Anime 2014 round-up

Friday, January 9 2015 at 02:50 (Anime, Reviews)

2014 was overall a pretty decent year for anime. The Winter season was weak and just had carry overs from 2013 Autumn, but later seasons did pretty well and the 2014 Autumn season in particular had a lot of shows to like. But whilst there were lots of good shows, the year in general lacked many standouts, truly brilliant shows that I’ll remember for years to come. Honestly I’d prefer a few really amazing shows over lots of pretty good ones, but that’s how life is. So without further ado, my thoughts on all the shows I watched through to the end this year in no particular order within each category.

Shows that have a cour running into 2015 in brackets.

Oh, and SPOILERS for some shows.

God Tier

These are the shows I looked forward to avidly each week.

Nagi no Asukara
Romance with people who live under the sea

I really don’t remember what happened in this show because I was extremely drunk for a lot of it, but somewhere along the line it went from being a stupid romantic drama to a really really good romantic drama. The second half in particular is great because Miuna. It’s completely beautiful and has a great soundtrack and characters.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
A guy who is supposedly bad at magic goes to a futuristic magic high school

Transcending the ‘so bad it’s good’ archetype, this show was so entertainingly awful that it was one of my favourite animes of the year. The main character was so ridiculously powerful, the worldbuilding so vague and the plot so outlandishly retarded that I couldn’t help but love it. Every week brought a new burst of Engrish or some inexplicable feat or stupid magic quirk. People say you should read the LNs to fully understand this show but I don’t know why anyone would want to ruin something so perfectly bad.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
High school comedy romance about a girl with a crush on her manga-drawing senpai

Basically very sweet, very funny, very well animated, good music, great characters, bish bash bosh. There’s just not a lot else to say.

(Shirobako)
An anime about an anime studio making anime

At first I had no idea what was going on in this show, but then you realise that’s sort of the point. Shirobako isn’t asking you to remember every one of the vast menagerie of character names, it’s just about getting lost in the intricacies of anime production. The plot beats might be very by-the-book but the content, characters, animation and style have been excellent so far.

Good Tier

I liked these shows but they have flaws such that they can’t ascend to God Tier

Captain Earth
When I opened the door called truth, my childhood ended. It was a summer I could never forget.

I had high hopes for the creators of my favourite anime of all time (Star Driver) but ultimately this show fell short of that. The characters, animation, art and particularly direction were fabulous but the mecha action was fairly minimal and the plot and pacing were all over the place. This could easily have been the best anime of the year with a little more care.

Haikyuu!!
Sports anime about volleyball

Suffered from poor subtitles courtesy of Crunchyroll and suffered further from the usual deliriously slow shounen sports episode pacing, but overall an enjoyable watch every week. Nice character designs but nothing groundbreaking.

Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works
Mages and magical servants summoned from history wage war in a town in Japan

I started watching this half as a joke to see what it was like, and well… it’s F/sn UBW alright. Having read the VN (for some reason) I know exactly what’s up and this show appears to be going for a near 1:1 adaption, for better or for worse. Face animations were a bit off and I lament the lack of music from the VN (apart from LiSA slaughtering This Illusion) but overall if you can get through the hours of exposition and talking then it’s got great action and it’s a fun watch. Looking forward to the second season in April.

Ao Haru Ride
Girl meets boy, boy goes away, boy comes back

Very straightforward shoujo romance, done very well but ultimately not doing very much interesting either. There’s some love triangle stuff but ultimately it’s just waiting for the two main characters to get over themselves and hook up. I hope it gets a second season because I enjoyed the characters.

Argevollen
In a war between two morally ambiguous countries, the tide is turned by who has the best mechs

The other mecha from creators of a show I like: this time Rinne no Lagrange. This is nowhere near as clean and dynamic as that show, but instead it’s a dirty, low-budget military mecha. If you can get past the cheap look and the shaky first few episodes it has a fairly interesting plot, great mecha designs, corporate warmongering and some of the best mecha fights of the year. It got very good in the middle but the ending was quite disappointing.

Amagi Brilliant Park
Light novel protagonist-kun (god on earth) teaches magical people how to run a theme park

I feel bad for liking this because it’s KyoAni, but at the same time I shouldn’t feel bad, because it’s KyoAni. They excel at making good shows that are ultimately forgettable. This is ultimately what that is; a solid comedy that I won’t remember existed in a few months’ time.

