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*。⋆♡

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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

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Oimoi, Pheu Pheu

Sunday, March 14 2010 at 23:53 (Games, Home, Music, Rants, Reviews, School, Writing) (, , , , )

You know that poll, two posts ago? Yeah? You all had the chance to vote. Therefore you have only yourselves to blame.

So a few weeks ago now I got up and caught a train to the great metropolis of Ipswich to see my great amigo Chris so that we could frolic to the camp end of town and buy each other flowers and rub oils into each other. It seems we got a tad lost, ’cause we actually ended up in a cinema watching ASTRO BOY (the most manly thing since Chuck Norris) and definitely neither of us nearly or slightly or did actually cry a little bit at the end. Defo.
I decided that for Astro I’d go to see it without any predispositions put upon me by reviews, so that I could enjoy it entirely on its merits, or lack thereof. For the record it may have had some very slight flaws in terms of blahblahblah – WHO CARES? There’s an anime robot boy KICKING ARSE! The acting was good as well, and the animation was very good. It’s the same guys who did the TMNT movie and who are also doing the upcoming Science Ninja Team Gatchaman movie… at some point, hopefully.
After the immense doses of awesome we inhaled, Chris and I wandered around Ipswich in a dreamy haze, wandering here and there amongst the dispersed video game, manga and comic book retailers. We also stopped in Subway – an interesting experience for me since the last and only Subway I had been in to previously was in Brest, four years ago. The guy at the counter apparently hadn’t been trained to deal with people who didn’t know what to do, so he just sat there gormlessly.
All too soon it was over, and I trained my way back to Diss and was driven back home.

Oh, some time before that again, there was the Classics trip to the British museum. It was a good experience overall, but I’ll break it down into the most interesting parts (the ones I can remember, anyway):

  • Getting on to the coach, Amber asked me if I would sit next to her… to which I mumbled some kind of non-committal reply. For a minute I thought it would actually happen, but then Mrs Stephenson moved the year 11s (who were on a separate art trip) to the front of the coach so that we could have the back half we were promised. There was a space next to Jagger! Seat get! … Chaos averted.
  • Walking around in the morning, there were some very cool and some questionable things. An Erechtheion Caryatid is just dandy, but a depiction on a vase of some guy balancing a wine cup on his penis is just plain scary.
  • Lunch was interesting – a roll with chicken tikka sandwich filler and garlic mayonnaise. I asked Chloé and Eliza about this combination but decided that it was edible – little knowing that it was this very filler that would cause me horrific stomach cramps and emergency evacuations of my insides over the next few days.
  • The Parthenon sculptures need to be seen to be believed. Chloé was taking notes whilst we listened to the audio guide, but I was content just to sit and absorb them. Seriously, if you ever have a spare hour or so in central London, go see them. Even the smashed-up half of Poseidon’s torso is amazing, and that’s basically just a huge hunk of rock with a tiny patch of detail.
  • I spent rather a lot of money on books, but I don’t care. Haven’t got around to reading them yet, mind.

The past few weeks have been a bit… well, shitty. The last week particularly – the work I’m being given is just starting to overwhelm me, I got back my grades for my January A-level exams and Charity day was on Friday.
In terms of grades, I ACEd it; I got an A in Physics (HOW?), a C in regular maths (one mark off a B) and an E in Further Maths. The E has been the main source of my worry and insomnia over the past few days. The Physics is obviously great – even if my marker was apparently on crack at the time (seriously, I wasn’t expecting grade at all), the Maths is all right because I’m confident that with my Core 2 and Mechanics skillez I can even out my overall mark for this year and retake Core 1 next year as need be. See, you have to apply to universities with AS grades, so they have to be pretty darn good if you want to get anywhere pretty darn good. Since my crazy ambition is to go to Imperial College, I’ma need to get pretty much straight As to have any chance. This is why the Further Maths is a worry – Discrete 1 is the easiest Further Maths module, so even if I retake it and do okay I’m now seriously lacking confidence about my prospective grades in Pure 1 and Discrete 2.

