elwen: (muuchan)
2015-03-01 01:50 am
Entry tags:

Another blast from the past.

Apparently it's been almost 6 years since I finished any Winamp skins. Wow, time sure flies. My subdomains have been broken (maybe for a while, oops), including Divide by Zero Winamp skins, but it's back up now.

While I was looking into that, I found out that around the beginning of 2014, Winamp was sold by AOL to some other entity, and they have taken down official downloads of the program while they revamp the code. I assume it's still available elsewhere on the internet. And personally, I certainly haven't migrated or seen any need for a newer MP3 player. But, again, it's weird to discover how outdated and obsolete something can become.

Anyway, I haven't officially given up on making new skins. I did have these two in progress, that I think deserve to see the light of day:





And plenty more images positioned. Like the ones mentioned here - of which I've only managed to do two so far.

I'd probably have to do a sweep of new anime series to find good material, though. And maybe the newer Dynasty Warriors games. I've always wanted to make a Xiao Qiao skin. :3
elwen: (muuchan)
2015-01-12 07:18 am

Memory lane.

Can you relate to this too? 10 Signs You Were Once Obsessed With Livejournal

Oh the inexorable march of time and how things change. I mean, I've never heard of rating communities and the fashion thing, but icons! And friends-only banners, even though I never locked my entire LJ.

When people reminisce about LJ, I always like to note that before blogs, there was an even older predecessor: online journals. Our posts were longer, and less frequent - much more like a paper diary. We didn't have a common host, especially not in the early days, but we stitched ourselves together with "who I read" lists and cross-links within entries.

In fact, the link at the beginning of this post I discovered because it was posted to the Facebook page of a friend I met when we both kept OLJs and discovered our voices were very similar to each other's. (And obviously we both eventually ended up on LJ, before becoming Facebook friends.)

I still remember that there was an influential article that people passed around, about why online journals made sense - even though so seemingly opposite from the private, physical version. It began with something like "When I think about online diaries, I think about sheep." It went on to tell a story about how a farmer found a dead sheep in his flock but thought nothing of it - ascribed it to the cold or sheer randomness. But in countless pastures around him, other farmers were discovering similar phenomena. If the farmers had kept online diaries, sharing their experiences, might they not have found a common thread, larger patterns, and thereby learn something deeper about the world? That was the gist of it. Every now and then I poke around Google trying to find the article again, but I don't remember enough useful keywords and my Google-fu is not good enough.

After OLJs came blogs on personal domains, driven by blogger or Movable Type, alongside Pitas and other hosts whose names I've forgotten. For a while I even kept both an "OLJ" and a blog.

All of the entries, both OLJ and blog, still live on my computer or one of my harddrive backups somewhere, I think. I used to have grand plans of importing them all into the latest incarnation of the journal. The first few iterations of the OLJ were all hand-coded HTML, and there was no concept of separating content from layout, so I would have had to do it manually, or somehow learn to automate it. But in times since, I've become a more private person online. (I was always a private person offline.) I don't think I could bring myself to share those same things anymore. If they're still out there on the internet, that's fine, but I don't think I'll ever intentionally put them back up. Maybe, someday, a carefully culled and slightly re-written selection. Like selections from the papers of some famous scholar after he's dead, ha.

Until then, I'll just keep commenting mostly on media I consume - actually my "book thoughts only" Twitter feed is relatively active these days - and occasionally glimpses into other facets of my life. Though as this post has unfolded, it seems clear to me that the journaling "voice" in my head has never fallen silent. It just can't outcompete all the other demands on my time these days.
elwen: (fandom: . . . what?!)
2014-06-08 08:53 pm
Entry tags:

Recs, please.

I was watching random episodes of Ouran High School Host Club while on the treadmill because Netflix now streams anime in Japanese with subtitles (best development ever), and now I have a craving for some Kyoya x Tamaki fanfic. Any recommendations?

Don't know who still reads this LJ, much less is an Ouran fan, but thought I'd ask.
elwen: (work)
2014-02-17 04:51 am

This is why the Supreme Court said time-shifting was OK, right?

