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Kris
16 August 2011 @ 01:01 pm
One game I really liked playing as a kid was Descent. Descent was a first person shooter/flight simulator hybrid released in 1995 by Parallax Software. The plot was fairly simple to follow. In the game you played a mercenary, hired by the Post Terran Mining Operation to kill off all of the Robots in their mine which were infected by a virus that made them rebel. Called the "Material Defender," you were go into the mine while picking up various weapons and shields and the like, kill each robot encountered until at last you reached the generator, which was also bent on killing you. Then at last, the whole mine was destroyed while you escaped the carnage through a conveniently placed exit. 


The reason we got the game in the first place was because Dad was in the mood to shoot and kill things on a computer. He got the Wolfenstein 3D demo disk and loved the game. We all loved the game. I played it even though it made me dizzy (a problem that's kept me from playing fps even to this day). But that guy's face in the bottom of the page was so funny. Besides, what's better than killing Nazis? However, my mother was horrified. Look at all that blood! Look at all that violence! So, father was forced to find other means to quell his hunter/warrior instinct.

Then entered Descent. I remember the day we got it too. We were at a shop that sold computer stuff, and there were several games in a bin. One of those games was encased in an attractive dual-colored box, which had a shine to it, stamped with a blue sphere in the center that was covered in lighting. It was all very inspiring and dramatic. The best part about it was the title, which was typeset in big, bold, white font a cross the top.

DESCENT. 

It made one wonder, descend into what, into where? What would we find once we descended? What mysteries would be discovered? Was it into a hole? Into a deep cavern? 

Dad read the description in the back of the game and discovered that it was all about hunting robots. Mom approved! So off it went home to be installed. It ran on DOS. Yes, it's that old. While all the kids watched (back then my younger brother was about eight. I'm sure it changed his life forever), dad broke it in and played the first level. It must have been funny to observe as we all tilted our head forward and back, mirroring the ship's moments as he navigated it through the 3D environment.

From then on, it ended up being a family staple. I played it for hours; dad played it for hours. Sometimes the little brother would play for hours too, after he got tired of just watching. Even my sister, who didn't play it, would watch. Soon, all the robots had pet names: the roach, the scrapper, the Red Kahuna, the Big Kahuna, the Kahuna King- lots of Kahunas.

Besides the nostalgia, the game itself was excellent. The environments were clean, but not too bad for their time and the maps were large and expansive without being confusing. It was easy for me to get lost, but I've gotten lost in every game I've every played, so it almost doesn't count. The upgrades and challenges were layered on well. The game didn't allow you to rest on your laurels, but neither did it rush you.

I also liked how the levels were set in different planets or moons. I believe the first level was in our moon, with the second level being in Mars and so on. Since I would never travel to those locations, being there in a game and exploring them from within sparked my imagination.

The music was also pretty cool. I consider it my introduction to aggressive electronic music.

Descent II was also fun with a cute guide bot to help you out and lead the way, but overall, I've always preferred the first one.

This is a video of someone playing the first level of the first game. Watching it now, I can't believe I forgot that part of it involved rescuing captives.
 


What a great game from a by-gone era. It's rather underrated nowadays, almost forgotten. Despite it's rather obscure state, it stands as one of the best classic games from when the PC was gaming king. 
 
 
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
Kris
02 July 2011 @ 10:37 pm

One of the games that I really miss playing is SimCity. I’m not talking about SimCity 3000 or any of the new fangled additions to the franchise, which are all great, I’m sure. NO. I’m talking about the second game of the series, SimCity 2000, released in 1994 and one of the first games I ever truly enjoyed.  

The whole game was genius, beginning with the introduction, which has to be one of the best intro middies in the history of intro middies. But the actual game play, simple and addictive as it was, was what actually kept my butt on the chair for hours.

Everything was easy enough to do, from laying down roads and electricity, to selecting zones. There were a lot little things that presented satisfaction, from watching the plumbing connect and become blue with rushing water, to filling out random empty squares with small parks and windmills. 

Another appeal to the game was the godlike powers it gave you. Not happy with the road? Well, I’ll just erase it.  Tired of the complaining about “new roads” and “fire stations” from people who don’t appreciate the time and effort you took to make the city (and refuse to pay taxes)? Well, there is always a tornado or two that can take care of that.

