images about what he imagined the dedication of the army to be. In 1970, he and a small group made an appointment with a general of the SDF forces, took control, and tried to harangue assembled troops into reestablishing the emperor as a political force, and then went inside and committed seppuku. His second performed kaishaku-nii (I probably butchered that), and screwed it up, couldn’t do it, so another dude did it for him and the second killed himself as well. The general got out alive. Japanese reaction- some ultranationalists thoguth this was a dramatic symbol of his commitment to regaining japan’s pride, others thought it was a ludicrous statement from a fringe nutjob. Laughed at by the troops he rallied- they threw things at him. Japanese society figured he was an anachronism. At 45, he was scared of aging, wanted to go out with a bang. Wanted to recreate the image of the fanatical dedication to purpose and virulent belief in the divinity of the emperor.

Losing A Little Bit Of Faith In America

You might have noticed on this blog that I am somewhat enamored of Japanese meida. Looking back over what I've posted, something like 90% or so of the stuff I write is either about anime, manga, or Japanese-developed video games. So I just got out of my Japanese History course (It's actually the first one I've had this semester, due to the fact that class only meets on Mondays. Two weeks ago, class started on Tuesday, and last week was Labor Day). The course is about Japan during and after WWII, which is a subject I have a bit of interest in. So we're going to be doing a metric fuckton of reading, as well as some movie viewing. Unfortunately for my mood, the first piece we got treated to was an old World War II propaganda piece. By the US War dept. So, good readers (...hello? hello?), I will treat you to my notes on the subject. Most of what I wrote is pretty much transcription from the film, but I apply my own commentaries simply because I couldn't help myself. So enjoy some really rather sickening US Propaganda!