God I've been so busy. I've watched all of 5 minutes of the Olympics, and that was just Team USA being tacky with cameras during opening ceremonies.

Sad to have missed watching all the figure skating and being able to discuss it with all of you in real time. From skimming Facebook and my flist (which includes [livejournal.com profile] ontd_skating), I gather that [spoiler] won the gold but that the men's event was a disappointing trainwreck all around? I can only hope that I'll find some time to watch it all in a couple weeks, and hope that Comcast On-Demand still has it by then. :/
elwen: (muuchan)
2014-01-11 10:08 pm
Entry tags:

Anime post.

I haven't actually been watching that much anime since my last anime post, but I came back from Japan with a big list of titles to look into, so I figure this is a good time to bridge the time gap.

Actively watching:

  • Hunter x Hunter - I love this show, what more is there to say? I've mostly gotten used to the new voices, although Biske still sounds weird. I am woefully behind - still working through the Greed Island arc. Given where the manga stands, I think the series will end before I catch up. And then it's back to waiting for the mangaka to get off his lazy ass to release 5 more chapters before the next hiatus. 9_9

  • Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist - A fairly typical supernatural bishounen series with BL undertones, but that doesn't take itself too seriously and has some good comedy moments. Ultra-practical protagonist turns out to be a descendant of Solomon with the right to choose the next king of Hell, but he barely believes in demons and doesn't really care about their succession fight. Of course they gather around him and start masquerading as his schoolmates anyway.

  • K - I'm concerned about its low ratings on AniDB, but there are some hot intriguing characters I would like to know more about. So far it's your typical "bonyari high school student is more than he seems, and more than he knows" cryptic whatever story, with nothing particularly notable, but I'm only two episodes in. The chase with the neko was hilarious, though.

  • Amnesia - Based on an otome game, so I don't have high hopes, but so far it's at least kept my interest. Girl wakes up without her memory, but she works at a maid/butler cafe with hot guys and is trying to figure things out without letting them know she's lost her memory.


Finished series:

  • Inu x Boku S.S. - Cute supernatural romance series. The setup is ridiculous, but doesn't get in the way if you don't focus on it. I liked watching Ririchiyo agonize over things, and there were a lot of sweet moments. Recommended.

  • Moyashimon Returns - Same Moyashimon craziness as the original. I started watching for the cute microbes, obviously, but I actually love the characters and hilarious situations, too. Recommended.

  • Shin Prince of Tennis - It's PoT. Like the original series, introduce some more super-strong characters, that outclass everyone you've known so far. There were some twists in the training camp setting, and some really hilarious filler-ish episodes. Will be interested to see how things progress once more manga comes out and they make the inevitable sequel.

  • Fate/Zero - It was a good series, though could get very dark at times, and I'm sure fans of the Fate series were much more satisfied with it than the original Fate/stay night anime (I hear they're remaking it) but the ending was pretty "WTF" from my perspective. Also, I knew it wouldn't end well, but got really attached to all the characters so that aspect sucked. Good, but recommended only if you want to get into the entire Fate universe.

  • Un-Go - Weird, dark series, but I enjoyed the individual episodes. There was no closure at the end of the run, though, and a lot of unanswered questions.

  • Sengoku Basara - I don't remember when I finished watching this and whether I wrote about it, so I put it on the list. This series is crazy but really, really funny. I'm surprised I can still look at sengoku historical figures the same way after this. Have I ever mentioned I love flamboyant characters with bad English?


Stalled but plan to finish someday:

  • Guilty Crown

  • Kemono no Souja Erin

  • Shin Koihime Musou

  • Natsume Yuujinchou

  • Spice and Wolf II

elwen: (muuchan)
2014-01-11 04:23 pm
Entry tags:

Y-Con

What, they moved Yaoicon back up to the San Francisco Bay Area?!

http://www.yaoicon.com/

Only took them, what, two years to learn their lesson. I approve.

