Archive for July, 2007

Holy Portball, Batman!

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Google decided to return relevant results for portball today. This is the first evidence that they actually play that game.

I am stealing an example picture for the backup purposes.

Notice that the yellow defender is inside the semi-circle, which seems to differ from rules depicted in Figure 17.

P.S. Since we’re on topic: uniforms from the same school. No seifuku, I’m crestfallen.

RahXephon starts

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

I saw a couple of episodes years ago at a con and it looked somewhat interesting. Blogs I read since then claimed it to be “Eva done right”, “love story”, and other such things, so I decided to give it a try. We don’t have a lot of things which interest me in R1 anyway.

On the whole RahXephon does not disappoint. It’s a pleasant watching, nothing terribly bad. Ep.04 scared me a bit, because I started to sense the boymecha coming. That would be bad, but apparently it develops very slowly, and I do not think it’s only so dumb, so it’s fine.

Animation is fairly basic. Hair is reflex-free, the jawline would not be out of place in Crescent Love. But they did not skimp on eyes. So it’s quite serviceable. I’d place it somewhere a bit below Kamichu.


Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Seen at the Bon Odori follow-up “bazaar” in Stockton today:


Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Is there anything better than the choco coronet, the signature of Lucky☆Star?

Of course there is!

It’s a cream coronet.

These particular examples come from a Russian ethnic food store at Clement near 31st Ave. in San Francisco.

UPDATE 2008/09/10: Lupus is not happy.

Avatar and I have no taste

Friday, July 27th, 2007

At least, so says Mr. Duck in comments to a random post. Actually, now that I saw a bit more, I would like to tweak my previous comments on Hidamari Sketch a bit. It’s not quite as limp as it was in the beginning, but the low grade animation remains horrible.

Exhibit 1: It’s not even SD.

The annoyance is not the wide face as such, but how much time characters spend in the low-grade mode. I think I haven’t seen anything like it since Dragon Half.

Exhibit 2: The high art.

The series has spots which show aspirations for artistry, a-la Windy Tales, but the flashes of it are rather short and far between. They fail to set the tone.

Physical Space

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Seen at Anime Diet:

4. DVDs are cool, but they can be such a hassle to keep because they take up physical space. If I can download good subtitled copies and store them on my HD, I can access them so much quicker.

This is why you rip them, duh! It’s the same thing as CDs and iPod. I bought a few tracks a iTunes store, but it was such an unpleasant process that my iPod ended full of CD tracks, whereas CDs themselves went to nice and compact cardboard boxes.

This also solves the backup issue heard regarding purchased tracks. CDs and DVDs are your backups. Keep them away, keep them safe.

When Trees Were Big

Friday, July 27th, 2007

When ADV started hating their own customers in public, we sort of forgot that they used to do good. I received the first DVD of RahXephon today, and was reminded how the gentle and cuddly ADV of years past released up to five episodes per DVD on first release.

I am watching Figure 17 currently, which is about the same vintage title. Media Blasters released this 13-episode series on 6 DVDs. Thank heavens for Netflix!

UPDATE: Great, just great. No sooner I put my foot into my mouth, I see this (at KarmaBurn):

Figure 17 seems to be a pleasant enough show. It’s not wildly impressing me by any means, but it is entertaining enough, and novel in that its episodes are double-length.

The dumbest part is, I noticed that VOBs were unusually large, and was going to post a note about varying DVD compression. It never occured to me that episodes were longer. Come to think of it, how long are they? Gotta check.

Also, same place:

One thing I I don’t like is how Tsubasa and Hikaru persistently have that stupid cat mouth thing that’s supposed to be moe. You know, the wavy smile represented in the emoticon :3 except with sizable overbites. I’m going to go on record as saying Cat Mouth is not cute; it looks retarded.

I am not so sure.

Repent or face the wrath of Mikan Army!

No fireworks, huh

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Second half of Bon Odori in Stockton is what they call “Bazaar”:

The second part of the Obon observance is the cultural festival to be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 28 and 29. It will feature performances throughout the day by community groups, including drumming by Stockton Bukkyo Taiko as well as dance and martial arts demonstrations. This takes place in the Social Hall along with a variety of Japanese crafts, displays and food.

Located in People’s Republic of California, fireworks are prohibited (on the grounds of greater public good, naturally — it’s a fire hazard). The government prohibits them at The 4th as well, but faces massive civil disobedience at that date.

AD2225 jumps on Shingu bandwagon

Friday, July 27th, 2007


I wouldn’t quite say I’ve been enjoying it immensely, but it’s been close.

Heh. I’m the last hold-out, it appears.

Stellviablogging ahoy

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

Due to certain circumstances (mostly Jeff’s C&C), I’ve been stelivablogging a lot receintly, more than the show deserved, in fact. Nonetheless, there’s more. Using the no-blogging breather I also marathoned the first 10 episodes, conveniently packaged on 3 discs. It was fun, but also I saw lots of errors and mistakes.

I’d like to contrast Stellvia with Azumanga on this. Azumanga’s animation is quite basic, albeit solid. In the same time, it’s meticulous in its quality throughout. It has virtually no sticking nails to rip the pants viewer sliding along (well, I know of two layout bugs which I found by myself without reading any FAQs).

In contrast, Stellvia has tons of geometry mistakes and layer cross-overs. It cheapens out in many places by omitting smaller drawings, such as uniform patches. One of the worst examples is smack in the middle of ep.1, when the captain of Fujiyama reaches to control something on his dashboard, and it’s not drawn at all – not a single button. Faces get distorted improperly a lot, too. When Rinna talks to her father in the stadium, his speach is noticeably out of sync with his mouth, because the animators did not bother to animate anything like a natural pattern of speech; his jaw simply moves up and down at regular intervals, so no voice artist would be able to salvage it. It’s all over the place. So, while the line and shade counts exceed that of Azumanga, I would be hard pressed to assign Stellvia a better score for animation.

So, I’m getting curious about Shingu now. Screenshots that I’ve seen so far were quite impressive, but it may be a special selection (like the lead picture for this entry).