US Propaganda: Know Your Enemy Japan (I’m probably going to have to indulge myself in some serious weeabooing to get over this one).
Wasn’t actually shown, as they thought that if US troops who were occupying Japan actually saw it, they’d be completely hostile to the citizens. Lovely, innit?
War department film.
Starts with laking about Japanese-Americans. Mentious a unit of Japanese Americans who served in Europe well…then goes right for the Japs.
Swords to start- Japanese in glasses hacking away at straw dummies. Various images of festival (Gion?) Very primitive-looking, which I suspect is entirely the point. Cut with footage of trains in Japan, mostly. Basically contrasting modern and primitive. Shinsengumi?
We don’t understand Japan, they don’t understand us. We’re trying to make you understand.
Average Japanese soldier. Basically calls them clones. Unsoldierly, apparently, but effective. Soldier is the highest achievement in Japanese culture, trained from birth, Japanese descended from gods. Brutality, rape, etc acceptable against nonjapanese. Death is infinitely preferable to surrender. Closes to hand-to-hand in a sort of blind fanaticism. Emperor is the ruler, a god, religion and politics all done by him. (Bullshit!) Hirohito supposedly the descendent of the sun (Amaterasu?) Bunch of stuff about how the emperor is so special. The emperor is responsible for everything, blah blah blah. IN his name they bring justice, truth, peace, coprosperity- combined with shots of suffering. (I love how we left this man in power). A japanese prayer- about their emperor #1- supposedly untranslateable. Japanese origin legend, is dealing with Amaterasu. 2600 years ago (from 1940), the emperor landed in Yamato and blah blah blah, and supposedly all Japanese are descended from divinity. Their blood is apparently superior to all others, thanks to the gods, and apparently they believe it. All their acts fall under Shinto.
Oh god, Shinto. WTF, is it gonna be Voodoo type shit? Gods, this is pathetic. How long until they mention the strong tradition of Buddhism?
Shinto dictates all actions for the living and the dead, so try to understand. All spirits are part of the nation and watch over them. Ghosts are apparently worshipped. Apparently, the average Japanese is identical to a ghost, except that he breathes. Constantly being watched to ensure obedience for the emperor. Bunch of talk about how local gods are worshipped. Christ, I know more about Shinto than these fuckers. Apparently Japan’s elaborate rituals and formality are all according to divine will. “A nice, quaint religion for a nice, quaint people”.
State Shinto- forced a mad doctrine that encourages war, causes the death of millions (I think there’s a grain of truth here). Supposedly that Japan wants to conquer the entire word by divine mandate. BUM BUM BAAAAMMMM! Buddhist bell being rung.
Japanese supposedly believe that Japanese war dead become war gods, placed in Yasukumi Shrine. “Greatest Honor” Supposedly mothers and wives take their soldiers’ ashes without grief or tears. Bunch of rituals for the dead supposedly perverted into fanaticism stuff. That’s apparently why Japanese don’t surrender.
If you are not Japanese, what of Japan? Supposedly comes from the Chinese, who said it’s the land where the sun comes from. Basic geographic facts. Tokyo is the 3rd largest city in the world. Japanese are supposedly a mix of Ainu, Mongol, Chinese, and Malaysian….I’m pretty sure most of that is bullshit. And supposedly the emperor ruled over the islands. Daimyo had the real power, Samurai were their knights. Perversion of Tokugawa and the right of the daisho and bushido into a history supposedly encompassing all Japanese history. Supposedly encouraged brutality and treachery. Holy moses this sis such bullshit. Japanese samurai had the right of hara-kiri, and more perversion ensues.
Supposedly endless civil war to become the Shogun. Oh my god, this is such BULLSHIT. Hideyoshi (who wasn’t even a shogun as I recall), invaded Korea, and apparently plundered a lot, supposedly taking back 30K ears and noses.
Supposedly after Mageallen, Chrisitanity was introduced by the Portugese. “Peace on earth and brotherhood towards all men”, and making it out to be the typical oh my god I can’t even type this. “They’re teaching equality to the peasants, and now there’s the evil foreign tyrants rounding up and killing good christians and Christ on a motorbike I want to shoot something. Christians were supposedly burned. Tokugawa era Japan became isolated, “Progress of mankind!” stuff. They never even CALL it the bloody Tokugawa era.
Perry’s black ships showed up. Japanese saw the weapons and guns, and so they needed to modernize weapons and their culture. Feuding barons stopped fighting and unified, and elevated the Emperor to power. OH MY GOD, did they just completely eliminate the Bakumatsu? THERE WAS A HUGE FUCKING WAR, PEOPLE!
Samurai were too few to be an army, so they allowed peasants to bear arms and become soldiers, and JESUS CHRIST, Japan doesn’t even have a noble class at this point. Supposedly the militaristic Shinto, blah blah blah.
Japan modernized quickly. The Japanese wanted to modernize and supposedly double-cross- “befriend the foreigner, use his weapons, then kill him.” British Naval advisors, German war advisors, apparent lack of democracy. Whatever Japan took from the west or the Chinese, no morality or anything. Everything is perverted by the ruling classes and handed down to the people as law. Bottom-up is preferable in the US.