Too bad the chance of them having guests that would get me to go is like zero. Shouoto Aya is the only BL mangaka I can even think of right now - and I like her for a non-BL series. Maybe if they had someone connected with No. 6. Or a seiyuu.
elwen: (muuchan)
2013-12-14 06:41 am
Entry tags:

Legend of Korra.

Amazon decided to give me another free trial of Prime, and I took the opportunity to watch the first season of the Legend of Korra. :] Seemed to have a lot more fight scenes and less introspection than the first series, and I liked the old cast of characters better, but overall I still loved it.

Cut for mild spoilers. )
elwen: (muuchan)
2013-10-04 11:38 pm

Connections.

Hi, seems it's been a long, long time.

You probably think this is a strange kind of thing to make me post here again, but...

A couple days ago my car battery died after choir rehearsal, around 9:30 pm. J was out of town. I called my dad, who drove about 17 miles out to jump my car, then caravan to his home so I could switch to the spare "sibling-is-away-at-college" car.

It got me to thinking. If I didn't live near my parents, who would I reach out to? Why was there no one I knew well enough, whose number was in my phone, who I would feel comfortable asking for a late night rescue?

I don't often feel particularly lonely. But there are moments when I step back, and I feel that all the connections I make are shallow. Most of the people I speak to regularly are through work, but I don't tend to form the kind of bonds they sometimes form with each other, going out to drink on Fridays and such.

And it's not that I don't know people whom I would reach out to in a real pinch, if something catastrophic happened. They're just farther away, or don't have a car, so weren't right for this particular mishap. And really, it was my own lack of experience and aversion to interacting with people that prevented me from realizing I could probably have just called campus police, or even tried asking other people in the parking lot for help. (It's not like I was in a sketchy place, where that is probably not recommended.)

I don't know how to change this, or if I can or should. But it was a reminder, I guess. I tend to think too much about contingencies for things that never happen, maybe not enough for things that do.

Also, I don't mean to denigrate the connections I make with people online. My life would be much darker without all the people that interact with whom I've never met in person or spoken to live. I just wish I was a better person, a more valuable friend, someone easier to connect with -- both online and off.

I know, it's ironic that I'd say all this after disappearing from this LJ for over a year without any indication what happened to me. If I valued my readers, couldn't I at least let them know I'm alive? That's why I said this was a strange kind of thing to prompt me to post. Or maybe not so strange.

Even if I'm not posting or reaching out, I'd like you to know that I am here, and would like to help you how I can, if the occasion ever arises.

And I'll work on making the connections at a lighter, "hanging out" kind of level, too.
elwen: (rage)
2012-06-20 12:29 am
Entry tags:

FF13-2.

I just beat the game and have to say: most. unsatisfying. ending. ever.

Spoilers. )

And, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that game developers think DLC means they can fragment the storyline or release an incomplete product because they can always supplement it later (and extort some more money from players while they're at it). I will not stand for this, Squenix.

Will I still buy the apparently inevitable FF13-3 when it comes out? Probably. But if they pull this shit again, I am seriously going to stop buying any new games and just replay old ones. I got plenty on my list already: FF8, FF10, FF9, Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon, FF7 (roughly in that order).

Okay, I just had to get that off my chest. Back to not really posting. (Maybe.)
elwen: (squee!)
2012-04-08 11:39 pm

Apparently figure skating is all I post about now.

Hi. I guess it's been a while since I posted here. Life progresses steadily and satisfactorily. Maybe I'll write about that sometime soon. But for today...

So I knew Worlds was coming. But then I discovered that Universal Sports was the only network that was covering it. And, despite being a subscriber to their parent Comcast, apparently there is no way I can get it, even if I was generally inclined to pay for premium channels. And I couldn't find a satisfactory *ahem* internet source. So I figured I'd wait, and maybe watch videos of individual programs at their website. (But now they seem to have taken down the vast majority of their videos, too. Bah.)

Then other things distracted me, and I forgot all about the 3 hours NBC was going to spend showing selected parts of the competition today. (Apparently Americans just don't like figure skating anymore?) But I still managed to randomly turn on the TV this afternoon and catch the last hour.

