August 30, 2013

An Actual Quote From a Friend Over Dinner

"I've started watching Attack on Titan again. Watching a giant bite the head off somebody, then pull them apart and eat them is so much less disturbing than watching that poor girl in Watamote humiliate herself. "

Full disclosure: Actual monsters in Attack on Titan are considerably less cute than this .gif implies.

In other news: We can now re-size .gifs in Minx. Wo0t!

All hail the lathe of the maker!

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August 29, 2013

Enough Current Events events currently suck.

Instead here are two of the Yuru Yuri girls and an air guitar.

If you are upset that they're awful quiet to be so lively, you can remedy that by clicking here.

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August 27, 2013

So...What's a TOWINC3 Anyway?

This polysyllabically titled show airs on Crunchyroll a week late, so despite my judicious attempt at avoiding spoilers I'd heard considerable chatter about this episode being just wretched and 'worse than the last one'.

Given that the last episode was about our poorly socialized protagonist getting tunnel vision and missing the point of her hobby, I fully expected this episode to be a bit of a downer with Yura's Ahab complex causing issues.

Boy howdy.

One of the overriding themes of this show is sportsmanship. This episode also focuses on the importance of not becoming what one despises and how easy it is to fall into that trap, especially if one feels strongly that one's cause is noble.

The other major point of the show is that the raison d'etre' of a hobby is to enjoy oneself. This is not to say that winning is not important, but the enjoyment is the goal. If lives are not at stake and what you are doing  is unpleasant and wearying without an enjoyable payoff...then one needs to stop doing it or start collecting a paycheck for it.

This is the antithesis of a shonen manga. Japanese society puts a VERY high value on giving your all and going all out whatever the cost. Shonen manga and sports manga tend to do the same with the former focusing on crushing the villain utterly.

This show, is about remembering to step back, breathe, and keep things in perspective...and how easy it is to fail to do that.

Yura is not an idiot, she's young and ignorant. She's learning, like we all do, as she goes and she's making mistakes. There is actual character development here. I'm still liking this show quite a bit though I think I may actually be the only one now.

So...for those of you who've been watching...any bets on whether or not she just flat out shaves her head this time?

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August 20, 2013

Not Quite a Combo Breaker but.... It's Time for PAINTBALL!

Well after dwelling on dark matters for a bit I was damned happy to see Tuesday roll around because that means StellaWALLOFTEXTc3 is finally up on Crunchyroll.

In this episode we learn that the KGB club is even more co-ed than we thought.

This despite the fact that one of their members today has chosen to be strapping and not trapping.

One of the points that this episode touches on is the importance of having something to fall back on in the event of unlikely contingencies.

"We are SO going to kick Oorai's ass this year!"
"And those witches too!"

Oh...there was one other thing...

This show continues to completely surprise me.

In addition to a rather unexpected  direction, this episode does develop on a couple of things we've seen previously.....
*Yura really is beginning to miss the plot...The point of paintball is to have fun, it is a leisure activity.
*Something BIG went down between Sonora and Haruna in the U.S.A. It's not at all clear WHAT but it seems to be developing into a major plot thread.

The series emphasis on sportsmanship is still very much in evidence. This particular episode touches slightly on the do's and don'ts of leadership as well.

I am really impressed. I have no idea where it is going but I'm increasingly confident I'm going to enjoy finding out.

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August 17, 2013

RWBY is Now on Crunchyroll

There's not much to add except that having watched it again, Crunchyroll can handle the load in the exact same way that that RoosterTeeth's server's can't. (I tried to show it to a friend last night and it was all out of synch). It stays in sych at high rez too.

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August 15, 2013

Well, it Looks Like Pyrrha Gives it a Thumbs Up

...but she would. She's in it. By the way, what DOES she see in that guy?

The latest installment of RWBY is only four minutes long. Well acted and nicely paced with even better music than previous episodes it...well it ends after four minutes which SUCKS cause I've gotta wait a whole WEEK to see what happens!

It's a cute show, plus it's always nice to see people who genuinely enjoy their work.

"Nailed it!"

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It Strikes Me

...that while this banner does make for admirable honesty on their part,  such a high visibility release of this information is potentially counterproductive from a marketing standpoint.

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August 13, 2013

What I Learned this Evening on Crunchyroll

It's the school festival episode of Stella [REDACTED] Club C Cubed and I learned all sorts of stuff today.

The survival club is out of money. They're going to be hard pressed to pay the entry fee to get into a much anticipated '24 hour tournament'. They decide to go for broke and try to raise enough money at the festival.