Bows are for obedience to one’s superior. No right or wrong- whether you’re obedient to your superior. Lack of women’s rights. Japanese welfare does not matter, people still work hard, all for the divine mandate. They give up everything for the Emperor. White-collar salaryman supposedly puts on a kimono when he goes home. No chairs, tables, etc. Japanese standard of living is supposedly one of the worst in the world, and it was supposedly just for warfare.
Why don’t Japanese revolt? They believe in Japan’s divine mission to conquer, leaving them slaves to the social structure, led by the “Warlords” of the army and navy, and the corporation owners, as well as the political “stooges” who slavishly follow orders. At the bottom of the heap are the masses. Police, gendarms, Gestapo, and Japanese Ghosts wo watch over them. THOUGHT POLICE! YES! They arrest you if you think dangerous thoughts. The thought police decide who to arrest, and it’s supposedly 10,000 a year. There are Secret organizations to keep the nobles in line- the Black Dragons, who are supposedly in charge of everything. Bunch of deaths of prominent politicians supposedly attributed to them. Christ, I’m surprised they didn’t mention fucking ninjas.
Schooling is government-controlled, designed to mass produce students who all think alike, teaching only what’s required to make the kids servants of the emperor. They absorb only what they’re taught, and only those fanatically loyal are allowed to teach.
“Our race has an ideal to assimilate the earth and the universe. They’re born only to dedicate their lives to the emperor. I can’t make this shit up.
1894- Japan takes Formosa. 1904- Japan kicks Russia’s ass at Port Arthur, gained control in Pacific. Supposedly ambuished the Russians. 1910 they annexed Korea. Allied with the Allies, and took land from Germany. Japanese signed everything, but insited on keeping their own islands. “Tanaka Memorial” is Japan’s Mein Kampf. Japan needs to conquer Asia first, first Manchuria and then China, then Siberia, then Malaysia, then the US of A. Then the rest of the world falls like a ripe plum. Yayy, Japan wins! Many details to prepare before this. Make sure the home front, because despite all the brain control, they couldn’t keep everything out. Western music, dancing, movies. Axis powers. “Super-chess” called Go was favored over western card games.
Western books banned, “If we Fight,”, “Arguments against American Politics” required reading supposedly telling about Japanese conquest.
Baseball was popular, so apparently kendo, judo, and sumo were favored.. Judo- the act of giving in, then tripping. Isn’t Judo Korean? Kendo- no defense, only offense. Sumo- act of waiting, stalling for time, then a swift charge. Politicians think in terms of Judo, Army Kendo, the people Sumo.
Japan infiltrated the west with agents, who posed as fisherman and the like. Japanese posed as tourists to photograph sites supposedly for war. Barbers who didn’t talk. All this information was collected, studied, and filed away. Japanese spies brought propaganda- “Drive out the white man!”
Industrialists- Osaka, Tokyo, Nagasaki, Nagoya, etc. Cities were not the real machinery- small backroom factories in the slums produce 64%. The industrialists undersold all other nations, and dumped cheap goods, and added piracy- made US goods in Japan and sold them to Asia. Undersold Silk to Italy, Cotton to UK, Undersold US FLAGS! With the money they made, the Japanese didn’t do anything to improve Japanese life, but they imported various industrial goods and built up their power from war machines. Sweat for guns, sweat for planes, sweat for ships, sweat for war, sweat for KILL ME NOW!
The greatest weapon is the Japanese soldier- humanitarianism is beaten out of him, he’s beaten into the perfect Samurai, various images of Japanese soldier training and martial arts training, all to the sound of iron being beaten. Final product- the Japanese soldier ready to shoot Japanese superiority into all nonjapanese.
1931- Japan invades Manchuria. “Coprosperity, enlightenment, justice, etc, peace, al to dead people and news headlines of conquests. “BANZAI” Apparently no one in this film spoke Japanese, because Christ, they’re speaking basic Japanese and it says “Unintelligible, can’t be translated”.
Bataan Death March- “Insane arrogance and brutality of the Japanese soldier”. No food or water for 7 days. Blah blah blah atrocities. Unspeakable humiliation and torture in prison camps. Japanese burned most of Manillia, butchering civilians. (Ironically, that looked a lot like Hiroshima after the bomb). Shots of dead Philippinos.
That’s your enemy- a tough, seasoned, intact army, who can supply a million new conscripts a year, and they will outfight us, outlast us, outdie us. And they want to conquer the world or commit national suicide. Defeating them is as necessary as shooting a mad dog.
US propaganda about all our victories. This came out in 45! We had pretty much won by then! Mother of fuckstick. Marines took part in glorious history by killing 20,000 Japanese on Iwo Jima. Trapped and destroyed 100K of their best roops. Marines shooting Japanese, but apparently it’s now heroic. ¾ of their naval strength at the bottom…fuck it, this is all “THE US IS AWESOME WE ARE BLASTING THEIR FACTORIES” (and, might I add, hundreds of thousands of civilians. I’m fairly sure that the firebombing of Tokyo killed more than each individual atomic bomb. )
Jesus Christ, at this I want the Japanese to fucking win.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Been A Long Time Gone.