Some of the more frustrating aspects of the game had to do with trying to lay down roads or electric wires up/down awkward terrain. That is when I began terraforming before even starting a new city, and it became a passion. I made dozens of different terrains, from rocky mountains, to level green pastures, and even a series of islands in the middle of the sea. All of these held a different city with a unique appeal. But my favorite cities were always the ones with busy ports and lots of water for beaches.

As the game progressed, I began to care about my pixilated people. I did! Even though most of the time they were simply in their blue cars, moving from place to place like ants, ignorant to the fact that their all-seeing major was watching over them. I cared for each and every need like they were each my own little child.

 

Nah.

 

The fact is that making a city is easy, but once the city is made, trying to keep it profitable is something else.  Inevitably, my cities would descend into chaos, riots, and protests before I finally got tired of the whole endeavor and blew it away with several acts of god.

But that was the fun part. It was the destructive element after everything was created. I loved it. I loved the whole process. I loved being able to create something so complex and beautiful and the have it crushed and burned at a whim. It gave me a god-complex, but only while playing the game. :cough:

Watching the city go, growing and moving on its own was one of the best part of the games. After all that winding and preparation, it breathed a life of its own, evolving and mutating into something that was never quite like any other city I had seen before. It was magical in its own way, although I could sometimes tell when I city would turn into a dud. Those cities didn’t even get a respectable, fiery end. No, they were simply erased from existence, into the void of unsaved cities, never to be seen or heard from again.

SimCity 2000 and SimCity 3000 were the only two games of the franchise that I played. By the time SimCity 4 came out, I was in college and couldn’t afford it.  All other SimCity games that have come out since then have gotten lack-luster reviews, so I’ve stayed away. After all, there is no need to go out and soil something good. At any rate, out of the two, I preferred SimCity 2000 and miss playing it to this day.  

 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
 
 
Kris
17 May 2011 @ 08:57 pm
One of my favorite types of entertainment, regardless of media falls under the "manly" category.

I like manly music.

I like manly tvshows.

And I really like manly manga.

I like the manly archetype so much, that I devoted a huge essay just exploring the idea of the ultimate manly man in manga, "The Ultimate Badass."

One of my catchphrases is "I like manly men who do manly things" (addendum: particularly if they're vikings). If someone writes a story about a giant guy who smashes things, I'll think it's cool even if the main character is an ass. Manliness even saves bad movies, like Avatar. Who cared about the blue people and their stupid planet? I was too enthralled by how awesomely manly the villain and hero both were to feel cheated over what was essentially Dances with Wolves in Space.

Hero: That's the biggest bird you can tame? Heck yeah, I'll jump on that thing and subdue it with my magic ponytail tentacles.
Villain: The atmosphere is poison? I don't care! I'll just crash through this window and get some shots in while I can. He's getting away, damn it! 

I can't help it, particularly if there is method to the madness. Granted, I don't think manliness is exclusively embodied in hulking killing machines. After all, Samurai are cool and manly but they're also (generally portrayed as) small and lean. But that's beside the point. 

The point is that I like manly media because it is simply more entertaining. Watching an hour-long snooze fest (:Cough:Desperate Housewives :Cough:) on the lives of four yapping, aging, hyenas will put me to sleep in a minute flat. But shows with ridiculous body counts will wake me from the deepest slumber.

So imagine my delight when my husband (who is "perky manly" with a hint of insanity), showed me a very funny web comic whose title is eerily reflective of my oft-said phrase:

Manly Guys Doing Manly Things
.

I liked it as much as he thought I would.

It's about the hilarious misadventures of manly video game characters who, after having finished their quests, are now stuck here on the "other side," and must now learn the ins and outs of "normal life." The guy who aids in this adjustment is simply named "Commander Badass," an apt title for someone that heads a temp agency for these poor misfits. It's to help them adjust - you see.

As you'd expect, chaos and hilarity ensues.

What else is there to say? It's a great web comic and I highly recommend it.

~OP
 
 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
Kris
At any rate, about the last mission on ME2.

Because Miranda wasn't loyal, I didn't choose her for my Fire team leader either time. I also separated her and Jack during the mission. I thought that in real life, their mutual antipathy would compromise the mission on the field. I knew that it was a bad idea as soon a Jack bitched over Miranda being a group leader.

As for the hacker, I chose Tali. I know most people chose Legion, because he seems like the logical choice. But really, he wasn't loyal so I knew that would kill him. I chose Tali over Legion in their little argument because, well, Tali was my girlfriend. I wasn't about to lose her loyalty. I also figured that being my girlfriend, the game wouldn't let her die. I was right. She was a great hacker btw. Other than winning about the vents getting hot, which I can understand, choosing her was good decision. From what I've read, Legion ends up with a blown up circuit.

