July 27, 2013

Three Minutes of Combat IN TECHNICOLOR

Though we've mentioned before that it's being released as a series of movies, it bears repeating that Yamato 2199 being broadcast right now on TV in Japan. Despite the fact that it almost never shows up in season previews, this is, IMHO the best action show on right now. In fact, despite the rather anachronistic design of its titular spacecraft, Yamato 2199 is one of the better scifi shows of the last decade.

For those of you who watched Starblazers those many years ago, here is a brief promo clip of the battle at the rainbow nebula. For those poor deprived souls that didn't, this isn't terribly spoilerish, it's one of several battles our heroes fight, this one taking place in a remarkably dense, multicolored nebula.

Yamato 2199, is being aggressively marketed internationally. The English language dub is called Starblazers 2199, and will have at least some name changes (the ship is named Argo on the English version). Bang Zoom is doing the dub which is  heartening. They've done some excellent work in the past. Johnny Yong Bosch is reportedly playing Kodai/Wildstar.

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July 25, 2013

So is it Pronounced "Ruby"?

Episode 2 of RWBY is only about six minutes long but we do learn a couple of things.

Ruby's Scythe is named Crescent Rose....she made it herself. It seems that she's something of a geek-girl with regard to weapons.

"Vomit Boy" seems to be a decent enough fellow, but he's really not overcoming the ignominy of his opening scene. 

Today's physics lesson:

"...not only that, it collapses, so  if I get tired of carrying it after a while I can just fold it up"

"Um...but doesn't it still weigh the same?"
"Yeah....It does."

Pulling off Tex Averyisms in Poser seems to be a very hit or miss thing.

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July 23, 2013

Life Altering Hairstyles

Stella WAHSDC3 has been pleasant enough thus far. The other club members are all likeably eccentric. The problem has been main character who is SO damned insecure and introverted that by episode 3 it begins to grate. Yura has problems. She is terribly introverted, indecisive and afraid of her own shadow.

However, in this episode (#3) these issues stop just being a character trait and become a plot point.

It appears that our heroine has come to grips with her problem and is growing as a character.

And I find that cool.

As an aside, the actress doing Kirishima is knocking ot out of the park as far as conveying the oddness of the character most effectively.

UPDATE: Teh Banshee has a fine analysis of Yura's conundrum in the comments.

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July 22, 2013

So, You May Ask, "Where's the Post?"

Right here. It's a disquisition on the pros, cons and history of pneumatic postal systems scaled up to eleventy.

Now you, gentle reader, may wish to suggest that there is no such post here. To that I'm afraid my response must be...

Don't. You. Think. I KNOW THAT!?

 I was almost...almost done...but I pasted a url in the text so I highlighted it and hit backspace.
It's what your supposed to do right?  Blogging...b..basic word processing...imple isn't it?...and and then the screen jumped to the previous page.

A..and it was gone..all those words. ALL OF THEM!

They say that there's no devil...but there is...it came and ate my post RIGHT OUT OF HELL!!


Anyway, in lieu of any actual content,  here's a nice documentary on the making of Star Trek's The Doomsday Machine that I pilfered from Ace's sidebar.

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July 21, 2013

RWBY Episode 1

Over the course of the last several months, four computer animated shorts have been released, each focusing on an "eponymous" character from an upcoming animation series called RWBY.

The first two were superb and used color and music to great stylistic effect. The second was less stylish but had a good deal of action and a voice actress whose purr was husky enough to pull a dogsled. The third had a heroine who was not particularly likeable and its pacing was uneven, but it was technically impressive (rather too much so...it had a tendency to break You Tube) with very well imagined action sequences and a fine score. These trailers have generated much anticipation for the series...and now that series is here...

In contrast to the first two trailers, which had a very ephemeral, almost European atmosphere, the first episode has a more or less conventional Japanese Shonen comic feel to it.

It seems that "Red" from the first trailer is going to be our lead.

Ruby Rose is a student at a college that specializes in training monster hunters. She's a typical shonen heroine, idealistic, enthusiastic to the point of being a goofball, and a very adept at the utilization of her .50 caliber, bolt action, magazine fed, fully articulated, rocket assisted, collapsable scythe. Her immediate goal is to graduate college and do her graduate work at Beacon University, which is required to become a huntress. Huntsmen and Huntresses are the elite monster hunters of this rather anachronistic world.