It was all ladies' free skate, which is my third favorite event, but it was still fun. I was reminded yet again how much a few years matters in the ladies' event. I really don't like the younger girls -- they're just so awkward and twiggy. As they get older, they start looking much more graceful and comfortable on the ice. The starkest example for me is always Sarah Hughes, comparing Nagano to Salt Lake City. What I mean to say is, Carolina Kostner's jumps were great.

At the end, they showed clips, in reverse order, of the medalists in all four events. And I thought, "Yay, Daisuke Takahashi!" and "Blah, Patrick Chan." But also, "Who is this cute Asian guy and why have I never seen him before?"



So I went and found videos of all the men's medalists. Starting with Daisuke Takahashi. He is so awesome. Even though his music was weird, and I kept expecting it to get more exciting and up-tempo, but it never did. At first I was only going to watch him and the mystery guy, but after watching Takahashi's program, I figured I had to watch Chan's to understand why Takahashi only got silver. And, having done that, I am satisfied. Yes, Takahashi was the only one of the three to skate a clean program (from what I could tell), but I can't argue with Chan's extra quad+triple, even if he also fell on his last Axel.

So, the mystery guy. )
elwen: (squee!)
2012-02-04 08:45 pm
Entry tags:

Figure skating - blast from the past.

I watched Pandora Unforgettable Moments of Love on Ice this afternoon. I saw a commercial for it during nationals and was kind of like, "What kind of cheesy figure skating crap are they airing now?" But I happened to be at the TV right when it started, so I thought I'd give it a try, and it was actually kind of cool because I got to see a lot of people I thought I'd never see again. Including Ilia.

I've always felt kind of torn about exhibitions and shows because you don't get to see skaters at their technical best, but on the other hand they tend to be more fun and mistake-free. I also hate the shows they do with famous singers because then the cameras focus on them like half the time and it's like do I really want to watch the person singing or swaying with a saxophone when someone is skating? But anyways.

It was fun. It's one of those things, you know, every now and then you stop to wonder what happens to these people after they get their medals. Nancy Kerrigan and Kristi Yamaguchi were announcing. And they had Kurt Browning and some old pairs (?) champions, plus some newer names like Joannie Rochette and Miki Ando. (It's weird to think I last really paid attention to figure skating two years ago, so I don't even know how fresh these names are anymore. Or who went pro and who didn't.)

And Ilia, of course. It was kind of exciting to see him again. He still has those beautiful, feather-light landings that I fell in love with. No more rosy cheeks, but there's still something in his smile that is very boyish. His second skate was to Usher's "Make Love In This Club" and was very cute. Taking the shirt of... well, I will count that as one of his "cheesy but irresistible gimmicks," along with the yellow giraffe shirt.

Ilia was one of the Pandora sell-outs, bringing his family on to talk about how this snowflake charm represented their vacation to Mammoth Lakes. I don't know if I caught all of the blatant Pandora plug "bio" segments, but I know Kristi had one, too. A lot of aspects of sponsorship of these things boggle my mind, from the perspective of any of the parties involved, but I suppose it must work.

I'm always nostalgic when I hear about or see Kristi Yamaguchi. I don't really remember the 1992 Olympics, but I remember that I watched it with my mom, and we were both cheering for Kristi and I felt a sense of kinship because my mom told me she was born in Fremont, just like me. That was the start of my long and erratic figure skating fandom.

Anyway, I'm just free-associating now. Suffice to say I'm glad I got to see Ilia and all the other people whose programs I paid attention to. (I was testing out our new iron and ironing board and sometimes got more engrossed in that with the music in the background.) I liked the first guy's program -- the one who did Muse's "Feeling Good," I think -- but I didn't catch his name. I thought it was Kurt Browning, but I don't think he was bald.

And on that "whaa?" note, I will end. :P
elwen: (Default)
2012-02-01 01:05 am
Entry tags:

Figure skating.