I learned a new Japanese word.
In Japan a commercial shooting stall with electric target retriever is called a "massine'.

It may SOUND like they're saying 'machine' but it's a brand new and distinct word meaning 'shooting stall with electric target retriever'. I know this because the subtitle-ers spell it that way. Every. Single. Time.

See? They learned something too.

I have serious doubts that 'learning' that has made me any wiser but I learned some other things as well. For those that have seen the episode, here's what I learned...

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August 10, 2013

Surprise Haiku

What I put my milk
and cereal in was a
strainer not a bowl


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August 09, 2013

12.5 Seconds

The ad for the last installment of Yamato 2199 is by orders of magnitude far the shortest of them all.

Fingers are crossed.

This has been a superb series. They've done 22 episodes thus far, with only one dud. They just need to not screw things up for these last 4 episodes.

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But Is It Art?

Art...indisputable art by Tomioka Jiro

I have a friend who does art. He used to be a professional animator and he's done a bit of small press work in comics. He's been doing art in various capacities for 30 odd years and has a wide range of interests.

He also haets himself some Miku Miku Dance.

I mean anything involving MMD or Poser will get under his skin and if applied for more than a few minutes will send him into a white hot rage rage. It's rather bizarre, its like his IQ drops 35 points and until the offending media is removed all he can say is "Duuhh..I hate dat stufff..." Now this is not a rational response and would seem to be a matter of personal preference and pig-headedness but he recently made an interesting argument when I pointed out that he'd seemed to like The Incredibles.

Well he does like Pixar films...mostly. His argument is that the MMD videos and such aren't actually art because unlike the big studio productions they're just using someone else's creativity.  The person doing an MMD video on YouTube in his eyes isn't doing much more than posting a paint by numbers painting and calling it his. The programer has done all the art.

Now, as it happens, I'm tinkering with MMD right now, but I'm not making much progress because, I'm not artistically inclined and doing that on a Mac is clunky. With MMD one is manipulating these wire frame models and even at the most basic level choosing ones choreography. However the facial expressions in particular ARE all built into the program and were put there by the programers as are (I'm told) some basic movements). It's my understanding though, that MMD can be used to produce things like this....

I'm unsure of the provenance of these .gifs (which I nicked from 4-Chan) except that they seem to be from some Touhou fanfic. I understand that one can download Touhou "skins" for MMD wireframes now (fans made those available some years ago) However, even if the creators of this did use off the shelf " paper dolls" for their character designs there is the matter of the choreography and the subtitles which imply writing a script. Of course this is Touhou so it's fanfic anyway. However the potential seems to be there and is certainly present in the professional versions of Poser to apply ones own skins to the products frames. Such additions would require artistic ability (and being 3d would be akin to rendering a sculpture), but the objection of my friend is that those using this medium are using someone else's art.

My feeling is that this is akin to using Legos or perhaps a paintbrush. I'm of the opinion that even MMD can teach aspiring animators about computer animation, choreography and editing, which in the computer age are quite different skills from what they used to be. However, I don't do art, my figure drawing makes Randall Munro* look like Da Vinci so this is most definitely a layman's perspective. I'm really not sure how much ones brush needs to stray outside the numbers before ones effort becomes art.

I'm pretty sure that this piece done with Poser qualifies though

...but at what point on the spectrum between that piece of magic and simply having Lady Hatsune make a leek face it stops being analogous to stickers on ones Trapper Keeper...well I'm not qualified to answer that.

*Of course his humor certainly IS art.

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August 05, 2013

A Gripe

As I post this, it's a bit more than an hour before episode 5 of Stella-Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch airs on Crunchyroll. I note this is almost a WEEK after most all the cool kids  have seen it.

I've been judiciously avoiding spoilers, but here's not much point in blogging this one.

UPDATE: OK. For those of you who've already seen this.....

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August 01, 2013

"Oh my God. You Really Exploded ?!"

While still not up to the level of its premiere, episode 3 of RWBY has recovered quite a bit from # 2, though slapstick visual 'cheats' don't work as well in this medium.

This is definitely a cliche' buffet and it has some technical issues, but it's amusing me. This episode was all dialog and the voice work held its own and remained pretty engaging.

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Steven Den Beste

His blog brings all the boys to his yard.
Of course having put it in those terms...I'd best get off his lawn before he comes at me with a Chen-saw.

Twin Tailed Touhou-ism is by Omikoshi2

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