Shingeki no Bahamut
Fantasy adventure that is basically the same plot as FFXIV for some reason
Literally the opening to the first episode and the End of An Era trailer are the same

The true dark horse of the autumn season (though I had faith from the beginning so ha) this card-game based adventure romp started out exceptionally strong, faltered in the middle and then brought it back somewhat for a lukewarm ending. I feel that more could have been done in this universe, so I look forward to seeing if we get more from this series in the future. Solid style and animation throughout.

Sidonia no Kishi (Knights of Sidonia)
People living on a giant spaceship have to be defended from creepy alien things by mechs

I put off watching this show because of the awful use of 3DCG to model the characters. I dislike the use of 3DCG in anime as a general rule because I think it looks out of place and ruins immersion. On mechanical objects and mechanisms it’s kind of acceptable, on mechas it’s sort of allowable if done well though hand-drawn mecha action will always be more visceral and natural. On human characters it’s just unnatural. It’s not RWBY awfulness level but there’s a certain unnaturalness to movements and faces, even by anime standards. One character wears a mask for much of the time, only to take it off and reveal a face that looks far more artificial. It got less noticeable as the series went on, but the first episode in particular is very grating. The story was exceptionally predictable with every character waving enormous death flags before they were inevitably offed, but the universe was interesting enough to keep me interested. The mecha action was… okay. Nothing exceptional but interesting designs, pity they was no variation from the one default style.

(Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)
Girl has to teach a former piano virtuoso how to piano again

This started out as one of my favourite shows of the autumn season but despite being very pretty and having great music kind of steadily deteriorated and got slower and slower. I expected something a bit tighter out of a noitaminA project, but maybe the second half will bring it all back.

(Magic Kaito 1412)
A phantom thief performs elaborate robberies and antics in the Detective Conan universe

I very nearly bumped this one up to god tier because it’s just so goddamn hilarious, but I think I have to wait for it to finish to judge properly. Good in the same way Mahouka was but a bit more self-aware, the sheer ridiculousness of the plot and action knows no bounds. The casual reveal that real magic exists and that a side character is a sorcerer is basically never brought up again despite being pretty much universe-flipping information. The shit that happens in this show is truly off the hook ad yet it’s just so lovable. It’s a show from a forgotten time where silly single-episode arcs are okay.

(Garo: The Animation)
An adaptation of a tokusatsu show in which knights fight demons

I’m still not actually certain if I like this show. It’s kind of average in every way, and kind of unremarkable. Not predictable but I’m also not that excited to see where it’s going. I just don’t know, man.

(Log Horizon 2)
Players of an MMO find themselves trapped in the game world

Database 2.0 is generally weaker than the first season, wasting a number of episodes on fluff and boring arcs instead of a truly sweet raid sequence and showing what happened to Crusty. Also DEEN animation is quite inferior to the previous season’s Satelight with a lot of characters having visibly messy designs compared to before. Still fun and still a lot better than SAO.

Bad Tier

I tried to like these shows but they just didn’t like me.

Isshuukan Friends
Boy gets crush on girl who loses her memories of her friends every week

A lovely, gorgeous looking romance by Brain’s Base that ultimately went nowhere, did nothing and ended suddenly with nothing resolved at all. Yes it was pretty but the central gimmick wore thin very quickly and the protagonist was just pathetic and deeply annoying. Good side characters.

No Game No Life
A brother and sister who are the best at games get put in a world that runs on games

Supposedly a ‘breakout hit,’ this boring slog through what appears to be the first arc of what looks like an overly long plot finds two ‘genius’ main characters lording their brilliance over everyone else for twelve episodes in completely nonsensical ways when they aren’t engaging in near-constant fanservice and nudity. It was predictable and not particularly funny.

Glasslip
Romantic drama thing with glassblowing and occasional hallucinations

Following on from the success of Nagi no Asukara, this show… was pretty bad overall. The art and animation was classic PA Works but the use of still frames at random intervals speak a lot about the budget this show had. It’s nice to see original shows rather than adaptations in the romance genre, but even despite that this show still went nowhere and did nothing. I’m not actually certain there was a plot and random things kept getting added in, like the male protagonist suddenly talking to imaginary clones of himself. Wut?

SAO Tier

The true baddies, inexcusably poor.