I am a wayward fan of figure skating. Every now and then, I get really, really into it, like during the Vancouver Olympics. Then I resolve to keep following it, and never do. I never even watched the 2010 World Championships after making my dad tape it.

One afternoon, I saw a commercial for tickets to the national championships, which were in San Jose, and I noted that it was basically the week I was on vacation, but I would be back for the last day. I vaguely considered going. Then I forgot about it.

Then we got back from vacation, and James told me there was figure skating on TV. And there it was, the men's free skate. And I kind of wished again that I had gotten it together and managed to go. Mainly because I assume it's not often that a large competition is nearby enough for me to easily attend. Though this is probably one of those things where I should wait until something really awesome is here, like the Olympics or Worlds.

I don't really have much national spirit when it comes to figure skating. When I first became a fan in my own right -- versus watching and enjoying it with my mom -- I was enamoured of Russian skaters, starting with Ilia Kulik. But in general it's just whomever I find exciting or cute or intriguing in a particular season. There are American skaters I like, such as Johnny Weir. Watching this year's nationals, though, was kind of like, "Who are all these white boys?"

I guess Jeremy Abbott was pretty good. But I was kind of disappointed in how no one really had a clean program, and I think Abbott may have been the only guy who landed his quad. I liked Keegan Messing's energy, but I don't think he did well enough to make it to Worlds, meaning I won't see him again until next season at the earliest, by which time I'll probably have forgotten who he is.

But I know Worlds is March 25 to April 1 (spanning my birthday!) so I will do my best not to miss it.

Watching figure skating did remind me of Ginban Kaleidoscope and the totally awesome final volume. Someday I might get to translating it. Just like someday I might be a more constant fan...
elwen: (V)
2012-01-29 09:00 pm
Entry tags:

Fanime Pre-Reg.

It's that time again... Fanime pre-reg prices go up after January 31. I'm working downtown this year, plus I am still planning/hoping to enter the karaoke contest, so no reason for me not to lock things in now.

So far, no cosplay inspiration has struck hard enough, so I may just be an ordinary con-goer this time.
elwen: (reading)
2012-01-14 02:18 pm
Entry tags:

No. 6 three ways.

After watching the No. 6 anime, I've started both the manga and the gensaku novels. I usually don't like to start another version of a title too soon after I've finished one, because the story is still too familiar. But with vagaries of bringing stuff to read on the train to work, I ended up starting the novels, and then I had to read the manga to figure out if I want to grab the third volume today while I have a coupon from Kinokuniya.

Since the No. 6 anime was probably so abridged anyway, I don't think there's as big a problem from reading another, fuller account now.

Anyway, my conclusion on the manga is that I have to keep collecting it because Nezumi is just so hawt. Also because Kino-sensei does these really cute mini facial expressions when it's otherwise unclear who a speech bubble belongs to. If I had to point to one frame that says it all, it's when Nezumi sees Shion with the syringe and asks, "What are you going to do after that?!" And Shion, back to the camera, says "Stitch it," but you've got the little starry-eyed face in the speech bubble.

In the end, though, gensaku-worship aside, I think I will like the novels the best. I think there's something about that medium that suits this series best. The little reflective moments you can't capture in an anime or manga. For example, I liked how the novel really explored Karan's being bored in Chronos and then being much more lively after they moved, which gets disposed of in one frame in the manga and not addressed at all (that I noticed) in the anime. Also, you just can't get inside Shion's head (or body) in the manga or anime. Like his... response to Nezumi being on top of him (with a spoon to his throat). I think it was something like "he went numb and his whole body was tingling"? That kind of seals the deal, way early in the series, doesn't it? How can Safu's "I want your sperm" even compete with that?

On the other hand, the novels seem really prone to random digression. Which provide nice little glimpses of the world but sometimes could be handled a bit better. For example, the park scene went something like this:

The garbage-collecting robot has discovered what appears to be a corpse in the park!

Shion leaps onto his bike and pedals for his life.