On Charity day the main school has a non-uniform day, but since the Sixth Form wear their own clothes every day there is a theme and they dress up. This year the theme was groups and duos. Guess what I went as? That’s right… nothing. I’d racked my brains for an idea (it had to be an original idea) and there had even been several well-laid plans that had fallen through. So I felt decidely dejected for most of the day, brooding on my grades and observing everyone else who had ‘made the effort’. There were some people, who… well, they could only be described by the last two lines of page 56 of Breaking Dawn. That’s right, cryptic messages, bitches!
Fridays are never a particularly good day anyway, but this one was served with extra hot sauce, so to speak. I don’t like hot sauce.

In terms of miscellaneous activities, I’ve obviously been dedicating exorbitant amounts of time to certain games, my favourite of which to play at the moment is Left 4 Dead 2… but only when Max and Peter are simultaneously available. Which is rarely – even on the special day at the special time we arranged. My cries of frustration were akin to those of when Max startles the witch, methinks.

Musically-wise, I’ve been jamming to quite a few tunes lately, not least because I’m now using my mother’s old 80GB iPod Classic and can actually fit all of mah tunes on there. I’ve been properly listening to Project Chaos and the regular Sonic 3 & Knuckles OSV a lot, and also I’ve been listening to Scandal’s finally-released proper album, ‘Best★Scandal’. Well, they proclaim themselves as ‘The Most Powerful Japanese Girlie Pop Rock’ and I’d say that still holds up pretty well. I’ve had some doubts about their music in the past, but this album just really kicks arse.

You’ve got tracks like the catchy and exciting ‘Scandal Baby’ (they do really like their own name), the sublime Yumemiru Tsubasa, Hitotsu Dake, which sounds like it should be the opening for some kickass anime, and also a new mix of Kagerou. Since each of the girls in the band take it in turns to sing you also get some nice variety that keeps tracks feeling fresh. What more could you ask for? Well, you might ask for it to be in English and not suck, but fuck you all.
My blog, my music, my rules, bitches.

Oh, a quick tip, music wise. If you ever need to sync something to an iPod but it doesn’t play or skips when it reaches a certain point in a track, try having iTunes convert the MP3 to an AAC or vice-versa. Make sure your sampling rates for conversion are set high, so you don’t lose sound quality. After that it should play fine. It worked for Scandal anyway.

I came up with an idea for a story that Peter seemed to want to steal quite badly, so I figured it must be pretty good. I won’t write what it is, because then you’ll probably steal it and sell a million copies, you evil internet-based bastard.

I do believe that’s it. I tried not to be too emo about it all, even with my mood as what it is recently. Tell me how I did, will ya?

Max, your turn 😛

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Oh Schäde…

Sunday, January 24 2010 at 14:22 (Games, Home, Rants, Reviews) (, , )

Author’s note: It’s not particularly up to date or finished, but I’m tired of having it sitting and festering. Imagine that you were reading this on the 4th of January.

Well, bugger me. A blog.

Since someone said at some point that spending your whole blog-time apologising for not having written a blog in so long is rather self-aggravating (a sentiment I agree with) I will give it none of my valuably unvalued space beyond this miserly excuse for a paragraph.

So, why have I not written? I’ve done two vlogs, both eminently cringeworthy and completely worthy of deletion if I was the kind of pussy that decides to delete videos off YouTube that they are embarrassed about. You know the people I mean. Maybe I’ll dabble in vloggery in future, but since the response I received was largely negative, I shall postpone their production.

This is, in fact, the first blog that I have written on my new laptop (Dell XPS M1530 w/ 2.0GHz dual-core processor, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB HDD and nVidia GeForce 8600m graphics chipset), which brings with it a host of other reasons for my absence. One reason, and I suppose a fairly decent one, is that the keyboard just isn’t as good as on my old laptop. It just isn’t. It’s not as firm, the keys aren’t as tactile and the strength of them is questionable, seeing as I’ve already broken my Tab key. However, for you, dear blog reader, I shall bear it.