Sword Art Online II
Kirito is the best at everything ever and he plays games on the internet

Holy shit this show was bad. After complaining about how the entire GGO arc could have been about half the length without the needless padding, the second half enters into ‘random adventures in fairy land’ including retrieving a sword that is never mentioned or used again after a ‘raid boss’ (Log Horizon promptly put this to shame) and a stupidly drawn out arc about a girl with no personality or interesting traits who we’re supposed to care about because she has AIDS and is going to die. When the stakes are dropped from ‘We have to save these 10,000 players from a vicious world of death and danger’ to ‘We have to save mai waifu from being raped by some evil geezer’ to ‘We have to stop this murderer on the loose in this game’ to ‘Oh no we have to save these fluffy NPC creatures’ to ‘We need to get realm first on this raid u guize’ you can’t help but feel that the writer for this series has no real sense of large-scale plot pacing.
In the end this show found a use in making Log Horizon look good, even when it wasn’t.

Aldnoah/Zero
The human race is split between those on the earth and those who live on Mars and they don’t get along very well

This show overall had lots of potentially good stuff that ultimately came to nothing:
The animation was great – but the direction and fights were bad.
The CGI was decent – but the mecha designs were totally awful and the transformations were laughable.
The music was overall pretty good – but they threw it in at random times and often the tone didn’t really fit. Also the same soundtrack Sawano’s done six times already.
The character designs were good and some of them were interesting but we got to focus on the dull main characters constantly instead of Cruhteo sassing around.
The setup and universe building was decent, though it’s nothing most mecha viewers haven’t seen before, and ultimately it was wasted on long boring situations.
Inexcusable things include Cruhteo getting offed and the colossally awful ending in which everyone of note gets shot.
Basically the show might be fun if you don’t watch any mecha, but if you’ve seen any before it’s a paint-by-numbers script without any soul behind it, with the only real twist being the stupid ending. Overall A-1 trying to be Sunrise and throwing money at a project they don’t understand. Second season will be interesting.

(Cross Ange)
Half-naked lesbians fight dragons in mechas

By contrast from Aldnoah, this is Sunrise being Sunrise down to a tee. However, unlike Aldnoah the badness here is actually quite fun; Sunrise are the kings of the spectacular trainwreck, and trainwreck this is. It could almost be bumped up to ‘Good’ status on sheer entertainment value alone but it’s just not quite there. This is a big-budget thing and thus looks very nice, but it’s just so dumb and so gratuitous that I really don’t know what to think. I wish it had more actual mecha action and less of the whole cast getting naked every six seconds.

So that’s it for 2014 (apart from the carry overs, obviously). Up for trial for next season are:

Kantai Collection because I’m a goddamn sucker for cute girls and mechanical bits and big guns that go ‘BA-DUM’ and have recoiling barrel things.
The iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls because goddamit I watched all of the first anime and when I was in Akihabara it was smothered with posters for Cinderella Girls.
Death Parade is the full series follow up to the Madhouse-produced short Death Billiards. DEATH BILLIARDS.
Aldnoah/Zero 2 because I hate myself and there might be more good insert songs.
Rolling*Girls is an original project by Wit Studio. I have no idea what it’s about but I’ll roll with it (laughs).
Kuroko no Basuke 3 is the third season of Kuroko no Basuke. I have to watch it so I can still be friends with Mike.
Yoru no Yatterman is a new Yatterman anime(!) by Tatsunoko. The last time they revived one of their older franchises in a new way we got the excellent Gatchaman Crowds, so I’m psyched.

Also Anne is like soooo cute omg lol (⁎⁍̴̛͂▿⁍̴̛͂⁎)*✲゚*。⋆♡

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

Some Thoughts on Super Mario 3D Land

Friday, November 25 2011 at 02:18 (Anime, Games, Music, Reviews) (, , )

So I got my copy of Super Mario 3D Land last Friday and completed it with all the star coins some time around Wednesday. Here are some thoughts:

