June 26, 2007

I'm Sensing....Bitterness Perhaps?


I've no idea who did this...but I'm not entirely sure it's actually a "fan" piece.

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June 25, 2007

Paprika

   Friday, I went up to DC, hooked up with Pulpjunkie, and hopped on the Metro to the E Street Theater to see Satoshi Kon's latest film.

I some ways, Paprika may actually be Satoshi Kon's weakest film.  

It is quite important to appreciate the context of that statement....as this is one of the best movies this year. This film is superbly disturbing and strangely inspiring. It is tightly paced and exactly the right length, a lesson many of todays filmmakers would do well to learn.

I highly recommend it, I also strongly suggest not blinking .

5  bricks!

 

 

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Oh Noes!

It's Machinegun Loli!

 

(Source of both art and .gif unknown)

Update: J Greely comes to the rescue in the comments. This look cute.

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June 17, 2007

VanDread




In the far future, Mankind has traveled across the stars from the Earth to boldly forge a new life on the unforgiving world of Taraak. But they soon learned that they were not alone! A vicious, territorial and predatory species from the nearby planet of Mejare ruthlessly attacked them in their new home. Now over a century later, this lonely outpost of Mankind steels itself to fend off a terrifying, incomprehensible enemy that seeks to loot their cities, and feast upon the livers of men.

The name of this  incomprehensibly alien race...WOMYN!!


more...

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Painting with Numbers

This is a repost from my old blog....primarily as a public service to protect people from making this same terrible terrible mistake....

While over at Pulp Junkie and Gorilla Daze, they astutely watched really cool (or at least creative) things this weekend, I am stuck with the awful knowledge that I just spent money on Grenadier.

Some time ago, I saw episode one which looked promising, I was told that this show was very much like Trigun, which I was very fond of, so when the econopack came available I picked it up.

Unfortunately, it is completely UNlike Trigun in every meaningful way...except in that the main character has a pistol. Although the first episode is promising, it is, regrettably, followed by episode 2 which, sadly, is followed by episode 3...this unwelcome trend continues 9 more times.


The story is disjointed, the pacing is bad and the animation (with the exception of gratuitous bosomy bouncing) is below even most '90s television norms.

The show is a cliche' buffet that seems to have been put together by brainstorming and taking elements from various shows that were popular at the time...
"guns...check"
"blonde heroine with same...check"
"ronin sidekick...check"
"cute kid sidekick...check"
"a way to realistically work rubber bunny suits with push-up-bras into a epidode concerned with alpine survival....no...but what the heck"

The main charachters are likeable but essentially cut-outs.

Rushana Tendou, the smiling gunfighter: her goal is to spread peace and love and turn people away from the ways of war...she travels from village to village smiling and living like a monk trying to defuse conflicts...but as her only real skill other than a winsome smile and an hourglass figure is an almost magical competence with her revolver...action abounds. She not just well proportioned, she is top-heavy almost to the point of diminishing returns. The shows only glimmer of imagination is turning this bit of fan service into the shows signature stock-footage moment...


..this delightfully silly speedloading technique...
This should've been the greates show evah!


Yajiro Kojima: Mark 1 Mod 1 ronin (wandering masterless Samurai). He hates gunfighters, considering them cowards, but he is impressed with Rushana's genuine chivalry and sincerity, and so joins her.

Mikani Kurenai: Mark 1 Mod 2 kid the sidekick her parents were your typical fudal era rubber balloon artisans (!!!) and were killed by a band of thugs. She has the skills of a master balloon craftsman and can fashion any sort of latex inflatable thing on short notice....but as there is no latex or plastic readily available one suspects that she's actually a mutant or something and is excreting the rubber...(I prefer to think of it as a latex summoning spell, that bothers me less)

This should have been a decent show especially with the screwball wackieness implied by the reload antics and kids bizarre skillset, but it plods along looking for a plot until suddenly our heroes find a price on their heads....put on them by Rushana's sensei...which then devolves into a stock meet-specialist-bounty-hunter/warrior-of-the-day cliche' for several eps....Then...suddenly...the villain is revealed......to be reason...

...no really. The big bad is some clown in 18th century European garb who explains that the heroines hippie feelgood "get in touch with your feelings"philosophy is no match for the "enlightenment of evil". So we have sentimental emotional fluff opposed to the nashty trixie concepts of the enlightenment.