Is that the title of a song? I don't think so, but it sounds cool anyways. So I didn't really update this more than once or twice during the summer. Honestly, I really didn't feel like it, and I'm not going to waste your time or mine doing something I didn't really feel like. I'm blogging, not dictating the Declaration of Independence here. But, now I'm back up at school and I actually feel like typing stuff in here.

So, what did I do with my summer? Mainly played Persona 4. It is quite possibly the single best game I have ever played. I was going to put up a massive review, and I will, but I got a bit bored of that and wasn't really in the mood- for some reason I've been on a Fate/Stay Night kick recently, so I'm not really feeling Persona 4 tonight. Other than that, I beat Bioshock (great game), got addicted to NCIS (great show), and generally mucked around on the webbernetz. Not much worth telling. Maybe I'll put up a post on Bioshock later, but probably not.

So, let's go over what's happened in my 3 weekley manga over the Summer. God, last time I talked about Naruto, Pain had just died. So, since then, we've gotten a bit more ninja politics, a bit more Naruto being a Determinator, and more love triangles. Let's start.

Oh, right, Pain revived everyone he killed, even the folks he killed by shoving sharp, pointy objects through them. It totally killed the drama of the past 30 or so chapters, but I'm not as incesed as most, simply because I didn't want Kakashi to get that crappy death scene, not to mention I don't really take this stuff particularly seriously. So afterwards, there's a particularly nice scene where the entire village turns out to thank him for saving their collective asses and they all realize that he's a goddamn hero. And he gets a hug from Sakura, but absolutely nothing on the Naruto/Hinata front. Anyways, after that, Tsunade's in a coma from burning out all her energy trying to keep the villagers and ninja alive (which turned out, as we see, to be ultimately pointless), so Danzou gets Hokage over the objections of a bunch of jounin, who wanted Kakashi. As it turns out, it would seem he used mind control to do so, which was actually a decent plot point. No prizes for guessing just how he pulled off the mind control- he's got a Sharingan! I actually don't mind this plot point very much, as it was revealed that he took it off a dead Uchiha (Uchiha Shisui, that dude Itachi supposedly killed for his Mangekyou). His first action, at the behest of the Raikage, is to declare Sasuke a missing-nin and a criminal, which immediately makes me respect him a lot more and Naruto hate him, as he still thinks Sasuke can be redeemed. He wants to open Sasuke's eyes and end this whole "circle of violence" thing that's going on. It's cute, and I let him have his indulgences because, hey, shonen manga. Danzou heads out to the meeting of the 5 kages along with Gaara!, the Raikage, and the other two. They bring along two companions each, and of course Gaara brings along Kankuro and Temari (woohoo!), but the character designs for all the others are cool. Sasuke follows along, having been told by Madara that Danzou will be there. Sasuke, obviously, wants to kill Danzou. Naruto went with Kakashi and Yamato to try and convince the Raikage not to kill Sasuke, but Raikage's not having any of this "mercy" business. He's going to kill Sasuke because Sasuke's a goddamn criminal, just like a ninja should. There's politics talk at the council of the 5 kages, about creating a joint task force to deal with Akaksuki. Danzou uses some mind control to try and get this force under his command, and overplays his hand as a mist ninja with a stolen Byakugan figures out his game and calls him on it. At that point, Zetsu sells out Sasuke and Raikage goes on a killfest. His crew and Sasuke's crew are currently fighting, and it's a lot of fun. Madara's villain monologuing to Naruto, and there's a whole Cain and Abel thing going on. I don't take it seriously, and the politics bits are relatively well done. Here's hoping Sasuke loses.'re still fighting. The Vaizard showed up and Hacchi teamed up with Soi Fon (who incidentally has a bazooka for a bankai- pretty awesome) to bring down Barrangan, but Bleach has been Bleach for so long it's not really worth talking about. They're fighting. Whoo. There's better fights to be had, and I'm only really reading it because it takes all of 2 minutes.

Negima!, I'll talk about it later.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

E3 Goodness

A few things that are FUCKING AWESOME, courtesy of E3. I won't bother providing more than two links (that's all that's open in my tabs right now)- look this stuff up yourself. Kotaku is probably the best source.

Let's start with the 360, which, I'm sorry Nintendo, is my Console of choice right now. Even with Persona 4.

Halo 3: ODST! We've got gameplay footage, and it looks awesome. It seems as though you've got a health bar, but it looks gritty, bloody, and awesome. Bungie has always delivered well-crafted storylines in Halo, and I'm looking forward to a view of the war from someone other than a Spartan. It seems as though you've actually got a health bar, which will be tricky to adapt to. Still looks like a ton of fun, and it seems you'll be relying more on NPC allies. Maybe it'll feel more like Call of Duty...which leads me to...

Modern Warfare 2 Trailer is out, and it looks awesome. I'm not the biggest Modern Warfare fan (I admit I prefer WWII shooters), but this looks awesome. I'll probably rent World At War at some point this summer when me and the brother get the XBox Live back.

Mass Effect 2- Mass Effect 1 was a lot of fun (even if I found the characters to be lacking, but then I'm a JRPG man.) and this one looks just as good. Woot 4 Kroot.