As for the bionic who protected me through the corridor full of nasty bugs, I chose the Justicar. I know a lot of people chose Jack, which I found strange. The Justicar is 100s of years old, is probably the most powerful bionic of the group and she volunteered for the job. I don't know if this has anything to do with loyalty points or not, but from what I've read, Jack buckles and falls at the end of the corridor, causing one of the guys to die (usually Garrus, who should be leading the other team). The Justicar did fine and managed to pull off a wave of bionic energy at the very last second which saves everyone in my group.

For my last team, the ones who actually take down the Reaper, I chose Miranda (because I worked well with her) and Mordin, the Salarian Scientist. I know! Who else chose him? I can't think of a single person I've read who chose him a part of the team to take down that thing. And at first glance, it would seem like a silly decision. After all, Mordin's attack don't pack a lot of punch, but he's a smart fighter. I've noticed that some of my team-members need more babysitting while on missions than others. A few, like Jack, seem to like running off to the front of the pack in the middle of a fire-fight and get themselves killed. Not so with Mordin. He's a methodical mid-range guy who has been programed not to run out and get shot at first opportunity. Although Miranda seems to die too much for my personal satisfaction, so my female Shepard doesn't pick her as much as as John.

Overall, the end was fairly easy and the whole thing a success. I got rid off two team-members I didn't quite like too much, although I did feel a twinge of sadness when Miranda died. It was to be expected. Maybe if I had picked someone else to join me, like say, Jacob, she would have survived under Garrus' expert leadership.

As for the Reaper technology, my John Shepard was too much of a good guy to save it. He told the Illusive man to shove it and blew up the thing.

Granted, when I do this again, it's going to be different. Maybe I'll pick an off-the-wall member to be my hacker, like say, Katsumi or Mordin. Who knows.

I do know that my Jane Shepard is nasty, so she'll keep the Reaper tech.

Anyway, the game was fun.

Mushi-Shi

Is old, I know. But I just finished it. That's what I get for doing things the legal way instead of watching fan-subs on the internet. Truth be told, the older I get, the less I like ripping off people like that. The thing is, these people work like dogs to produce a product. They should be compensated. I don't have the money to pay $50 a series, so I just watch them on Netflix. Problem solved.

Of course, this means that everything everyone's watched, I have just now started watching. And everything that everyone's going to watch, is not going to be on my list for a couple of years. But, I can live with that. It's not like I know many Otaku around here anyway. The fact is that I'm rather lonely in this area.

At any rate, Mushi-shi is one of the best series I've seen in a long time. I'm not going to call this "mature" or "adult," because whenever someone throws that word around, it usually involves gore, nudity, and pr0n. This has none of that, but this series is definitely for grown ups. I can't think of very many children or teenagers who would be too involved in this series without going to sleep. Most of the episodes don't have any real action to speak of, and are filled with all sorts of symbolism that would be lost to most empty-vessels that pass as humans these days.

It's a goo series. I'm go bored to continue.
Besides, I'm watching Black Jack.

~OP

 
 
Current Location: home
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
 
 
Kris
I wanted to write something about character types in comic, male ensembles. I really did. I had it all planned out and everything. Maybe I will in the future, but for now, my plans have been derailed by a little thing called "pregnancy," so you can understand why I'm a little distracted.

I don't want to bore anyone with the particulars. After all, having a baby is nothing remarkable. It happens every day, all over the world. However mundane, this task means having to undertake a myriad of other endeavors, most of which I have no interest in partaking. Yes, the baby room will be made, but no, I I'm not going to decorate it too elaborately, paint it if it has a perfectly good coat of paint on it, or trim it with cute wall paper. And for heaven's sakes, I know I have to make a registry. And the pile of things I need seems overwhelming. Somehow, the "girlfriend's guide" books didn't work as advertised.

However one thing I have been doing because of this predicament is binging. Most women gobble up ice cream with sardine juice or whatever, but I'm taking this opportunity to watch as many anime and finish as many video games as I can. I figure that I won't have that luxury for a while after the baby arrives.

The one game I've finished so far is Mass Effect 2, which was awesome. Yes, I know that it was just one mission after another with little exploratory elements. Yes, I know that the script wasn't all that great. But hey, at least I never got lost! And that is something that happens to me in every "open ended" rpg I've ever played.