  • The name is dumb. Yes Super Mario 3D Land is technically more correct than Super Mario Land 3D, but everyone wants to call it the latter and it’s just a much easier name to say.
  • Okay, the opening sucks. Yeah there was some wind blowing on a tree, but really nothing to get you pumped for playing the game. After Mario Galaxy came out I kind of hoped that a cinematic opening would become the standard for the flagship Mario titles. As it is, no Mario games since have come close. I mean seriously, Galaxy 1 had two whole cinematic sequences (at the beginning and the end) and it was enough to make the whole experience that much more epic. I’m not talking about story here either; I just want like one set piece per game.
  • Hub worlds. They’re awesome, and have been a feature in pretty much every 3D Mario game. Sure they’ve diminished over the years, going from castles to just flying space observatories to just planetoids shaped like Mario’s head, but they’re a space to mess around in and hide neat little secrets. There was a surprising amount packed in to that head-planet in Galaxy 2. Another feature of a hubworld is that it lets you try out and find moves. I didn’t even know that I had a forward roll until about 80% of the way through the game.
  • The difficulty is slightly wonky. Given that there is a map system that forces you to play levels in sequence rather than being able to skip certain star challenges, having a sudden harder level amidst some easier ones could be really offputting for some people. Then again, I probably made it significantly harder for myself by trying to get every star coin first time around. Even then…
  • It’s not easy. At least, some of the later levels in the special worlds aren’t easy. When I finished the regular worlds I had accumulated ~100 lives, which I then beefed up to ~600 lives using a Koopa shell trick. By the time I finished Bowser for the last time, I had less than 500 lives. If I hadn’t used the extra lives trick, I’m not even sure I would have broken even. It’s probably easier than SMG2 and NSMB Wii, but it’s harder than those games’ predecessors.
  • No. 1 cause of death. This might cause a smirk for you anti-3DS types out there, but here it is: depth perception. I think this is more to do with the size of the screen than anything. I can’t remember the number of times I accidentally jumped forward or behind a platform and tumbled to my demise. Arguably this might have more to do with the sensitivity of the slide pad than the 3D effect, but there you go.
  • Time limits. Yeah, the levels are more linear and there’s less to explore than in other 3D Mario games and I never ran out of time whilst playing (even on the time trial levels) but having a time limit ticking down still bugs me.
  • The run button. This is a particular annoyance brought over from the 2D Mario games, where (since they are normally played with a d-pad) it’s kind of necessary. But the 3DS has an analogue slide pad! So now I have to hold down a button in order to do something I want to be doing pretty much all the time. This hits the long jump (one of my personal favourite moves) pretty hard because it only goes a decent distance if you’re running. So to pull off a long jump you have to hold down X/Y, move the slide pad and then press a shoulder button and then A/B straight after. It’s a lot trickier than it might sound, and pretty much useless when you can get just as far by simply running and jumping.
  • The backflip. It’s been nerfed too. You have to charge it for a few seconds now.
  • The music. It’s decent, but nothing memorable. Quite a few tracks are ripped wholesale from the Galaxy games, and it’s none of the sweet orchestral ones. The most prominent new music is the main theme, and that sucks.
  • The Tanooki suit. It’s pretty much broken. It’s like Dixie Kong in DKC2, you can just glide over anything and everything. Once you get the silver leaf version it gets even better, because you can just turn into a statue any time anything comes near you.
  • It’s all the same. It’s not, of course. The levels are often wildly different. But it lacks the sort of bonus levels that have been in previous games like bird flying, skate racing and balancing on a ball. Arguably those all revolved around Wii motion controls, but it’s sad not to see a single crazy oddball level.
  • It’s not the best Mario. Probably no shock after reading the above. In a questionnaire Nintendo sent me they asked if I liked SM3DL more, the same or less than previous Mario platformers. I had to say less. Galaxy 2 strong.
  • I like the game. It’s a damn fun game. I haven’t even mentioned the good bits of the game because they’re so sublime that you almost don’t notice them. It’s worth begging, borrowing or stealing a 3DS just to play this game, and if you own a 3DS you owe yourself to get this game. The new features are great, and the variety of level designs and puzzles is pretty awe-inspiring.
  • To the guy who decided there should be time trial levels where you get chased by a giant shadow Mario: Fuck you. Seriously.

TL;DR – Super Mario Galaxy is my favourite Mario game ever and everything else is inferior.

In other news, I also have my copy of Skyward Sword. I can’t play it because I don’t have access to my Wii, but I can say that the gold Wiimote+ is pretty sweet and the concert CD is surprisingly well mastered. Not quite the same as being there in the concert, but having experienced both I can say that the CD gets pretty close. Lately I tend to just skip to the bit with the Dark World theme and then headbang a bit. Yeah I headbang to a symphony. What of it?

Daiz finally released the last 7 episodes of Hanasaku Iroha. Hot dang it’s amazing. I had to stop on episode 24 because I can’t watch the last episode until someone finishes downloading and watching them and I can’t watch episode 25 because I know I’ll end up watching 26 too. Oh well.

30 days ’till Christmas. I don’t know what I want yet, but I may ask my parents to buy me some microchips and an expensive metal box so I can finally build my C.H.AMP and put it next to my Panda. No point in asking for video games because I already have all the ones I want. I might ask for a copy of The Sacrifice and Other Steam-Powered Stories because I’ve enjoyed all of the Valve comics I’ve read so far, and a bound copy would be nice. A pair of RE-262s wouldn’t go amiss either…

/ramblings

Permalink Leave a Comment

School, Amps and Other Things

Sunday, November 28 2010 at 19:51 (Anime, Games, Music, Projects, School) (, , , )

Long time, no see (write?) huh?