I think they announced the new Final Fantasy release date, but that's a curiosity for me, honestly. I'll play it, but the above gives me many more interesting things.

And a new Halo game- Halo Reach, which is a prequel- there's a shitton of material in the war to cover. God, I love the Halo franchise. That's all that was announced, but still, Fucking AWESOME.

Nintendo. I admit, I've been a bad nintendo fanboy, but I've been playing my DS regularly! Advance Wars: Days of Ruin.

So, Mario Galaxy 2, a new Metroid game, a new side-scrolling Mario, Golden Sun 3 (lots of folk are happy about that one)...can't think of anything. All good stuff, but nothing I'm really into. I suppose I need to actually bust out the Wii and start playing Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3. Persona news, so meh.

And...THIS. Holy. Fucking. Shit. The Old Republic MMO. Do want, and I've never played an MMO before. My only problem is that it does NOT appear that you will be able to take command of a spaceship. God damn it, I want to fly a Star Destroyer! EVE Online looks way to serious business and intense for me, even if it's exactly what I want to do. This means I won't be able to recreate my idea of Mithril in the Star Wars 'verse!* Or run a smuggling ring! Or other stuff like that! Because Star Wars is so much bigger than epic lightsabre duels, cool as they are (and that video clip is one of the best I've ever seen.) The EU taught me that. Besides, all the cool battles take place in space.
*On a train ride back from College at one point, while watching Full Metal Panic and reading some X-Wing novels, I came up with the idea of taking Mithril from Full Metal Panic and making it an organization within the Star Wars universe. A lot of the EU I read (Particularly the X-wing novels) were largely about dealing with warlords who went independent after Endor. So that gave me the idea- an imperial task force goes rogue, and decides to do good. Enter Mithril, complete with Sosuke, Kurz, Mao, Tessa, and all the rest. I unfortunately don't see a way Kaname would be put in there- the concept of the Whispered just doesn't fit with the Star Wars universe in my mind. I've got awesome ideas and concepts, but I feel I lack the writing skills to pull it off. Anyone up for a challenge? Because I think this is awseome.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Spoilers through the end of July!

So last week I finally decided "screw it, who needs a car", and walked down to my local Gamestop to purchase a used PS 2 and a copy of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. I then carried it home in my backpack and spent a while trying to find a working TV to set up in my room to play this, as it is something I do want to play alone, without interruptions, and in my room.

And it's just as fucking awesome as I had hoped. I mean, dude, it's awesome. I've logged more than 30 hours on it in one week, and I'm worried that I'm burning through it too fast. The dungeons all seem a bit too short for my liking considering how few of them there seem to be. (You can cover one floor in a little over five minutes, and with ten floors in a dungeon, that's an hour plus the boss.) The dungeons themselves are pretty cool- Yukiko's Castle has some awesome music, as does the Bad, Bad Bathhouse (Kanji's), and Rise's is a freakin' strip joint for crying out loud! But the best has got to be the one I...was in last night....alright, I did something incredibly retarted when I was playing last night. My only excuse was it was around 2 A.M. So around 10 I sit down and start playing- I had just beaten Rise's dungeon last night (It wasn't hard when Shadow Teddie gives you that much warning on his attacks and only casts Mabufu occasionally- I was all set up with an ice-draining persona, too- gotta love a ridiculously high Priestess link, but more on that later. Should've substituted Kanji for Chie, but I like the original gang too much.), and played straight through all the stuff that happens between that and the next dungeon- finals, social links, and the ridiculous amount of stuff you have to do to find enough info for Rise on Mitsuo (creepy bastard). So I finally get into his dungeon, and it's ten kinds of awesome- it's modeled after an old 8-bit RPG! I felt like I was going on some kind of real D&D dungeon crawl, or playing Final Fantasy or something. And I get to the second floor, and let an enemy get the advantage on me. Stupidly, I had switched to a Persona weak to lighting. Mazionga. Teddie and I go down. Mazionga. Now we're dizzy. Enemy turn. Mazionga. I'm dead. And I had just switched off an item I had that would have let me survive (wasn't really thinking, there.) OK, no problem. You saved before you entered, right Rogue? Nope. I didn't. In fact, I hadn't saved once that entire session. Yeah.