...just wrong on so many levels.

How bad?
At one point a roving band of rapist thieves are defeated, but in the spirit of feel-goodery they are all given jobs in the brothel they were trying to seize/loot/pillage...so....ummm...everybody wins(?!!)

Even given different cultural mores in Japan, I can't get past that...it is just vile.
Additionally, the peeping Tom humor and fan service gets old quick and there's even a loathsome scene with an old man feeling up his granddaughter (which is supposed to be funny).

Finally, if you are in it for the guns, our heroines muzzle brake is on the bottom....meaning it would accentuate felt recoil....just stupid...this is a really minor point compared to the utter lack of focus....but damn.

The show makes an interesting contrast with Van-Dread, another show that cobbled together a series of cliches' and fan service to make a show. In that case despite the silliness of the premise, it was a very satisfying, action packed, superbly paced and even thoughtful show with really impressive character development.
Right Way...Wrong Way

This show is just painting by numbers....badly....no vision, no spark, no clue.

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Bleach

Yes this is a repost from the old blog on my initial thoughts on Bleach.

This series, like Van Dread, had hype around it that had been fairly off-putting, I'd gotten the impression that it was a Naruto clone and mainly a fight show...neither of which is my cup of tea.

In fact, it is a clever and engaging superhero show, which I did not really expect.

Ichigo Kurosaki would be a normal Japanese high-school student were it not for two things, he is of mixed race and has his late mothers blond hair...which served to get him beaten up throughout his childhood, but has contributed to his being extremely good at fisticuffs...oh and he sees dead people.Like the one behind him in the picture....
















 Yes Ichigo can see spirits, ghosts, and as he soon discovers other things that exist on the astral plane.

He lives with his 2 sisters and rather stressed out father who runs a small private medical practice. (Dad has not adjusted well to Moms death and although he is a good doctor, and basically decent sort, he is a holy terror of bizarre behavior around the house) Although a bit hotheaded, Ichigo is a remarkably decent fellow with a strong sense of ethics. In fact he is one of the more likable heroes of recent years.




Kurosaki Yuzu is one of his younger sisters.With her light colored hair and sunny demeanor, she seems to take after their late mother. She tries hard to fill in for Mom. She cooks, she cleans, and is generally domestic. She very much hopes someday to be able to see ghosts too....which she thinks would be the "coolest thing!"
Kurosaki Karin Yuzu's fraternal twin sister looks, and acts utterly different. She is fairly dour, in part because she CAN see ghosts....but she says is in denial about it...the whole thing seriously creeps her out. she wants to be normal...but thanks to circumstances, is basically a goth in spite of herself.





Kuchiki Rukia
A "shinigami" currently assigned to Japan (shinigami translates as Death God...but in the
English dub it is translated , perhaps wisely, as "soul reaper" ).

She is part of an astral order that deals with problems of the spirit realm. Specifically, she helps the spirits of the dead move onto the next level, (a place called the "soul society") and fights monsters ( "hollows" ) on the astral plane that feed upon the spirits of the dead....and occasionally the living.

Note that although the soul reapers exist in another dimension/plane or whatever...they do most of their work amongst us, but in spirit form...and thus are invisible to most people.

Rukia is extremely competent, professional, and dedicated.(Top of her class, all that).
She also claims to be very old and, at the beginning of the show, has the powers of a minor god. Although she does most of her work on earth in spirit form, she has the ability to interact with humans by channeling her spirit into a human looking body she keeps stashed for emergencies in her area of responsibility. (But what is the likelihood that she'd EVER have to do that? )
Rukia is really impressive and likable character. Brave, as well as practical, she is able to think on her feet and adapt to the most dangerous...and ignominious....situations.


Chad
A soft spoken giant on the rare occasions he chooses to speak at all, Chad is a classmate of Ichigo...and one of a handful of people Ichigo genuinely admires. He has unbelievable physical strength. However, out of
fear of killing someone (likely well founded...he can break concrete and bend steel) he never fights back...against humans. He is remarkably tough though, as well as idealistic, and physically brave to a fault. Chad chooses to speak so little, that he has a reputation for being a bit "slow". It is a reputation quite undeserved.