...ah yes, bikes. Bikes had experienced a sort of boom in No. 6 recently, so that the ratio of bikes to people was now about two to one. And other self-powered forms of transportation. You could say there was a sort of revival.

Where was I? Oh yeah, bikes. So normally there'd be a speed-limiter preventing people from racing through the park. But fortunately Shion's bike was modded.

Wait, you want talk about where he was riding
to?

[I may have filled in a lot because it's now been a month or two since I read the passage, but that really is the gist of it.]

Not sure how I'm going to deal with this series going forward. Whether I'll take a break after catching up in the manga or jump back to the novels. Maybe the novels, since Shion-Nezumi interaction is like crack. \o/
elwen: (V)
2011-12-24 01:40 am
Entry tags:

I'm not in love with you, but I'm in love with the way you move.

So since I last posted about it, I gave in to temptation and got an XBox 360 with Kinect. At the time, Amazon was offering an $80 credit with purchase, which effectively brought the price down to near what stores had on Black Friday. And the morning we placed the order, the Dance Central games became 50% off, so we got both of those, too.

...and then a few days later Amazon decided to mock us by upping the credit offer to $100 and adding buy 2 get 1 free to the lowered Kinect game prices. Not a good way to treat loyal customers. We're already shifted some of our video game purchasing to Fry's and Target.

But anyway, I'm still totally addicted to Dance Central. I read a review that said it "remains *the* reason to get a Kinect," so I feel better that it was the reason I got a Kinect. And I figure they have pretty good replay value, given you have 40-ish songs, times three different difficulty levels. Sure, there is some overlap in moves between difficulty levels (and between songs), but so far I am finding the choreography different enough that it's always fresh. (I haven't played that much on Hard yet, and I think the change from Medium to Hard is somewhat less than Easy to Medium, but still.) When I first played the game on my brother's system, I was just sight-reading as I do in DDR, but later I discovered that Break It Down mode really helps a lot. And that's how you manage songs on Medium, when the move changes don't really give you a chance to just follow along.

I guess I have years of DDR experience to show that I can play the same songs day after day for weeks on end and not get bored. I'm still having so much fun with the dance moves that there are songs I can play multiple times in a single session (Sandstorm, DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love, Baby Got Back). And there are still lots of songs I enjoy that I haven't taken the time to really learn yet (including Body to Body, whose lyrics provide the title of this post).

And this is all just Dance Central 2. I still have a whole 'nother game of songs to play.

:)

Here's to hoping this addiction will carry me into a healthier, more active new year.
elwen: (Default)
2011-12-16 09:46 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

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Stupidity. Not in the sense that everyone has to be a genius, but people need to think things through more, and realize the consequences of things they do or want, and also know when something has been established to a point that reasonable people should not dispute it.
elwen: (Default)
2011-12-13 07:39 pm
Entry tags:

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

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I confess: I want a Kinect (with XBox). My brother got one on Black Friday and I am so addicted to the dancing games. I also think it's an amazing innovation -- way better than a Wiimote or a PS Move. Didn't think you had it in you, Microsoft.
elwen: (reading)
2011-11-13 01:07 am
Entry tags:

Manga talk.

I was wrong when I said last time that I haven't read shounen manga since Hikaru no Go. After picking up the new anime series, I got myself caught up on the Hunter x Hunter manga. Someday, when I want to reread the series, I will go and get the tankoubon, I think. Togashi-sensei's art style is very bold and simple sometimes, but I kind of like it. Also, he tends to clean it up a lot for the tankoubon. I'll never forget that big looming shadow thing that Pitou summoned, that in the tankoubon became an intricately drawn nurse robot thing. And those couple chapters where Gon's and Killua's faces were really just a bunch of zigzaggy lines.

I saw on Wikipedia that the manga has been described as "an almost random collection of psych-outs, battles, puzzles, and trickery" that works. And I really agree with that. I love the puzzles and trickery, and always fall for the psych-outs.

I'm glad the series is moving again, and the Ant King arc is finally over. I've kind of lost my hold on the story so far; I just remember the characters and the world. The Ant King arc got better, I think, and less gruesome, but the last chapters went up and down a lot. Maybe I just lose attention when the characters I really like (read: Killua) get pushed to the background.