But anyways, the game is still awesome. I maxed Yukiko's social link around the beginning of July. And remember how I said that I thought she looked very cute when I first mentioned the game?* Well, that stuck. It's full-blown Perverse Sexual Lust, now, and I don't find myself particularly ashamed. A girl with long, black hair and a very nice figure (OK, now I feel slightly ashamed), who is also smart, very nice, caring, and has a...well, I won't say she has an awesome sense of humor (my taste runs more towards the sarcastic), but she's not afraid to laugh. So yeah, I'd fall for her in real life in a heartbeat. The max scene features you two hanging out in your room. While the scene goes black, I don't think I succeeded in getting laid, especially considering how short a time we'd been going out (It's rank 9 in the link, 1 below max, IIRC.). Just lots of cuddling and makeouts, I suspect. But earlier you were presented with three options. Yukiko had been scrounging for conversation and the scene was getting a little awkward. Your choices: "Is the Futon good with you?" "Is the sofa good with you?" "Is the floor good with you?". Yeah. I literally sat there for a minute or two just staring at the screen saying "really? Is there any option there that wasn't made by my...0ther...head?" and dreading which one I'd actually have to pick, because dude! My character isn't like that! I went with the sofa option, hoping she'd interpret it innocently, and thank god, she did. If I was playing this for shits and giggles, I probably would have gone with one of the other two, but I'm not, so I didn't. Anyways, yeah, not going to do the dating thing with any of the other girls, since even though you can't hang out with her, you still interact a ton with Yukiko. So I'll roleplay it like she's my girlfriend (I'm particularly looking forward to the confrontation with Mitsuo, seeing as how you met him when he was asking Yukiko out out of the blue. My girlfriend! Mine!

The battle system is fun, I find, even if it's turn-based and can get a bit repetitive. And fusing personas is awesome. I just fused Yamato-no-Orochi, this giant, 8-headed snake, just because I could. Hmm. Maybe I should actually start the Moon social link even though I find Ai to be a total bitch.
*Crap, I just lost the game.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I have a shitton of work to do. I am massively behind. But I need to write this.

Why the fuck are some people so adamant that anything the least bit creative and inventive immediately be given the axe solely for clarity? I mean, what the fuck? Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night was a fucking amazing name. I'm linking it and clicking it so that they can't just cut it. That little bit of a poem was great, but some people (looking at you, DQZ, you SOB) are just so damn insistent that anything the slightest bit "unclear" be purged and done away with. Hell, the trope itself was merged! I don't get it. It was a wonderful name, evoked the image of the trope beautifully. And now it's merged into "Rousing Speech". How dull.

And the natter-patrol also bugs me. It's admittedly not terrible, but the idea of going through and just axeing natter solely because it gets in the way of the message is stupid. TV Tropes isn't about the message. It's about being fun! It's about creative wit on the trope pages! A bit of natter helps that. Justifying Edits, "Actually", and all that stuff does serve a purpose. But the people doing the natter thing seem to be at least marginally sane.

TV Tropes is fun because it's so damn unserious and loose. It's a place for bad puns, fanboy gushing, and other shit like that. And trying to make it all serious and clear to boost the userbase, which is the argument those morons have been making is retarded. That's not what gets people here, it's not what keeps 'em, and it's not gonna grow the wiki. It's just going to drive people off and leave a few diehard editors if everything is all serious and dull and literate. So I'm going to combat this however the fuck I can.

Fuck you, DQZ, for killing an awesome trope and starting to ruin the Wiki. I'll fight you every step of the way.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

And this is why you will never see this linked on my Facebook.

When I started this blog, I had the general idea that I was going to keep it separate from my "Real" life. By which I mean that the people I encourage to read it (and by "encourage to read" I mean that I have a link in my forum signature) are not those I interact with face to face. I've never been particularly ashamed of my geekdom, hell I'd shout it from the rooftops, but I also know that a lot of folk don't want to hear about it, for one. For two, there's a few things I really enjoy that are...difficult to explain to normal folk*, and I'd honestly rather not go through all the trouble. Trying to explain why I enjoy Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha or Mahou Sensei Negima without coming across as a huge pedophile/pervert** tends not to work the entiere time. However, I still try when I'm feeling optimistic.