Other characters are revealed as the show progresses, but their explanation involves spoilers...



...such as this, which is simply the most awesomest bird EVER!






Of course explaining superhero origins is usually going to involve episode one spoilers...

...with that in mind...


more...

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June 13, 2007

Kewel!

A new Fallout game is coming!

This has been "coming" for 7 years or more, and I thought the whole project  was dead,  but thanks to Shamus I have something to look forward too in video games.

The first 2 Fallout games,  were among the best of the single player RPGs  of there time, and they still have considerable replay value. They had a neat system, interesting world and an optimism that transcended their post apocalyptic setting. They also had consequences....both good and bad for ones actions. Finally, they tended to not leave one feeling particularly "unclean".

 They certainly are keeping the same aesthetic. I'm not really concerned with the "real time vs. turn based" debate, both have perks. I just hope this keeps the same overall feel.






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June 10, 2007

Epilepsy Warning

Do not stand too close to the screen. Sit a good distance away from the monitor.
• Avoid playing if you are tired or have not had much sleep.
• Make sure that the room in which you are playing is well lit.
• Rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes per hour while playing a video game.

...or looking below the fold

more...

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Things to Look Forward To

...Well, in anime anyway.

I'm super-busy and still on active duty but I do note that for some reason there suddenly seem to be several shows competing for the very narrow demographic of...Ken....

Moonlight Mile:After scaling Mt. Everest, mountain climbing partners Saruwatari Gorou and "Lostman" Jack F. Woodbridge see the ISA Space Station, and each vows to make the trek into outerspace. When Helium 3, a new energy source, is discovered on the moon, NASA forms a new project named "Nexus" to harness that energy for use on earth. This is the story of the two and the paths they take to see their dream become a reality in the quest to harness the next-generation energy source. From ANN.

This show, despite its optimistic tag line, looks (from the credits) to be a quite intense seat of the pants thriller...in fact it looks rather grim (but  still cool)



Hell...near future space tale that has helium 3 mining....damn strait I'm gonna watch it.

Rocket Girls: A private space launch company testing a rocket in the Solomons is having spectacular failures with their newest rocket prototype. They need some manned launches or their investors will bail. They fall back on their previous (successful) model but due to its vastly lower thrust they must cut weight dramatically...Thus a young , very petite Japanese girl....while roaming the Solomon Islands in search of her long lost father is able to get a  part time job...astronaut.


This one looks really cute.

And on an utterly silly note....the secret history of space travel is revealed in...
Oh! Edo Rocket! : A group of fireworks artisans in the late Edo period of Japan,  are thrown into unemployment when the shogun bans fireworks
(this actually happened).
They continue to secretly build and test fireworks in defiance of the law
(this probably happened)
Tamaya Seikichi is determined to build a rocket that can go higher than any has before
(this could have happened)
....While on the lam from authorities he is a approached by a mysterious young lady of dubious hair color...who asks him and his gang of carpenters, carnies and a renegade mathematician to build her a rocket big enough to take her to the moon....
(Golly! I never knew about that!)

This certainly has potential...I mean it sounds like October Sky meets a Samurai Show .....with circus freaks and fireworks!

Thanks to Pulp Junkie and Don for the pointers!

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June 08, 2007

Whisky Tango Foxtrot

Somebody...

Explain this...

...please.

 

(via the mad commentors of Wonderduck)

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June 04, 2007

Things That Should not Suprise Me but Still Do....

Discuss...

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June 02, 2007

No Sleep Tonight!

So I run across this....




....I dunno who 'shopped it, but they've captured the very essence of nightmares!

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June 01, 2007

DANGER BRICKMUPPET READERS!!

Wonderduck has watched the dub of  Haruhi...so we don't have to.

 
I've seen 2 and a half episodes.                   

I will say that I think the decision to present the show in order (as opposed to broadcast order) is one of the more ill-conceived of the last several years.

Still  what I have seen is quite intriguing and  there is a subbed version!
                                 
Update: In a related Post at Chizumatic Stephen Den Beste has thoughts on bunny suits and marriage....no really.

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A Message for All Engineers

Yes this has been repeated often throughout cyberspace....but it does bear repeating
            
Latest UNSPEAKABLE cruelty in the 1st comment to this timely, insightful and socially relevant post.




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