I’d like to say that a bunch of stuff has changed since I was last writing, but that’d be a lie. Pretty much I got addicted to CoD then had to become a hardcore audiophile to fill the void once I went cold turkey.
At school things have been up and down – I’ve recently dropped Further Maths, meaning that I’m now doing the standard 3 subjects a week and so I have a LOT of free time to spare now. Hopefully I’ll get so bored that I’ll work and get up my grades, which have been a bit craptastic as of late. I’m on an A in Classics (although after the last mock – eurgh), a C in Stats, a C in Physics (1 mark off a B) and a U in both other Mathsy things, one of which is now dropped.
Basically I need to pull my finger out of my arse and do well in the January exams, which I’m hoping I can do with the aforementioned spare time. Oh, I also sent of my UCAS form. I’m applying for engineering at Durham, Sheffield, Nottingham and Herriot-Watt with a Classics course at Royal Holloway.

About the audiophilia (yeah I’m gonna talk about that) I got my second half of moneys from teh scholarshipz so I’m blowing it all on audio equipment… projects. Yeah, I’m actually going to build it myself.
I’ve ordered one of these and one of these to put it in, along with all this stuff too:

 

Except that’s a lie, the order was more like £50 by the time I was actually finished. Protip: never just leave an order sitting there for four days before ordering it, especially for components. The price is likely to double.
Anyway, I’m going to build this amplifier (it’s called a ‘Panda) and then after that I’m going to build an AMB γ1 DAC. ’cause my current source is wack, yo. I’ll post some progress pictures too! ’cause you guys are really interested, right? Right?

Anyway, enough of that. Here are some things you ought to watch RIGHT NOW (all at once)

  • K-On!(!)
  • Angel Beats!
  • Star Driver: Takuto of the Radiance
  • Panty and Stocking
  • The Social Network
  • Merlin series 3

Also LISTEN to the following music:

  • Rie Fu – Rie Fu (decay, Shine)
  • school food punishment – amp-reflection (4:59, Percentage)
  • Ayana – Last regrets
  • Hitomi Kuroishi – Various Code Geass OSTs (Stories, Sensibility,Masquerade)
  • Hokago Tea Time – Hokago Tea Time II (U&I, Tokimeki Sugar)
  • Jun Maeda/Anant-Garde Eyes – Angel Beats! OST (theme of SSS, kanade, Brave Song)

Play these:

  • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
  • Metroid: Other M
  • Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale
  • Kanon
  • Fate/stay night

Read:

  • Percy Jackson 1-5
  • Chobits (allofit)
  • Kobato 1-3
  • Don’t read Biomega, it’s got bears with guns but is actually shit

Congratulations, you are now a better person.

Permalink 2 Comments

Super-Ultra-Mega Combo

Thursday, May 6 2010 at 20:57 (Anime, Current Affairs, Home, Rants, School) (, )

May the Fourth be with you!
No, wait…

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Nope, not that either.

Happy Election Day?
Fuck it.

So last week was a tad crappy – I spent most of it sulking because my parents, having just returned from an expensive weekend in Paris (all I got was a shitty mug) decided that the plan to go and see Iron Man 2 (FYI I would kill for that poster) with Max and Chris on the opening weekend (not to mention Free Comic Book Day) were irrelevant and that the weekend would be better spent sailing to Brightlingsea and socialising with old farts. I whined all week, and I never gave up hope. Alas, it was not to be.
Apart from that, a pretty uneventful week. Greek was off, the school election posters pasted around got steadily more ridiculous and in a daring collaboration with Nico we managed to get our joint ‘model’ essay finished in the combined time of about 31 minutes. It got 84% or something ridiculous.

On Friday evening the weather for Sunday and Monday (when we’d be returning) didn’t look good – it looked like we might not go after all. I, then, couldn’t understand why my parents were so dutifully getting overnight bags and the like ready. It turned out that even though we might not go, we were still committed to having a meal on the boats of an old fart couple – thus dashing any vague hopes I still had of Iron Man 2. Turned out that the event was a real surprise: the old people were boring; the food was bland; the boat was far too hot; my stomach hurt and I was bored to within an inch of my life. After dessert I managed to run away back to our boat where I binged on Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The next day it was decided that the forecast was too bad and that the trip would not happen. I was not happy and ordered to be taken home, where I locked myself in my room and binged some more until the weekend was over.