The other factor brought out by the laptop is that the higher specs mean higher ability, and higher ability means… well… lots of games. I told the bloke in GAME that I was going on a binge, and I guess I have been, to a certain extent. I am now the (legal) owner of The Orange Box, Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead 2, Oblivion, Bioshock and Modern Warfare 2. Of those, I have yet to play Oblivion and Bioshock as they require internet and are in German anyway, but I have played Half-Life 2, Portal And Modern Warfare 2 in-depth. Yes, yes I am that guy from XKCD. Portal… Bah, it’s Portal, of course it’s bloody amazing and funny and terrifying and heart-warming and confusing and all those other weird and wonderful emotions. Half-Life 2, on the other hand, is more like that stretched out aver about 14 more hours. It says something about the Source engine that sometimes in HL2 I just had to stop and say ‘That’s a really good-looking texture’. I really hope I’m not the only person who did that. Overall, it was just awesome; particularly the bit in the Citadel right at the end. Oh yeah.

As for MW2, I think GameTrailers got it right when they said it personifies the phrase ‘short, but sweet’. The game really isn’t that long, only taking just slightly longer that its predecessor to complete on standard difficulty… whatever that’s called in the game’s impermeable army lingo. However, what you do get is a rollercoaster ride of really quite amazing set pieces and intense firefights except when some stupid kid with an AK-47 shoots you through some tiny window and then you die and have to do the whole damned fight all over again… I hate those stupid Rio de Janeiro levels.

A few musings, though:

-Sometimes the game does overstep the bound and really just seems to laugh at you. It’s not even nice.

-What the FUCK did they do to Soap’s hair?

-Although the story did a pretty good job of carrying you along, it really didn’t make any sense at all. You basically just follow the objectives.

-Seriously, the character is just ruined now. I did NOT play the whole of the first game as a guy with some retarded Mohawk thing.

-Making a sequel will be an interesting task, seeing how they left the story. Also the fact that half the US has been shot to buggery.

-Why, Infinity Ward? WHY?

The multiplayer is another matter entirely. Apparently it’s been made ‘more accessible’ to n00bs. I disagree.

Well, now that I’ve cleared that out of my system, there are a few more onions to bite, namely some recent events worth me plumbing the depths of my memories to write about for your pleasure.

First comes the late lamented school-based sixth-form Christmas party. Even a concealed hip-flask of Polish vodka couldn’t make that fun. I spent the whole night trying to get Max to talk to a certain other individual, with mixed results. Overall it was kinda shitty. (The music was in this ‘Drum and Base’ style. I couldn’t see the appeal, myself.)

After that came Max’s birthday party, held a week after originally planned due to otherwise engaged peoples and a general lack of enthusiasm on anyone’s part. This Sunday, however, had snow. And in a pretty big way. The snow we got (actually fell on Thursday evening, mostly) was some of the most persistent I’ve  ever seen, remaining in place for about a week and thoroughly screwing many people’s travel arrangements. I did, however, elect to travel to Ipswich on that fateful day by train, cuz I’m well’ard and use public transport, innit.

The train was a little bit late, but I arrived in plenty of time for my 2:20 deadline. Unfortunately this was the twenty minutes (originally a half-hour) that I had elected to use to find a GAME and buy The Orange Box. In the end I did find it, and also found the box and handed it to the woman. Unfortunately, her training had apparently not extended to finding the disc and manual to put in boxes, so I had to wait around for about ten minutes whilst she flustered before running back the cinema. Remember that there was several-day old snow on the ground, so these pavements were icy and deadly enough at walking speed. Running, they were slippery slides of imminent death in front of the evil scythe-cars that were going by. Lucky for me, my balance sustained and I reached the cinema only five minutes late, already having made excuses and apologies in my head. I met Eliza and Chloé (whom I am now forced to admit is not a robot), who had also been shopping, and said hello. Max, Chris and Lauren had not yet arrived.