At any rate, I finished the guy file first. Played him pretty evenly at first, not making him one character extreme or the other. It cost me. By the time I decided to just make him paragon, I could never win back the loyalty of several of my crew (one who died at the end). It also cost me Zaeed, whose loyalty quest involves leaving people to their death in order to catch a guy. My Shephard was too good a man to do that. Personal vendettas are secondary to people's lives, he thought. Well, Zaeed didn't think so and died at the end too.

One of the reasons I didn't finish this game is the end made me nervous. The truth is, I had a really hard time with all the quests involving the Collectors. Saving the colony,  exploring the Reaper ship, and acquiring the IFF had segments I restarted about five times before I got it right. So you could understand my trepidation. Did I want to go in there, guns-a-blazin' while sucking? NO. 

Unfortunately, I didn't know that getting the Reaper IFF would cost me my crew, and that waiting for a while before going through the portal would turn them into Reaper Soup. So, no cute secretary for me. Although I did manage to save the cook and the old batty doctor.

Point is, do all the loyalty quests and side missions first before continuing the story line.

At any rate, the end was a walk in the park for me. I think it had to do with how I picked my team leads and who did what.

For the "Fire team," I chose Garrus. He was a grizzled old warrior whose loyalty I earned and who had plenty of experienced leading teams.  Not only did he live, but even team-members who weren't exactly loyal to me managed to live as well. I read in some MS forums that some chose Grunt, as a team leader, and that he died. Well, yeah, that's a bad move. Grunt is violent, impulsive, and most importantly of all, a baby!

At any rate, I didn't choose Miranda because she wasn't loyal due to me siding with Jack during their silly fight. I figured, if I'm going to make anyone mad, it won't the psycho who destroys space stations for fun.

...time to clean before work.

To continue in pt. 2
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
Kris
One of the reasons that I was first interested in Japanese comic art and story telling was the fact that unlike its American counterpart, they didn't last forever. I knew that one day, their tale would end and I would get the satisfaction of witnessing it. But lately, I've gotten bored of a lot of manga/anime out there. Not only is it because the stories don't seem to end, but because their tone isn't as sharp as it once was. They seem to meander into small rabbit trails and repetition.

Others have lost my interest simply because of the subject matter.

This list may contain some surprises, as they are well-known and beloved in the fandom.
I expect flames.

Also, this isn't in order of perceived quality, but order of actual interest on my part.

Fist of the North Star10. Fist of the North Star - I began this series with high hopes. I generally like stories about solitary fighters who rescue their lady and  must fight hordes of mooks and their bosses to save the day. But in this particular case, it's just too dated.

Although I'm usually not to picky about repetitive action and old animation, the problem with this series is that it's got too much of that to ignore. I know their budget was tight, so I don't fault them for it. I know if I were a contemporary of the anime, I would have thought it amazing.

But seriously, he's got to rip up his shirt every time he gets pissed? 

Besides, am I the only one who thinks that world is too crapsack to be viable? How is it that so many men have survived the apocalypse in order to fill all those mook ranks? (Usually men die in far greater numbers due in conflicts and war due to fighting and the fact that they're always target #1).

I like fantasy/sci-fi worlds to be logically consistent within the bounds of their reality. Which leads me to...

 
 Letter Bee 9. Letter Bee - For those who don't know, this series is about a young boy who becomes a mailman in order to follow in his hero's footsteps. But once there, he discovers that his hero has disappeared.

In their world, there is no night or day, only a constant twilight, which is created by an artificial light that hangs over the main district. There are three districts:  the further one is from the main district, the dimmer the light and the poorer the individual. Each district is divided up into gates, and the path between cities is fraught with giant, dangerous creatures which ravage the "heart." 

I have to say this about that series, the artwork is beautiful. In fact, the artwork was what led me to read, then watch, it in the first place. But then, one day, something really bugged me and consequently, ruined the whole series for me: How is it that people can people grow enough food to survive? 

It's a simple question, but an important one. Without light, there is no photosynthesis. This means there are no plants. I know that the series shows flowers and plants growing in it and all, but it doesn't explain how such a large population can survive in a land of twilight and barren wasteland. There aren't enough grasslands to sustain a large ranches for meats and milk; there isn't enough light to grow enough vegetables for cities; finally, the land is barren rock. This reminds me of a dust-bowl. It takes more that soil for plants to grow. What is needed is rich top soil. With the wind constantly blowing, with few trees of any sort to stop the erosion of the top soil (or cut the wind), and without any real light, life shouldn't be able to flourish.