This week has actually been pretty good thus far: Tuesday’s RS amused me (which it really shouldn’t have – we’re doing war and peace) and that afternoon we had a Physics lesson that Mrs Smith could have made into the most monotonously abhorrent thing ever, but Mr Halls actually made fairly engaging. We also got back our final marks for our AS coursework – I got 25/30, putting me on 83% and a solid A overall in the course.

Wednesday was also pretty fun. In Further Maths we finished the general solutions for trigonometry functions and started on solving quadratics with numerical solutions. It was all oddly agreeable and made sense for the most part – but of course the difficulty is all in the application. In regular Maths we worked on integration and differentiation with negatives and fractions which was tedious and not all that interesting, although I did get to talk to Adam about various exciting things. Lunchtime was probably the peak of the day: the school electoral debate. Each party (I felt) played its role very well, and the debate ended up (probably largely due to the particular students arguing) into a fairly hilarious and entertaining spectacle. It was what we were hoping for, anyway. In period 5 I worked on a Further Pure 1 paper. I skipped the first question, did half of the second and then aced the third. All this took 50 minutes. I’m really not very confident in my ability to do well in this exam.

Today was probably the best of the bunch. Levi had stolen my seat on the bus, which I don’t necessarily mind, but it gives me an awkward dilemma: I can sit in front of her and thus be closer to the lower school arseholes at the front, I can sit behind her and be closer to the Sixth Form wankers at the back, or I can sit level on the opposite side of the aisle, where I’m uncomfortable because I’m used to leaning on the other side. I chose in front.
In form time Mr Peters asked for volunteers to help with the election ballots, so, paired reading being off, I decided that I might as well use this borrowed time helpfully and volunteer. Of our year, I was the only one. I was beset by year 11s with increasingly ridiculous names (like India Quinn) whose names I had to take down, tick and then give a voting slip. Eventually they dried up and apart from a few brave sixth formers no-one else came to vote, so I went off to Classics.
In Classics Amber gave an… interesting presentation on the Propylaia, then in Maths we did numerical integration and at break time I hurriedly copied down some quotes on Plato and his erstwhile student Aristotle for Philosophy, which was next. That was also pretty fun, with a weird selection of revision games and quizzes that all actually made me learn a few things without actually feeling like I was learning. I also picked all of the hardest questions for our team in the quiz, much to Nico’s disgust.
At lunch I milled around for a while and eventually decided to get a Mechanics paper done – easier said than done, as the internet was out (I couldn’t print of the mark scheme to check answers) and the library was still largely out of action after being the voting place all day. I settled down on the one bit of unoccupied table space and began to work. Soon Chloé came over to steal my table space and do some Physics notes, and somehow we ended up watching both the beginning of Gladiator then Hercules on her iPod. I’m still not entirely sure how that happened.
In Mechanics we actually got very little done despite the double lesson, as Mr Hydes left us mostly to our own devices and as such we ended up chatting rather than working or revising. I also got some support in my probably vain attempt to get Head Boy with a whole two people pledging their allegiance. Wow.

Keep in mind that I’ve also been watching a whole bunch of anime this week. This will all be covered in the paragraph below, with punctuation removed to reduce size.
So I decided to start watching Neon Genesis Evangelion which was pretty good and exciting despite all of the characters being fucked in the head and the ending being crappy as such I decided to watch the movie End of Evangelion which gives an ending that is more satisfying in some ways but also much more unsatisfying in others but anyway I recommend it and it’s good also I watched FLCL after that because it’s also made by Gainax which is weird as hell but quite funny and very poignant and is only six episodes long so it’s not that bad if you want to watch it and after that I started watching Code Geass which is a bit more complex but has character designs by CLAMP and is therefore awesome in a bucket with added win on top and the characters even the crappy ones become more endearing after a while and I’ve also downloaded the first episode of Darker Than Black which I will watch tomorrow.
/me takes deep breath

In terms of the Election, I’d vote Lib Dem if I could. David Cameron can suck my dismantled Trident missile system.

Other than that, not much going on. I have 18 days of giving up video games left and my first exam is on the 18th. Is Ben doomed? Will he pass his exams? Is Darker Than Black any good?
Find out, next time on Supernizzle.