But This? Dude, I'm not gonna even bother. Katawa Shoujo is an Original English Language Visual Novel. Visual Novels, for those of you not in the know, are a rather odd form of video game. Essentially, there's no game. Even in the rare case of the games where you are fighting monsters (the most famous of these being Type-Moon's Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night. If you want to see them without bothering with downloading/patching/whatever, check out Seorin's Lets Plays for added snarky commentary. You've got to be a Goon to see the Fate/Stay Night one for a while), you don't actually control anything about the combat. There's no party management, no level growth, no FPS action, nothing. You sit back and read what's going on, and occasionally you're offered a choice. In essence, I think something like 95% of these games are dating sims. Boy is pushed into a situation with inordinate numbers of attractive single women, player makes various choices that hopefully lead to boy picking one girl, boy has a substantially high chance of getting laid and/or falling in love. If he's really lucky, he can pick the harem ending and mack on all of 'em. Depends on the game, really.

Aaaanyways (I have a ton of work to do, I really should keep this brief), Katawa Shoujo was spawned in the dark, dank sewers of the internet called 4chan. Ok, Ok, 4chan's not that bad. /b/ is the board that gets all the attention, but there are a fuckton of other ones, and from what I've seen, most of them are your fairly typical internet board, just bigger. I still don't plan on visiting (largely because I've got enough to distract me for one, and for two I don't like anonymous posting), but they're not the true evil. As this product proves. Anyways, a few years back, some japanese doujin artist posted up a brief page with several girls with disabilities- one blind, one deaf, one chick with burns on half her face, a girl missing her lower legs, and a girl with no arms. He mentioned that if someone made a dating sim about this, he'd be on it like white on rice. Somehow /a/, the anime board, got enamoured with the idea and actually put serious thought into the entire concept. They formed their own boards to discuss the idea, and, as of a few days ago, posted the first act, which they say is roughly 15-20% of the game.

So this is a game about disabled people. Your main character's got arrythmia, so he can't do too much strenous physical activity, or take a hit to the chest, or else his heart will explode. He ends up at a special school for folk with various problems, and from there, he meets several girls. There's the tsundere-esque deaf, mute chick and her bubbly friend who try and rope you into the student council (consisting solely of the two of them). There's the legless track girl*** who doesn't let anything, not even her conspicuous lack of feet, slow her down, and her friend, the enigmatic, absolutley crazy painter with no arms. There's the serene, aloof, kindly blind chick, and her friend, a girl with burns on her face from a terrible accident who's so shy and scared of people that she makes early-Negima Nodoka look extroverted. You take the dude through his first week at the new school, up to the school festival, where you either get to hang out with one particular girl (in essence, I assume, selecting her "path" and eventually getting to the whole dating/sex and whatnot) or you fucked up royally and go get drunk with your blind, misandrist roommate and then fall to your death. I did that the first time out of a couple of mistakes, and grumbled a bit that I wasted so much time.

And you know what? This is really good. I admit to not having played a visual novel of the high school dating sim variety (closest I've come is watching the first season of "Clannad"), but I really liked playing it. I admit, some of it's the whole wish fulfillment thing that comes from the scenario of having a large number of attractive anime girls to pick from whom you know are going to fall for you eventually (I've been single for YEARS, man.) , but the writing is really good- funny at times, the art is great, and they handle the plot with seriousness and realism. And the girls are really cute, too. Shizune, the deaf girl, has an awesomely cute tsundere vibe coming off of her, but my god, despite the burns, Hanako is so goddamn Moe that it hurts at times. You just want to pick that girl up, give her a great big hug, and say something to the effect of "You're beautiful. I love you." and then go take her off to a carnival or something and have fun.

And with my enjoyment of this game, I'm realizing that I am turning into one of them. A stereotypical moe fanboy. The sort of sexual pervert who has an unrealistic view of women, and who, as a consequence, is never going to get any and lives in his own little fantasy world, and not to mention is ten kinds of creepy. When you stare into the abyss for too long, it stares back, man. I need to be careful about this.

*On a random tangent, I find myself using the word "Folk"- singular- as an all-purpose substitute for "people". I think I picked it up from Firefly.
** I am quite obviously not a pedophile, but I'd probably be lying to myself if I said that none of the whole "nekkid bits" of Negima were ever appealing.
*** Honestly, that isn't very surprising. I've read an article about how a dude with no legs was banned from racing in the Olympics- and not the para- or special Olympics, because his mechanical legs gave him too much of an edge. Take from that what you will.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons! The Tintin movie!