As for the new arc... I couldn't care less about the Hunter Association elections. Yeah, we finally get to see [spoiler] but he's not really that interesting, and everyone else involved is annoying. Fortunately, the other major plotline features Killua, so I have no complaints. It's also more puzzle-y than battle-y, not that I mind the battles usually.

I also started reading 07-Ghost recently, which I guess is partially shounen, or shounen-shoujo confused, or something. It certainly has parts that are very light in text, in a way I associate with shounen series.

I saw some reviews on Baka-Updates Manga by people who really hated the series and complained that it was incredibly hard to follow, and I realize they're right. I really like the story and the characters, but the "writing" is awful. There are really short scenes that just cut off, that leave me wondering, "What just happened?" And within single dialogues I feel like there are often these non sequiturs that I have to go back and reread. I don't think all of them can be blamed on my poor Japanese skills...

(I recently read a nice article of tips for legal writing -- probably generally applicable -- and the main idea was that writing is a contract between the reader and the writer. And if you make the reader go back and reread something, you've broken the contract.)

I don't believe in blind gensaku-worship, but I do usually think the gensaku is better. I think 07-Ghost may be the rare exception, though. I really loved the anime, and from what I remember I think they fleshed out some scenes in ways I really enjoyed, and which probably improved the flow and ease of understanding. I will stick with the manga because I want to know what happens, and because I don't think the poor writing is so bad as to be fatal, but I think a rewatch will be in order once I catch up, plus I will never stop hoping for a sequel.

And now, having said the inferior gensaku is a rare exception, I have to mention another candidate: Pandora Hearts. It's on my list to read next to 07-Ghost and Uraboku, and lower down only because I haven't impulse-bought any volumes yet unlike the other two. But recently I came across a discussion of it on a message board, where someone said the manga was better but mentioned the plot had become confusing lately. So I had to ask, "Confusing in a good or bad way?" And it sounds bad. It was so bad that I read all their spoiler-tagged discussion and don't feel spoiled at all because it is so confusing it doesn't make sense.

Unlike 07-Ghost, I think this may be fatal. It's disappointing because Pandora Hearts was another series whose anime left me thirsting for more of the story, which I can only get from the manga. But if the story starts falling apart, then I guess there really is nothing there for me. Maybe it's time to just get those beautiful limited edition DVD sets and content myself with that.

In other manga news, I discovered a neat series called Superior about a demon queen who's killed half of humanity and then disguises herself to tag along with the hero sent to kill her, then falls in love with him. It's got nice humor, and the chapters have those dark reflections on humanity that I like in a series. (I don't know how to describe it better than that. Think Akino Matsuri, but less gruesome.) Not the biggest fan of the art, particularly the design of Exa, the main character, but what can you do. Plus, I'm always a sucker for series with a fantasy setting.
elwen: (Default)
2011-11-03 08:41 pm
Entry tags:

Cosplay.

Oh shit. Someone came out with an awesome Sima Shi.

Good thing I'd already gotten over my idea of cosplaying him.

Maybe I'll be inspired to do someone in one of the shows I'm watching right now. If not, preparing for the karaoke contest will probably keep my hands full anyway.
elwen: (Default)
2011-10-20 10:33 pm
Entry tags:

Anime post!

It's October! That means a new season of anime to try!

Actually, I realized this only several days ago. Though I should have known given that the series I was following, Blue Exorcist and No. 6, both ended.

Let's start with the new shows I sampled:

  • Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon - This show was totally not what I expected. If you read the summary, about a reenactment of human history that got disrupted first in A.D. 1413 and then in A.D. 1648, you might expect some kind of medieval fantasy type thing. Or, once you see the hints of Japanese culture, some Warring States type thing. And there is a bit of that in the background, but mostly, so far as I can tell after two episodes, it's basically a supernatural super-technological high school comedy. It's a high school setting, but everyone has little screens they can pull up, and there are angels and demons and mechas and all sorts of weird entities in the class. Also note the "big breasts" tag on AniDB.