We talked for a bit about things, I forget which, but after I while Eliza concede that the rest of our party was no longer ‘on the drag’ as I has been, but were officially late. The others eventually turned up about ten minutes after the film was meant to have started and twenty minutes after the meeting time, and we all went in to the cinema. Now by this point it was about 2:45 and there was a showing of Avatar (in MIND-POPPING 3D!!!) at 3:00, which i thought might be a better choice seeing as how I wanted to see Avatar, Eliza had already seen New Moon and wanted to see Avatar, Chloé wanted to see Avatar and I’m pretty sure that Lauren wanted to see Avatar too. But no, we were going to see New bloody Moon.

I suppose it wasn’t so bad, after all. I mean, the acting was still pretty pants in places, any action scenes made waaaay too much use of slow-motion and the cinematography at time made me feel queasy because it was so hacked together and barbaric, but there was 700% less Robert Pattison than the first film, and that made all the difference in the world. I’ve always been a bit of a Jacobist (Jacobite?) and by the end of the film several of the girls agreed with me. He’s just less of a prick that Mr Shiny-Vampire-Emo-Bitch. Overall… eh. Two, two and half stars? We’ll make it two and a quarter.

After the film we decided to go and find a Costa or something, but seeing as how it was a past five on the Sunday before Christmas everything was shut. Unperturbed, we wandered around the town looking at the lights and eating of my oversized Large popcorn tub. This was probably the nicest part of the day.

Afterwards Max’s dad picked us up and we went to a Pizza Hut, where we all stood around not deciding until Eliza decided to decide. If you follow me. We then went back to Max’s abode and ate pizza and watched The Hangover. After a while I turned to Max and said ‘We’re what, fifteen minutes into this? It’s already better than New Moon’. The whole vibe was basically a ‘Dude, Where’s my Doug?’ as a number of guys try to find their misplaced friend after the mother of all stag parties. It takes the theme of a kind of comedy-detective story as they try to find clues to exactly what happened to them. Actually, screw that. It sounds really boring. Anyway, it’s much funnier than I can feebly describe and it comes with a Ben Brown seal of approval.

Then I went home. I was sad, but it had been a good day.

The next day I had to go to Cambridge to see my sponsors for the Arkwright Scholarship. The talks in the morning were supremely boring, but in the afternoon we were shown around the facility including the Scanning Electron Microscopes used to find impurities in metals, the huge vacuum chambers used for electron welding and the Lotus Elise chassis they helped design in the foyer. It was an interesting enough experience, but how much I actually gained from it remains to be seen.

The next event after that was, uh… Christmas, I suppose. It started with me completing Half-Life 2 at 2am after realising that I wasn’t going to get any sleep. Then I tried to get to sleep, couldn’t and so started to play HL2 Episode 1 instead. I did actually get some sleeping done at around about 5, but it was short-lived as I had to get up to receive gifts from Father Christmas. He comes through our village on a sled pulled by a Land Rover, doncha’ know. He gave me some books which I didn’t want to read particularly, so I went back to sleep until it was time to present the presents. Main gifts were Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2, but I also obtained a nice new shirt and some other crazy shit that I have completely forgotten about.

Then came the trek to my grandparents’ house, interrupting the patching of Left 4 Dead 2. This left me annoyed, as I had nothing to play in the car. Fortunately my grandmother installed WiFi, so I used that to finish Left 4 Dead 2 and also to make a start on installing Modern Warfare 2, a behemoth apparently requiring 2 DVDs to merely exist.