Also, the story began to drag.

 
 Shamo 8. Shamo - The tale of an unrepentant matricidal and patricidal child who trains up to be a martial artist after a brutal stint in juvie.

Throughout the manga, we're inundated by his lack of empathy for others, his total lack of remorse or restraint in his actions, and his inability to grow as an individual.

I think I lost interest in this manga after his trip to China. After months of training, not only does it seems he's increased in physical strength but he also matures. 

At the end of the arc, his mentor and the mentor's granddaughter die tragically, triggering a rare, but genuine, show of feeling from the main character. But after he leaves, he goes back to the exact same lifestyle. As frustrating as that was, it is at least a bit realistic. Worse still, his training didn't do anything. He ends the training weaker than he was before he even began!

This triggered another set of training arcs for some competition or other. Dear authors, if you're going to have me read through a long training arc, please make the training arc worth my while. Otherwise, I don't care.

The author wasted my time, and the main character was a disgusting individual. It was enough for me to drop it.
 
 Bleach 7. Bleach - Never has so little been done with so many panels! Toss in bland characters and a boring gary-sue antagonist and you've got yourself an overrated manga.

Also, as a Spanish speaker, I find the Gratuitous Spanish rather hilarious and out of place.

Yes the character designs are cool, but the story development was too snail-paced to grab my attention.

I was disappointed it didn't end with the defeat of Aizen. It should have ended, but nooooo, Kubo just had to trudge along, while promising to inflict us with it for "the next ten years." 
 
  6. Saiunkoku Monogatari - I think the type of female character that I hate the most is the mary-sue that inexplicably is beloved of everyone around her and by-golly-gee, gets their undying loyalty through her gumption and unwavering whatever. Oh, and did I mention that a harem of beautiful men are in love with her, including several bad guys, most of her army of willing, servile bodyguards and servants, and even some government officials - including the king? 

It's enough to make me sick.

And she's so spunky and smart and determined, she doesn't seem to notice that all the guys are fawning over her or how beautiful she is. 

Excuse me while I puke.
 The One 5. The One - This one isn't going to be a very well known title, so I'll explain. It's not even Japanese, it's a Taiwanese manhua (Chinese comic).

The story is about a girl who decides to follow in her mother's footsteps and take up modeling, while falling in love with a man who happens to be the twin brother of a famous male model. These guys are half Swedish and half Chinese.

The problem begins when we are introduced to the Swedish side of the family. Now, I'm not Swede, so I can't speak for them, but what little I know of Swedish culture and way of life made the author's depiction of them rather insulting. There isn't one redeeming Swede in the entire manga. The Swedish aristocracy is seen as having immense power (too much in these modern times, imo), and the children are expected to behave in a slavish way toward their parents. His father routinely prostitutes one of his boys to perverted old Swedish men for money and business favors.

Hello...this Sweden, one of the most liberal countries in the World. What is this, the Renaissance?  (What? The Middle Ages weren't has bad as people think ;p).

Is this a common occurrence in Sweden? 
At any rate, how would Nicky Lee, the author, feel if I were to write a comic book which portrayed all Taiwanese as pedophile sex fiends. She'd be pissed, wouldn't she? So she gets a great big fail from me for pissing on someone else's culture and not doing her research.
 D.Gray Man 4. D.Gray Man - This one was very interesting in the beginning, but it's gone on so much hiatus, I can't even pretend to be interested any more.

The tragic part was the fact that it really isn't the author's fault. First she got sick, then she broke her arm, then there was some personal matter or other which changed the serialization from a weekly manga in Shonen Jump to a monthly publication in Jump Square.

With so few updates, and an increasingly unfocused story, I stopped caring.

Also the aesthetics changed from a Norton-esque gothic to a generic sort of fantasy shonen look, much to its detriment, in my opinion.
 Gantz 3. Gantz - Don't pay attention to the fact that this is one of the most racist and xenophobic diatribes you will ever have the pleasure of reading, just look at the boobs! 
 One Piece 2. One Piece - What? How dare I! This is the greatest manga, evah! Oda is GoD! You are stupid and have bad taste blah blah blah.