So I just finished reading up on the Tintin movie that's coming out in a few years. I was always a big fan of those comics when I was a kid- they're really good sort of "pulp" adventure books, and Captain Haddock was always good for a laugh with his creative expletives.

So when I found a passing reference to the movie, I looked it up on Wikipedia, and DOOD! Peter Jackson and Steven Speilberg directing! Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock! Nick Pegg and Simon Frost as Thomson and Thompson! They're adapting the plot of two of the better books for the movie- treasurehunting, yay!

So I'm psyched, as this is gonna be awesome.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Naruto 44something.

Naruto...when did I last talk about the manga? Huh. Well more than a month ago. I won't bother to go in depth about what happened with Pain's Chibaku Tensei and the 4th Hokage showing up in Naruto's mind. Suffice to say that I have thoughroughly enjoyed and appreciated each chapter as it's come out. Oh, and Hinata's good to go, thanks to Sakura. I smell love triangle, and I know who I'll be rooting for! Naruto's gotten right back into the stride it lost with Sasuke's massive arc, and things look to be shaping up for a fantastic conclusion. Naruto is done with the killy, and is moving on to the talky (apparently paper-chick...Konan, that's it! is just standing there helpless...Like a good woman should!*) with Pain, who's still espousing his ridiculous idea for world peace. Here's a hint, genius. Nuclear weapons didn't stop fighting. This won't either, and it's just going to kill a lot of people. Still, we're getting this guy's backstory, and while I'm reasonably sympathetic to the kid, it's really hard to empathize when right now he's going on the "MY PARENTS ARE DEEEEAAAADDDD!" schtick. It's been done before, dude. Nobody gives a shit. And killing you wouldn't be for revenge. It would be eliminating a threat that just destroyed Naruto's entire village. Revenge is a powerful motivator, but it sure as hell isn't the only reason anyone has ever killed. So shut up and deal.

Oh, and Mr. and Mrs. Nagato's parents? I'm unaware of how war generally works in the shinobiverse, but over here most folk will tend to know if their enemy is of the "brutally slaughter civilians" type. And Konoha? Isn't that type. Which is why charging fruitlessly at an enemy you have no chance of winning against in a dark room when they're not attacking you is generally a bad idea. If you had just sat down, whimpered, and begged for mercy, they probably would have apologized for eating your food. Dumbasses.

*Kidding, kidding. I hate the "Stay in the Kitchen" stereotype.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Because I feel like sharing

I should be studying right now. But I'll pause to share this link with you guys. And no, it's not just so I'll have it linked for myself later. That'd be sad....

I feel like I'm betraying someone.

So I'm browsing various gaming sites (honestly, mostly Gamespot), looking for new games that interest me. Obviously, there's Persona 4 (God bless Youtube- I'm listening to the OST right now), but on the actual "games that are coming out", there's nothing. Particularly on the Wii. I'll be honest. I haven't played anything other than Super Smash Bros on the Wii in a long time. And there's nothing new I want to play. I've got Okami at home that I really need to play (I played it a bit last summer but just sorta didn't bother- maybe because I was playing The World Ends With You a bit too much) and I guess I'll pick up the sequel to Tales Of Symphonia once I get done with Persona 4 (and even then I might just go back and replay Tales of Vesperia on the 360). But there's nothing on the Wii that interests me, really. It seems to be a lot of gimmicky stuff. God, I hate saying that because it makes me look like such an elitist hardcore gamer type, the type that everyone who isn't one likes to rag on for good reason, but when I'm bored, I tend to just want to play Halo and shoot things up. When I really want to get into a video game, it's most likely because the story draws me in, I guess. Controls, graphics, and gameplay are all honestly secondary to "I want to hear a good story." And it really doesn't look like there's anything coming out that'll do that. Short form is I'm looking for good RPGs, and there's really something of a dearth of them on the Wii. I saw something that said it might be getting a new Tales game, but that'd be years off, and I feel like I'm being a bad Nintendo fanboy for turning to the PS 2 or 360 for my RPG needs. Whatever, I don't know. I'll look into this in more detail when I get home and can actually look at what I'm gonna do this summer.