Then we ate food. Half the family was away this year, so I actually only had one set of retarded cousins to deal with, and the added bonus of my brother being away. This proved a double-edged sword, however, as boredom quickly took me due to the fact that I didn’t have a proper mouse to play any of my new games with. I managed to hold out for the whole day and then went home to get some CoDage on until the wee hours of the morning.

Boxing Day was fairly standard, mostly involving me getting to the end of MW2, but towards the end of the day I started packing and sorting things out for the imminent trip to Germany that was to depart that evening. We left at about 9pm to get the 11-ish ferry from Harwich to the Hoek, and then we all got on board and found our respective cabins. Present were me, my brother and his girlfriend, my parents and another family of friends including Henry and Tom Gibbons, their parents and Tom’s girlfriend. This made a total party of ten.

Throughout the week we went on walks, ate beef and yoghurt, played table tennis, went to Nüremberg (where I got Oblivion and Bioshock… in German), played games with bouncing ping-pong balls off pots and pans into cups for many, MANY hours, went sledging when there was snow and woed the forgottness of my laptop power cable. The only one I had was one for use in the car, so any time I wanted to charge my laptop I had to take it out to the car and plug it in. And since any vaguely fun application can drain my laptop in about an hour, my gaming position was pretty limited in terms of zombie-killing and the like. Really there hasn’t been much else to it. Oh, the New Year came, and went. I guess I ought to sort out some New Year’s Resolutions and also review the previous year’s, so let’s do that now:

Last year’s

  1. Read at least one book a month. I’ve been getting seriously lax in my reading, and as a result my vocabulary has suffered. Currently lined up I have The Amulet of Samarkand.
  2. Try and go to more social events outside of school.
  3. Ask someone to the year 11 prom.
  4. Play less videogames. Not give them up, but try and be less dependent on them for escapism and entertainment. In addition, find other forms of entertainment. Listen to the radio.
  5. Rather conversely, get Portal to work on a computer I own. This either means getting a new laptop (which would be nice; my current one, much as I love it, is dying) or stripping apart my old one and doing thoroughly dangerous things.
  6. Do something more radical, and more exciting than last year.

Review of those:

  1. Erm… no. I read at least twelve books, easy, but I don’t think I read one every month.
  2. Mmmm… kinda. I went to fewer parties, in fact.
  3. FAIL’D
  4. FAIL’D
  5. OWN’T. Portal is awesome.
  6. Unsure.

And this year’s new ones

  1. Do more exercise – for health, rather than any abject weight loss.
  2. Learn to own at Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
  3. Work on getting all my RS essays done.
  4. Get all A grades in my AS levels.
  5. Prove that a photon has mass.
  6. Refrain from buying an extortionate smartphone.

There are also a few miscellaneous things to fill out space. Not that it needs any more filling out; this is already looking ridiculously long.

I spent Christmas Eve turning my old laptop into a server. This I did with the help of a certain Mr Hicks. Installing Ubuntu Server Edition I could handle, but dealing with the command line required some aid. A ‘sudo makethisserverworkdammit’ command would have been useful, but it seemed to work and allowed me to stream the new Family Guy Star Wars thing to other computers in the house via magic.

I’ve decided that I like the temple of Apollo Epikouros at Bassae. It’s simple, but it’s also simply awesome, brand-spanking just-invented Corinthian columns and everyfink. It’s just cool.

I also finally finished reading ‘Watchmen’. God it was weird. It was still really good and brilliantly written, but… I suppose it can just be summed up by saying that all of the main characters are psychopaths.

I also sat through Transformers 2. Honestly, they don’t make head-bashing walls hard enough.

I think that’s all that doesn’t just consist of further nerdiness about my laptop. So I’ll leave it there, and add to it later.

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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!”
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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.

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A Week of POWER

Sunday, September 13 2009 at 23:47 (Home, Music, Reviews, School, Theorems) (, , )

Not entirely sure where the power came from, but I can sure as hell tell you that its level is OVER 9,000! Yeah, I’ll stop making that joke now. It was old ten years ago.