I didn't say this list didn't have good anime/manga, I just stated that this is stuff I've lost interest in for some reason or other. And I have to say, quite honestly, that I lost interest in One Piece.

I can't really put my finger on the exact cause, except that maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was a huge Ace fan, and now that he's gone, the manga lost a lot of its luster.

Also, there are certain arcs I find a bit ridiculous or too childish in tone for me to read through, particularly those dealing with mermaids and mermen. I actually hate mermaids, so that my have something to do with it as well.

I'll probably take it up again once they get out of the underwater land they're stuck in now.
 Naruto 1. Naruto- This should be a no-brainer. What can I say about it that hasn't already been said? I  wrote pairing essays for crying out loud! I joined fandoms and drove my husband crazy with it. But now, it's just boring. It's lost whatever it was that attracted me to it, primarily the fact that I don't like main characters who don't progress. I don't see Naruto progressing very much.

I don't like most of the characters, the villains who are left alive, or even the way the story is progressing. Kishi seems to have lost interest in the story, seemingly bored with his characters, and it shows. Occasionally, he does put some effort in it, but overall, I have to say that the lack of of personal involvement is palatable.

Although I still read it, it's more now just to see how it's going to end, not actual enjoyment.

Don't expect me to finish my fanfiction anytime soon. The end was what you expected. The fact that I wasted 300 or so odd pages on Naruto fanfiction (and that's just one story) makes me physically ill every time I think about it.






































































































































































































































Well, that's about it. I know that some of my entries may anger those who are die-hard fans, but oh well. I hope someone out there may share their opinions on it or present a similar list.

OP
 
 
Current Location: home
Current Mood: irritatedirritated
 
 
Kris
12 December 2010 @ 01:32 pm
For those who may think that this entry is a bit late, as I the season is winding down, the reason I'm writing so late is because I like to give things a chance. But I didn't care for any of the new shows except for the new season of Letter Bee: REVERSE, Bakuman (which I haven't had the time to watch), and Kuragehime, when I first saw the list of new anime this season. Nothing has changed.

The only other show that warmed my heart a little was Otome Yokai Zakuro, and that's only because it's loose period setting. However, that didn't last. After a while I realized it was filled with the same sort of cultural self-enclosure that you find in a lot of their media. It may be swell for them, but I don't care for it.

Enter random words to complete the common manga phrase:  "Our (noun) is (adjective), unlike (foreign noun related to first noun). Japanese culture really is the best! ^_^" 

I think part of the reason has to do with the fact that I don't care for cute maids, giant robots,  or random spirits. I don't like shonen-ai, brother/sister 'cest, and Pokemon cartoons.

Many of the anime just look like children's cartoons, which is what they are, honestly. You are Delicious, Battle Spirits: Brave, Rita et Machin, Milky Holmes, and several others are all aimed at the 11- younger crowd. And that's fine. But I'm not part of that crowd.

This is reflective of the problem I'm having with Japanese entertainment in general, manga and anime in particular. I never cared for the music, because the singing and melodies always sounded a bit "off" to my Western ears. But anime seemed to be the one thing that could transcend from their culture and speak universally to everyone.

However, the more I've watched and read those medium, the more I begin to realize just how naive that I was in that assumption. The anime that really got me into it: Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, and even DBZ all had elements that were unique and could appeal to a wide audience. But in my hurry to watch those, I didn't see the ten other anime that season that were filled with Otakus, angel girls, magical girls, and a host of other characters I don't care about and with whom I can't relate. This is normal.

I would consider it a cultural thing, but I've watched some very Japanese anime and enjoyed it just fine, even without getting half of the jokes. Gintama is a good example of what I'm talking about. It was set during the end of Edo period, with aliens replacing Americans as the ones who forced Japan to open up to commerce. Another one was Oh! Edo Rocket, a fanciful look at Edo period Japan with aliens and rocket ships. I don't want to get into the plot, but it was filled with historical characters and other things you may not get. I highly recommend it. And then there is Naruto, one of the most Japanese shonen I've seen. I don't think most casual observers know just how chock full of lore, religion, and historical references that story is filled with.

So it isn't the culture. What's happening is simple. Just like every other medium, those who produce this stuff are aiming for their primary audience: otakus and children. And as hypocritical as this may seem of me, considering how otaku (geeky) I am myself, I don't want to watch and read about geeks like me. Even Kuragehime, a rare jewel of this season, features otakus. But in Japan, I guess geeks like to watch themselves animated.