Permalink 2 Comments

Explosions and Feeling Crap

Sunday, October 25 2009 at 23:35 (Anime, Home, Rants, School) (, , )

Well, if you’ve been following my Twitter then you’ll know that a few days ago my computer experienced colossal failure. There I was, happily watching some porn (it wasn’t actually porn; I can’t remember what it was) when suddenly BAM! There it is. (The avatar’s foot, that is.)
Anyway, there was a big and scary BSOD with ‘IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL’ – a message which actually means bugger-all. It’s bollocks that roughly translates to ‘Oh noes! Something went wrong!’ and serves no useful purpose at all… especially since from what I’ve seen nothing is wrong with my hardware anyway. So I was fairly phased by this and I went to bed with a heavy heart and heavy(ly swollen) glands – the only thing worse than your computer giving you the finger is your computer giving you the finger and feeling like shit.

School on Friday was a bit suck-tastic; I almost didn’t go in because I felt awful, but decided it would be best became it was the last day before half term and I felt that I should get the chance to wish everyone well over the coming week. Really, I needn’t have bothered. We learned tantamount to nothing in Physics (although we did eat biscuits) then I spent most of Classics not concentrating/sleeping. The afternoon was the worst, however, because I had no Further Maths lesson and so had no choice except to sit in a chair feeling exhausted and watch the seconds tick by. However, all of this time did give me a chance to talk to Peter about how best to tackle my computer problem and even Max showed up for the last two periods to print off some work, so we all had a nice chit-chat.
On the way home on the bus I talked to Oscar and Tanya of whom the former gave me a free packet of Tunes and the latter gave me 60p for a packet of Super Noodles (which were very much appreciated). It’s good when people are nice to me.

Yesterday, upon realising that I really had absolutely nothing better to do without a computer, I started again watching the episodes of Dragon Ball Z Elliot had lent to me. Apart from that I also ordered a new laptop:

XPS M1530

Complete with: 2.0 GHz dual-core processor, 4GB memory, 320GB hard drive, 256MB graphics card and a biometric fingerprint scanner.
So nothing earth-shattering, but it should run Portal okay, and that’ll be one New Year’s resolution down.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 14 Comments

Driving Today

Sunday, October 18 2009 at 21:57 (Anime, Home, Music, Pictures, Reviews, Site Update) (, , , , , , , , , , )

One of these days I’ll find a title that isn’t a relevant Yui song, but this is both, so…  suck it, biatches.

I’m probably not going to talk about the last three weeks or so as my memory once again fails me (and they weren’t really that interesting to begin with) so I’ll talk about a selection of exciting items that I’ve seen/watched/heard in a vain attempt to interest everybody that will please nobody.

For this reason, you’ll probably want to scroll down and only read the bits (in bold) you care about.

First there was the Wii firmware 4.2 update. This update basically has no purpose except to entirely destroy ANY homebrew apps on a Wii but is also a brash move on Nintendo’s part because they knew when they put it out that it was likely to brick plenty of Wiis to death. The really miserable thing for them is that it was all a waste of time; by the next day the homebrew developers had already broken past the update. Way to cause unnecessary bloodshed, Nintendo.

Next came the behemoth, the giant, the masterpiece that is

Glee.

Glee.

Yeah, so that’s awesome. I’ve only played Prime 1 so far, which I am nearing the completion of.

At first you find yourself slightly wondering what all the fuss is about, but as you play through and get immersed in the world it really does get hard to try to find fault with this first person adventure. The time when I really knew that I was dealing with something truly awesome was when I got to Magmoor Caverns. “This music is a bit drab,” I mused, “I’ll just press on a bit and see what I find.” Eventually I got to a large fiery cavern and only then did the area introduce itself via the selective camera shots and title. And only then did the music come on properly.
“Holy f***ing s**t this the f***ing Norfair theme! This game is f***ing awesome!”
Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 3 Comments

Ooh-Ooh, Ooh-Ooh, Yeah

Sunday, September 20 2009 at 20:26 (Anime, Music, Reviews, School) (, )

Let me be with you…

So Friday was a little bit dull. In double Physics that morning I found out (along with most other people, it seems) that I had TOTALLY frocked up my homework. *eats words about it being too easy*
To be fair, most of it was from tiredness and stupid mistakes, not to mention the confusing nature of micro- and nano- thingamajigs and trying to get everything to be in the right form… Well, I get it now… sort of. After that we did some tests of density using a Eureka can and then we tested the breaking stress of Chris’s hair… which wasn’t much. I can’t tell you exactly because I gave up after repeatedly getting ridiculous numbers out of my calculatrice.
Third period I finished my notes on Greek architecture then went outside onto the garden and helped Eliza write her letter from Odysseus to Telemachus, although how much of my input she actually utilised, I have no idea. In Classics we revised the story of the House of Atreus and also did timelines and such about the Greek civilisation, including the Mycenean, Dark, Archaic and Classical ages.