Tuesday, AKA ‘mind and matter collide’ day had three periods of RS (Ethics) with Mrs Riddell-Croft and a double Physics with Mr Halls. The Ethics was very interesting; we looked at what we would be studying over the next few months and examined some ethical situations like whether to save people dying in a car crash or go on to save a mother giving birth who needed urgent medical attention, and also whether to hit old people or a baby with a train, or risk the emergency brake. We looked at Absolutism (the crazy one) and Relativism (the sensible one) and each of their advantages and disadvantages. It’s nice that instead of GCSE RS fact-learning there’s a lot more freedom to just voice anything as long as you can back it up.
After the fire bell went RS was cut short so I ate lunch hurriedly and went to the Seminar room where I was doing Ancient Greek lessons with Mrs Stephenson, along with Eliza, Chloé and Ash Ketchum. Learning the whole new alphabet was pretty trippy, but I hope it’ll make Maths and Physics easier as well as boosting my wordpower once we actually learn some words…
Physics wasn’t quite so good for me. Mr Halls (considered ‘dreamy,’ I’m told) earned brownie points earlier on by playing half of the LHC rap but lost them again by expressing how ashamed he was of being a Physics student. He should be more like Miss Fletcher: proud of herself and batshit crazy. Anyway, we did an experiment with ping-pong balls and party poppers that was wildly inaccurate but fun nonetheless. What I found shocking was how many people were unable to arrange the equation we did at the end (even Max, who got an A in Maths). I keep on having to remind myself that I’m not in the super-group any more.

Wednesday is the McPwnage day, constituting four lessons of Mr McWilliams with study periods first and second from last. It all blurs into one a bit, but we ended up being in MC5 for all of the lessons (with its super-uncomfortable new ‘unbreakable’ chairs). In Further Maths we looked at more vertex/node-edge/arc graphs including Eulerian and semi-Eulerian specimens. Mr McWilliams said that he liked the idea of ‘nodes’ because they made him think of Borg data nodes. I think I was the only one who got it.
Normal Maths was less cool with just surds and how to sort them out good ‘n’ proper-like. It was made better by the fact that I was sitting with Tom C and Chloé (rather than say Max) so I had friends around me but wasn’t distracted from the maths by talk about nerdy things.

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The Results of ‘Socialising’

Monday, August 31 2009 at 17:33 (Daily Life, Rants, Reviews) (, )

Last Tuesday my dad shouted a lot at a lavatory. That is all I shall say in the matter.

Wednesday was significantly more interesting both in terms of the actual living of it and the writing about it – I went to Elliot de Bondt’s house. On the way there we picked up Peter, who had somehow manged to persuade his parents to let him bring his Xbox 360 halfway across Suffolk for our enjoyment.
So we drove halfway there, drove back again to get The Conduit (didn’t put the disc in the case despite leaving it out ready – grr) and then finally arrived. Since things were a bit of a blur, I’ll break it down game-by-game:

    Wii:

  • The Conduit – The pointer spazzed out a bit due to Elliot’s crappy TV (which also looks really poor – turn up your colour and brightness, man!) so it was kinda unimpressive. I couldn’t even get my usual pistol headshots when in multiplayer.
  • Wii Music – It was Peter’s idea. Move along.
    360:
  • Castle Crashers – WAS AWESOME.
  • Shadow Complex – felt like a Metroid rippoff with loose controls and a retarded 3D gimmicks. I also didn’t like the cutscenes or art style. But other than that, yeah, pretty good.
  • Fable II – kinda underwhelming. Once you’ve killed three people with a massive fire spell, you’ve killed them all. The animations were also clunky and looked like they were from some cheap MMO. Bad Peter Molyneux, bad.
  • Gears of War – I didn’t actually play it, but I saw it being played – or tried to. Everything is so brown and grey that it’s almost impossible to discern anything. The voice acting was similar.
  • SoulCalibur IV – I sucked at it, and Cervantes doesn’t look as cool.
    Dreamcast (yay):
  • SoulCalibur – Ivy’s boobs are about ten times smaller in this one. Elliot had not unlocked Cervantes. I did like it more that IV, however.
  • Sonic Adventure – Surprisingly good. Sometimes the camera goes nuts and the hubworld is somewhat confusing, but hell, it works as a 3D Sonic game – and that’s an achievement.
  • Jet Set Radio – Totally insane, and REALLY hard. It’s not broken or anything, and I’m sure I could master the controls with time, but it’s just tricky. The cel-shaded graphics look very nice and run fluidly and the music is awesome.
    PS3:
  • Erm… I think Peter played Prototype. It looked okay.