In short, the season sucks because nothing is aimed at an otaku who doesn't want to watch Otakus being themselves (Bakuman, Kuragehime, World only God Knows, My little sister can't be this cute), kids stuff (already mentioned), sappy adolescent romances (didn't bother mentioning them), and robots. Sometimes robots can be really cool, but I'm not down with the giant robot suits unless they're Gundams or EVAs.

But seriously? I can't blame them. I'm not their primary audience. I don't live there, and anime is not made for me, but for them. Cowboy Bebop, the Big O, and a few others were made with Americans in mind, hence, their popularity here.  But I can't possibly expect all of them to do it. This isn't our turf they're entering, it's theirs I'm exploring! I would be rather self-centered if I expected it any different. But that doesn't change my aversion to most of it that's been produced. 

It's been this way for several seasons, I've just never been so disappointed in an anime season as I've been with this one. I guess what is missing is a good manly anime with guns and sword fights and things. One manly seinen with lots of blood can cover a multitude of otakus and cat-girls.

I will await what next season brings.

Besides, I don't have any  money, so the most I give them is $6/mo and some shonen jump purchases. At least in Japan, they get add revenue.
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Kris
09 December 2010 @ 02:51 pm
This season's line-up is quite a disappointment, isn't it? Granted, although I try to be honest and do everything legal, this dismal display led me to search for "other means" to get my anime fix. What I found wasn't too much better.

I have to work now so I'll write on it more later tonight.

Also, 7 Seeds, revisited. Do I stand by my scathing critique of the mary-sue-esque Hana, or will I be softened by the revelations of the past two volumes? 

Theories and a fresh perspective...

coming soon.
XD

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Kris
21 November 2010 @ 02:02 am
Seeing as the world changes very quickly, I may not have to deal with these things for very much longer. But sometimes, they last a great deal longer than I would like.

5. Those shoes.

You know the ones I'm talking about: those stupid plastic clogs with the holes all over the place. They come in all sorts of tacky colors...

CROCS.


I hate, hate HATE crocs. They're the biggest eyesore I've seen people wear since parachute pants.
I haven't seen that many of them lately, so maybe they've gone out of favor. One can only hope.

4. The non-word "Irregardless." 

Idiots who want to sound like they're 3sd above the average use this word. Listen, then prefix "ir" changes the word's meaning to the opposite of what it usually mean. Irrefutable  means something that isn't refutable.

The problem is that when people use that "word," they really mean "regardless," so adding the prefix is unnecessary. That's the reason I have such an issue with it. If say, people were using it properly, then I wouldn't mind at all.

I've seen this one done less and less, so maybe people have started to catch on.

3. The failed two-party system.

Yeah, I had to add that one in there even though that's not technically a "trend." 

2. The habit of silencing debate with insults.

The heavy-handed use of ad hominem attacks has got to stop. This is especially true with the more immature types of insults tossed about, like "Demorats" and "RePUGS." 

No one is going to take your ideas seriously if instead of actually trying to reason with people, you just sit there and and throw stupid terms out. The terms become meaningless when this happens. Want to know the quickest way for someone to stop carrying about racism? Start calling everything racist. ;p

1. Snark

I hate snark. I think I began to hate snark last year while I was reading pages in TvTropes. There was something making me very sick. I couldn't pin-point the source until I read an unusually snarly comment. I pictured some pretentious college kid, sitting at Starbucks (not realizing, or not minding that it's the ultimate corporate monster i.e. everything they supposedly hate) with their friends, talking about just how much better they are than all those proles walking by.

You know the type. We all know the type. Heck, we've may have been the type at some point. Some of my friends are still that type.

How to know if you're the type: 

- If you really believe that watching John Stewart makes you anti-establishment
- If you have contempt for everyone who disagrees with you
- If you pretend to love the lower classes, unless they're white. Then it's ok to mock them mercilessly, and you don't see the hypocrisy.
- If you think that majoring in Women's Studies (or any other useless degree) will actually land you a job.

You know, the average college kid.

Snark is nothing but a poor man's wit. No one even tries to be intelligent anymore, so instead of trying to come up with something creative, people just tear things down they don't like. It's really annoying.

Life is really annoying, though, so maybe I should just get used to it.
~OP 

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Kris
Why is it that I only think about creative things when I'm at work? It's always been this way. I remember being at school and thinking of stories or poems and things, and then going back home only to have the whole thing disappear. 
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