How anachronistic is it you may ask? Well, for one thing, they presumably have monsters. Additionally, they have magic (which is facilitated by a McGuffin called "dust"), machine guns, cities that look like a cross between 1930's Chicago and Vienna, airships, a broken moon, advanced tablet computer devices and villains who wear derby hats....

Meet Roman Torchwick. He is a well known criminal who has decided to rob a dust, dry-goods, jewelry, magazine and music store. Unfortunately for him, Ruby happens to be loitering in the magazine section. While Torchwick relieves the owner of his dust, an ill conceived bit of initiative by one of Mr. Torchwicks henchmen makes Ms. Rose  aware of their shenanigans and fisticuffs ensue.  Things proceed to escalate rather quickly after that, to swordplay to gunfire and eventually all sorts of magical 'splodies. 

Mr. Torchwick has formidable resources at his disposal and (despite the intervention of a professional huntress on our heroines behalf) he makes good his escape.

Afterwards,  she is questioned by the huntress, handed off to the huntres's supervisor and we learn that Ruby Rose is not just a formidable fighter, she collects huntress/ hunter autographs, is hyperactive to the point of being something of a spaz and she can eat a pile of of chocolate chip cookies as big as her head.

"...and not a single cookie lived to tell the tale."

Upon establishing these important facts she is scolded,  given a unique opportunity, which she decides to take. This results in Ruby reuniting with her obnoxiously loud older sister as the episode ends...

 Oh dear God...Did that woman just say her name was...Gladys Goodwitch?" "Yeah sis...I'm afraid she did."
As an aside, there is some indication from the closing credits  that this will not be quite the female sentai team people were expecting.  There is a fairly large mixed gender cast and the fellow we currently know only as "Vomit Boy" features prominently.

Well, I liked it.

It's not the least bit original at this point, but it's visually interesting, seems to have a decent story and Ruby Rose is a thoroughly likeable character. The voice acting is above average. The pacing of this episode was excellent. I was surprised to find it was only 12 minute long. They provided enough exposition and character development for a full thirty minute pilot  in that time. The music, as can be expected from the trailers is superb. Someone named Jeff Williams delivers a fine BGM that complements the fight scenes choreography nicely. The new theme song is quite catchy too.

The computer art is odd and occasionally distracting, but it can be surprisingly expressive. It certainly lends itself to fluid motion.

The 12 minute webisodes air every Thursday at 7pm (5pm for those who subscribe).

This show is pretty neat...but it is the harbinger of something neater still

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July 17, 2013

Dowsing for Girls

Here we have 4 girls looking for a girl.
Now, being girls, they presumably know all about girls and how to find them, so it's with considerable interest that I note that in addition to he usual methods involving optical detection they have broken out the dowsing rods. I'd never considered dowsing as a means to meet the ladies....I also note that I'm single. Correlation does not indicate causation but this may warrant further study.

From episode 2 of the quirky and pleasant Stella Women's Academy, High School Division Class C3...which as a title is rather a mouthful.

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July 05, 2013

Twisting the Knife

Sony has released an informative How-To video walking prospective users through the involved process by which they share games on the new PS4.

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7 Letters, Selected and Arranged to Maximize Consumer Happiness

DRM Free!

...comic book publisher Image Comics announced at its Image Expo convention that it will now sell all of its digital comics as downloadable via its website for both desktop and mobile users, making it the first major U.S. publisher to offer DRM-free digital versions of comics. Readers can even choose the file format they prefer: PDFs, EPUBs, CBRs or CBZs.

There is more on this happy development here.

 "No it's true! When you buy E-versions of Image Comics you really really own them and can put them on your flash drive or computer or print them out and put them in a 3 ring binder to get autographed or read when the power goes out or make paper airplanes out of them...or anything!"

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57 seconds

...that will give you a completely erroneous idea of what sort of show Gargantia is.

It will also get you fired, 'cause it's TOTALLY not safe for work....and as for me? Well, I'm going to that special hell for linking to it.

Points though, to the young lady that edited it. She not only understands synchronization, but also the importance of brevity.

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