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Koninichiwa!

Monday, August 24 2009 at 20:52 (Daily Life, Music, Reviews) (, , )

It’s time for that segment you all love and look forward to, Leave it to Kero! Umm… yeah.

So no blogs in fifteen days. Wanna know why?

NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.

Nada. Niet. Zilch. Zippo. Cero. Kyo.

Well, nothing really of interest to all two of my readers and definitely nothing of interest to those strange fellows out on the intarwebs.

Firstly, I’ve been spending a reasonable amount of time playing The Conduit. I’m now level 17 or so out of 24 on the online. I can pwn ‘most everyone with pistol headshots. It’s a lot of fun.

I’ve also been helping my dad restore our other wooden boat, a dayboat-ish sized dinghy called a Miracle. It’s mainly involved crawling inside tight spaces and ruining t-shirts, but it’s also involved monotonous scraping down of bits of wood. Actually, ‘monotonous’ is a pretty good description for the last fifteen days.

My main ray of sunshine recently has come from watching the Cardcaptor Sakura anime, which is beautiful and brilliant and just plain would have made me cry at some points had I not lost that ability. It may look like a cartoon about catching cards to a mere onlooker, but it’s actually deep and all about human relationship and different kinds of love. In fact, I often got annoyed when the cards got in the way of the relationships.
The characters are all beautifully crafted and the viewer gains an emotional investment in every one, whilst even the weirder relationships (young student-teacher, cousin incest, gayness) are only used to help explore the way that love affects the lives of everybody.
Anyway, it’s really, REALLY fricking good (as good as FMA in my opinion), but only if you watch the Japanese version. In the dub most of the relationships are removed, Tomoyo gets the really, really stupid name of Madison, and you don’t get the awesome music.

Oh, and Li is also awesome.

One side effect of this is that most of the CCS fans are girls, so I’ve been going onto the girly side of the web. It’s weird, but manageable.

(I probably like CCS for the same reason that I liked Twilight – some kind of deep-seated feminism.)

Oyasumi-nasai!

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Inglaterrafirma

Sunday, August 9 2009 at 23:38 (Daily Life, Music, Reviews) (, , , )

Check that amazingly awesome title. Yeah.
Almost as good as this. Almost.

Anyway, as you might have guessed from the title, I’m now back in England (and have been for several days) and I’m also not on a boat. I suppose it’s only right to cover events since last time, since that’s really the point of this, isn’t it? Hm?

So shortly after finishing my last blog we started out on our night passage through Amsterdam, timed so to minimally impact traffic and trains with the lifting bridges. And… yeah. It was pretty fun. I started out sitting on our sail on the boom, but then everything got a bit samey after the tenth or so bridge, so I lay down on the sail instead and dozed until I got cold, at which time I went down below to sleep for a few hours in the warm. It was pretty cool, though, knowing that I was sleeping on deck on a boat that was travelling through Amsterdam at 3:oo am with twenty-seven other boats.
Some hours later I woke up in… uh… somewhere. I can’t recall where it was, but there wasn’t a lot to it and I was very tired.
The next place we went to after that was Dordrecht, a fairly nice but somewhat grey city that we’ve visited in previous trips to the Netherlands. We were originally planning to stay there for two days, but that evening we found out via a phone call that one of my father’s cousins, who had been ill for several weeks, had died. Since most of my father’s relatives live in Guernsey in the Channel Islands and the fact that we guessed the the funeral would be on the Friday (this was Sunday), we realised that we’d have to be home by Wednesday in order for him to make the funeral. This prompted my mother to go totally mad and start planning things, so the next day we cancelled our extra day and set off for Colijnsplaat, which is only a short distance from the Roompotsluis, beyond which lies the North Sea.