    After the first episode, I was considering sticking with the series. There were some potentially interesting dynamics, and I admit, it can be pretty hilarious at times, even if the humor is mostly ecchi. I LOL'ed when Kimi was like, "Take your $*#@$% and stick it in the power socket and die." But after the second episode, I really have no idea where it's going, and the mix of vague allusions to reenacting Japanese feudal history with the aforementioned supernatural super-technological high school comedy is kind of weird. And the characters and storytelling are not really there enough for me to forgive the lack of direction.

    I might revisit if I run out of stuff to watch (hah!) and am in the mood for something stupid but funny. Though I do still have Koihime Musou to finish in that category.


  • Fate/Zero - And thus I acquire not one but two series to watch. Because the majority opinion appears to be that one should watch Fate/Stay Night first. Not sure why I never finished it -- I only got 3 episodes in -- since both series seem to be pretty cool action fantasy. As to Fate/Zero, none of the characters have really caught my interest after one double-episode, but they've set up some situations and relationships that are suitably intriguing or heartwrenching. Only complaint is that all the guys have super-generic seiyuu and I can't tell them apart, especially Tokiomi and Kirei, who keep talking to each other. And Kirei's voice is wayyyy too low.

    But I guess I won't be getting back to them for a while anyhow.


  • Hunter x Hunter - Not sure how I feel about them deciding to remake the whole series rather than follow the old pattern and release an OVA every time an arc finishes (or sometimes halfway through arcs). But hey, this spares me rewatching the old series, which would require finding all the episodes. After the first episode, the voices don't really seem to fit the characters, but hopefully I'll settle into it. And I guess I should check one of these days whether the manga has started back up again.


  • Guilty Crown - ...it was good until he pulled the weapon out of the girl. Never seen that before. I feel like this is Code Geass all over again. Oppressed Japan of the future, high school guy meets mysterious girl and obtains strange power, mecha battles and underground resistance, oh, and an original series. Which means I'll both love it and hate it? Not sure if I can put up with the erotic weapon-drawing sequences in the long run, but I'll at least give it another episode.


  • Sengoku Paradise: Kiwami - OMG I need subs for this thing. I only understand like 60% of what is going on. But I can say that this is one craaaaaaaaazy show. Sengoku BL crack in three minute doses. \o/

    ...oh, and apparently there's a longer segment of the seiyuu wandering around and trying to explore Sengoku history without a plan...? Still don't understand, but they are cute and funny. XD;


  • Un-Go - Weird-ish dark detective series. Inga is creepy but also kind of intriguing. I'll stick with it for now.


  • Mirai Nikki - The opening scene made it seem like it was too dark and horror-ish for me, and some parts seemed too dark and slow, but as a whole I am intrigued for now. 12 people have diaries with entries that describe the future and are in a game to kill each other or destroy their diaries. The main character is kind of an annoying, whiny wimp, but if the show is sufficiently cerebral, I think I can put up with it. Also, Deus is voiced by Norio Wakamoto (a.k.a. Chiyo-Dad). :D


In terms of finished series, my previous anime post was fairly recent, so No. 6 and Blue Exorcist are the only things I've finished. I posted about No. 6, but I guess I didn't really say anything substantive. Yeah, it was rushed, and the ending was not very satisfying, but overall it was a good show. The story was relatively cohesive, and there were a lot of great moments between Shion and Nezumi which is, after all, what it's all about. I have the first six novels now, so I'll be turning to those once I finish Ginban 9.

As for Blue Exorcist, I'm always leery of shounen series that cut off after 26 episodes, but it wasn't bad, and was probably a wise decision since the manga doesn't have that many volumes out yet. For a shounen series, I think I would have liked more episodic action or a few more story arcs before the climax, but what they had was good. Loved the backstory about their mother and Satan. The ending was reasonably satisfying, too. Hopefully they left enough things open for a sequel once there's more manga. Because I love the characters and want to see more.