Archive for May, 2008

Druaga 09

Friday, May 30th, 2008

The 09 was an exposition episode, full of flashbacks and informational dialog. Young Ahmey was such a cutie pie.

Speaking of whom, looks like Ubu was only half-right. Ahmey was in the Uruk army and was aquainted with Kelb, but she retired three years ago. It doesn’t look like she’s in Gil’s Secret Service currently. She does not care for Kaaya’s well-beeing enough, and obviously has her own agenda in the climbing business. At a guess, her plans are actually hazy, but in general she plans to summon Owen’s spirit or something silly like that.

Fansub dorama

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Apparently, a washed-up hack of a translator is trying to gain views on his Youtube video by pumping up a dorama. Icy is ripping him a new one at length, while Hinano takes the other side (“ex-fansubber”, remember). Do I even have to link to this?

Grrl Power

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Grrl Power left me confused somewhat. It’s supposed to be crap, but I liked many elements (especially backgrounds were fabulous), and 70% of the story. The ending was a bit of a letdown. I wanted to compare it to ef, which suffered a lapse of storytelling at the end too. But ef wasn’t preachy at all, and that made it easier to swallow.

So, I think, for a self-made OVA, Grrl Power was very good, especially that its quality never lapsed despite obviously low budget (with the exception of the core story, perhaps).

Liked: Mostly
Rewatch: Probably not

Hinano on escapism

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Hinano comes very close to declaring a burnout and adds a few general points, which caught my attention:

Perhaps once you get older and there are bigger things to worry about (like your apartment rent and the economy instead of what someone wrote on your myspace page), you start to realize you need to face problems rather than run away from them. […] I hope that maybe more people will start to see anime as a hobby and not a means of escapism simply for the reason that when we all get together at places like anime conventions – we can enjoy it together as a hobby – rather than as a release of all those pent up feelings of wanting to escape from reality.

This can be argued in a few ways. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in On Fairy Stories:

I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which “Escape” is now so often used: a tone for which the uses of the word outside literary criticism give no warrant at all.

You don’t have to agree with the good Professor. He was, after all, an technology-hating luddite. But he knew his field well; the article is recommended for everyone who wants to blog escapism.

A simpler take came from Badger in comments:

I’m not sure if I’m a good example here because most people I know (in the ‘chat online with’ sense, rather than hang out with IRL) are considerably younger than me – you guys all seem to be in college when I’ve graduated, tried to get a decent job and have had to come to terms with, y’know, real life.

Basically, when I get home knackered and fed up every evening, kicking back with an episode or two while eating my dinner and then checking my feedreader is the perfect way to unwind. I’ve yet to find work that’s mentally challenging – after the grind of uni it felt weird to not need my brain any more… reading and writing blog posts kinda channeled that.

My job is quite challenging sometimes, at least for my miniscule mental capacity. Right now I’m mulling a “simple” 3-step plan to fix oops on rmmod of HCDs, which goes, approximately:

  1. Unlinks have to refcount buses exactly like submissions.
  2. Module removal has to observe the refcount and provide 2-stage disconnect with poisoning.
  3. Code is not refcounted, but follows buses. Method switching is not required, but may help catch misuse.

As you can see, it’s a little vague, and refuses to gel completely, so I’m animeblogging instead of working. Sometimes sieging these problems works better than storming.

This is not to say that Badger is wrong, just that there’s no contradiction between challenging jobs and anime. What he’s doing is exactly what Tolkien wrote about (among other things). I, too, am quite secure in my self-esteem to consider my anime habits to be tolkienistic escapism in public. If doing so I refuse to comply with Hinano’s desires, too bad.

Coburn’s unhaikus

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Seen at Claiming Ground:


a young girls tale,
no you are not supposed to
be masturbating


Japan’s parliament permits spy and comm satellites

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Prompted by RIUVA, I found an article and Yomiuri:

The new law emphasizes the development and utilization of space, based on the U.N. Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits the deployment of nuclear and other arms in space, as well as on the defense-only principles of the Constitution.

The Outer Space Treaty (OST) is a great example how enemies of America abuse international treaties. As documented, for instance, in Oberg’s piece at TSR, Soviets negotiated in bad faith and did in fact deploy space weapons. The biggest of Soviet projects was Polyus, which Oberg does not mention, because it was lost in a launch malfunction [*]. Polyus was nothing less than a huge orbital laser worthy of Gundam. Take that, America. Still think the OST was worth the paper on which it was written?