To get there we had to battle through several complicated locks and avoid about a million people before finally mooring up and then receiving new information that the funeral had been postponed until Monday. Feeling rather robbed of our extra few days but also feeling that we might as well go considering that we’d prepared and the forecast was good, I sailed us across the Oosterschelde far too fast and we crossed through the ‘sluis without any problems, me only noticing at the last moment that we’d forgotten to get out the liferaft for the crossing, causing a massive rush in which many things were nearly thrown over the side and lots of shouting.
However, things eventually settled down, the Netherlands disappeared behind us and soon it was night on the North sea. I was given a watch on my own (a first for me) from 2:30-3:45, which was quite boring really, but it was kinda interesting listening to music on my iPod in the middle of an empty sea; the music seemed like it was echoing all around the world.
We arrived at Suffolk Yacht Harbour at around 10am the next day and headed home after breakfast, only to discover that my brother was not at work – he had an ‘upset stomach’. We tidied up a bit and then I sat down at my computer and attempted to catch up with everything that I’d missed over the last few weeks, including blogs, videos and news from various sources.

So for the last few days I’ve been mostly playing games and internat surfing, and attempting to contact people about doing stuff to assay my boredom. I’m actually considering re-reading the Twilight saga.
Yesterday I went to see Harry Potter with my parents… and I didn’t like it. Death Eaters can’t fly! WTF? Why was the Burrow destroyed? Why were there no lessons apart from Potions? WHERE THE FUCK WAS NEVILLE? He didn’t get a single line! How is Harry going to know where the Diadem is? Why was Lavender so ugly? How the hell is Harry going to know how to find the other Horcruxes when he hasn’t been told that they’re all heirlooms of the school founders and Nagini? Where will people think the ring came from is we miss out ALL of the House of Gaunt stuff? Why is Harry still such a sucky actor? How does Hermione somehow keep on getting hotter? Erm… I mean… er…
Yeah, so I didn’t like it much. Without the day-to-day lessons interspersing all of the other stuff it just felt more like an adventure that happens to be set in a school, rather than a school adventure.
I’m assuming that Dumbledore’s funeral wasn’t included because it’s going to be used instead of the wedding as a jumping-off point for the next film, but we’ll see.

Today we went to see my grandparents, where my grandfather half bored me to death by talking about the National Gallery after I vaguely expressed in interest in going there. However, I did a neat little book with most of the National Gallery pieces in it, as well as a rather good book full of typefaces. I’ll probably bring it into school at some point just to annoy people with how freaking awesome Century Schoolbook is. My grandparents used to be publishers, so I had to run any fonts I sort of liked past my grandmother to check whether they were allowable, not too American and don’t have bad associations.

I’ve been spending a reasonable amount of time playing Breath of Fire IV, having downloaded a PAL disc image to replace my busted actual disc. It plays much better now, but it’s still not as good as BoF III. By the way Capcom, screw all of the Resident Evil Wii-makes, give me freaking Breath of Fire VI any day. Seriously.

I’m planning a few upcoming features, which i’m going to write about here so you can point out in a few weeks when I’ve pretended to forget about them.
-A photo-based tour of our boat, along with commentary.
-A list of all of the things that I initially ranted about in blogs that actually sucked, but I didn’t realise until later. (This may take some time and come in several installments.)

Anyway, that’s all.

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