Lunch brought with it more talking to Luke about crazy things and other things, then I had Further Maths… except I didn’t. Mr McWilliams was still absent so we had the lesson off, effectively giving me a double free (something I never have normally) to occupy myself in. I went out onto the field and talked to Rose and Chloé until everyone else arrived, at which time I decided to walk across the field and back with Max. Unfortunately Nico followed us through the secret hole in the hedge, so I was forced to carry him across the field and dump him in a thorny hedge. I played the association word game with Nico, Rose and Adam for a while, but then Rose went away and Penelope was besotted by suitors, so I went and dozed on a bench for a bit, absent-mindedly reading Tom Cook’s discarded timetable that had come to rest in the undergrowth. I got bored of that so I listened to some Yui (I had been listening to it whilst making Classics notes earlier) then got restless, so I got up and went over to Eliza and Rose, who were dosing up on caffeine. I talked to them, then I talked to Tilly, Ellen and Megan for a bit. Then, blissfully, it was time to go home.

*WARNING*
Copious talk about ANIME ahead. Proceed at own risk.

The owner of this blog is not responsible for any injury or difficulty resulting from ignoring this warning.

When I got home, I had a purpose: find Chobits somewhere on the internet. Chobits is a manga (adapted into anime, obviously) made by CLAMP (the same group who did Cardcaptor Sakura) about a world where all computers are actually anthropomorphic and have installed personalities and abilities. The series focuses around the relationships between humans and these ‘Persocons’ and whether a romantic involvement between them is wise, or even possible. Despite these themes, it is a seinen manga (designed for young men). How does it do this without having massive battles with oversized swords and copious gore? Well, there’s quite a bit of near-nudity (but never explicit nudity) and porn is mentioned at least three times every episode. Hell, there’s a whole episode about buying knickers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 5 Comments

Tell me, Muse…

Monday, September 7 2009 at 20:55 (Anime, Home, School, Site Update, Videos, Writing) (, , , )

The story of that resourceful man who was driven to wander far and wide after he had sacked the holy city of GCSE. He studied the subjects of many teachers and learned their ways. He suffered great anguish in the high canals in his struggles to get home and play video games. But he failed to get Prime Trilogy on launch day, despite all his efforts. It was the game’s own transgression that brought it to its doom, for in its folly it was released not long after The Conduit, which saw to it that Trilogy’s controls would not be as impeccable by comparison. Tell us this story, daughter of Zeus, beginning last Saturday.

Well, that was ridiculously fun. For those of you currently lost, the above is an adaptation of the proem (introductory lines) of the Rieu translation of The Odyssey. Believe me, it’ll probably get weirder.

So, as the guy says, last Saturday. My parents were out on a boat trip with some friends (and had fortunately decided that they didn’t need my company) and since they were staying on the boat overnight, I was home alone… except I wasn’t. My stupid brother had to be there to ruin EVERYFUNG.
Well, even with him there I spent most of the day ploughing through Elliot’s Dragon Ball Z DVDs, watching all but the last disc of season one. I’ll segregate my thoughts on the matter to the end for those at odds with Japanese cartoons.
Apart from that, I also ate sausages, cooked strawberry pancakes, cooked a Fray Bentos pie and ate that, and spent a rather long time doing clearing up and washing after my brother. I finished the clearing at around 2am and then settled down to get the last 100 xp or so required to level up in The Conduit before finally turning in at around 3:00.

On Sunday I had meant to wake up late, but my brother same in at around 11 to tell me that he was going to the Greenpeace fair and that who would be back later that day. He actually offered to take me with him, but I explained that I had Classics homework to do (involving SPARTA!) and that I was very tired. He obliged to keep my awake by opening all of my curtains, which with the orientation of my windows and door causes sunlight to burn through my skull and singe my pillow, so soon after he left I got up and finished some tidying from the night before. My parents were not due back until ‘lunchtime’ (although it was more like 18:00) so I still had much of the day to myself, so I had leftover soup for breakfast whilst reading ‘The Greeks’ (my Classics task), then jumped around the house playing J-pop REALLY loudly on the speakers in our living room while I made lunch some time later, after finishing the book. I decided that since there was nothing in the fridge (my parents had foolishly taken both pork pies) so I made up some tuna dip and hacked up a mound of vegetables to go with it. It was all rather healthy, but as I’ve said there wasn’t a lot else to eat in the house.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 6 Comments