Now it is Japan’s turn to face the reality of dictatorships (such as China) flouting treaties. Good luck with your defenceless spysats.

[*] For packaging considerations, Polyus was attached to its booster upside-down. Thus, it should have righted itself before firing its engines for a circularization burn, but failed to do so. The final burn was performed in the opposite direction and the whole battle station crashed into the Pacific.

On the wrong coast

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Omo reports from Kotono Mitsuishi’s panel. This is life.

When I started going to anime conventions, I found panels deadly boring and spent all my time in video rooms, making extensive notes. But over time I turned around and came to realize that the key is to hit the 10% of the Sturgeon’s law. I think it happened when I went to Yoko Ishida’s panel at AX.

Also, a panel with Rie Tanaka would be awesome too. A man should dream big.

Pretear… begins?

Monday, May 26th, 2008

My first impression is about the same as from Princess Tutu: Pretear is nice and everything, but it’s not for me. I can hear howls of outrage already, but the they misguided: I realize that Tutu is a much stronger show. I’m only discussing the decision-making process here.

Yoko Ishida sings the OP. It’s… weird. I’m used to hearing it without the video.

Gattai in a shoujo show. Now I’ve seen everything.

This is called “kendama”. Interesting.

I only wish I had written down the word for “old Japanese ballads”.

This is a man (voiced by a man).

UPDATE: Bateszi reminded me that the staff of Pretear went on to make Princess Tutu. How ironic that I linked them without knowing it. He also calls Pretear a “surprisingly good magical girl series”, which we just have to forgive him. I firmly place it into “unsurprisingly bad” category.

Dai-Guard notebook

Monday, May 26th, 2008

I think I like this show more than it deserves, but there’s no accounting for love.

Dai-Guard’s animation varies a lot, and so produces some pretty stunning examples. I am just scared to think how many blue and pink lines were drawn for the above. And it’s not a still shot either: you can see the flag flopping, Chiaki and Fuuka’s faces changing as they regard the monster. They just don’t do it like this anymore.

To compliment the above, here’s the image with worst layering errors I’ve seen across any anime. Macross F places one panty pole improperly and fans flood the forums. If had anything like this in it, heads would roll. By the way, look at the confining lines of the document in the lower left. The same document cuts into the pillar from the other side. The layers are not just poorly made, but also offset.

I’ve seen a show just recently which specifically touched upon drunks moving their ties to their heads (I think it migh’ve been Lucky Star). Although supposedly a widespread practice, here’s the only other example I have. BTW, I’m not quite sure why they continue to party in the hangar, since the alert was lifted.

This is a strange rendition of -sai (ー才). Normally, age is written with “ー歳”, and the above is seen as a part of “tensai”, etc.

One strange thing that struck me in Dai-Guard’s military was how much leeway middle and senior officers had in it. For crying out loud, Busujima is only a major (which makes Shirota a captain, I guess). In late 80s USSR, the lowest the decision to use nukes moved was a 1-star general, and that with a prior authorization. But when Okouchi ordered the OE strike, he sure didn’t look like a general to me. In the picture above he’s together with Nishijima, who was still a colonel 15 years down the road.

This rendition of Yurikamome is rather faithful, and tingled my recognition, except they used stock railroad sounds to come with it. But Yurikamome makes different sounds because it rides rubber tires. Also, Yurikamome is significantly more expensive than Rinkai line. So, why does Akagi commute by it?

Druaga 08

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Episode 08 of Tower of Druaga had all marks of a filler, except it wasn’t. Also, Kaaya shows that she can carry a hidden agenda.

Does this look familiar?

I’ve seen this ritual in Nadeshiko:

There, it was revealed that they drank a fruit-flavoured milk drink. Here, Coopa reveals the way to open it, using a special tool:

Since I’m not a woman, this information is utterly useless for me, but I hope a girl weaboo somewhere is reading this and making notes.

BTW, I figured out how to drink ramune without ouside help.

And since we’re on topic, Ubu wrote in comments: “I am near certain that Kaya is his [Gil’s] daughter and princess, and Ahmey is an imperial guard detailed to help her.” I’m really dense, so I thought that Ahmey just clung to Kaaya randomly. But after today’s episode it’s clear that Kaaya knows what she’s doing, so Ubu’s suggestion becomes near certain indeed.

UPDATE 2008/05/28: Jason is strangely slow with an update, but go there to see more screencaps and spoilers.