She packed my lunch every week for 12 weeks. I’ll never forget her tights.

Toilet Humor

Toilet Humor

What, you were expecting something else? Mind out of the gutter people, I just watched some anime, figured I’d tell you what you probably already know about some shows I watched.

Amagami SS+

The original show was not really good, but it’s four episode format at least kept the show feeling fresh, and boring arcs ended sooner than later. So this is like two episode arcs showing more…more doesn’t mean that I really care that much.

Rihoko finally got her boyfriend, which seemed to make the internet happy.

Honestly, this second season is quite boring, and I guess I don’t care for it that much, but the “I must finish everything” person in me must watch.

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Secret Santa 2011 – 12 things I love about Overman King Gainer

Welcome to this year’s Secret Santa review. In my second year participating, Santa decided that my list of anime was missing some action. While I enjoy the occasional mecha series, I don’t seek them out, so I polled my twitter friends and two of the three respondents (shows how people love me there) recommended I watch Overman King Gainer, because it was in their words, “Ridiculous.”

I needed more ridiculous in my life after the year I’ve had, queued up the first episode, and almost quit right then and there. Choice quotes, “WTF is with this opening,” and “Oh shit, I picked the wrong anime to watch for Secret Santa.” I powered on through to the second episode and I found something I didn’t expect to find after that first episode: gravity. I think about five people just fell out of their mechs during the second episode. Suddenly, I understood what the twitter respondents meant by, “Ridiculous,” and kinda fell hard for the show.

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What I learned from National Novel Writing Month

This year I participated in the 2011 National Novel Writing Month, or otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. I got familiar with the activity last year, but just thought it was a novel (see what I did there) idea. Since my initial familiarity with it last year, I have dabbled with a bit of writing, blogging (rarely), and even the beginnings of a work of fiction in my head that had a couple “chapters” make it onto a written page.Thing is, I haven’t done a great deal of writing. Between the project from hell at work, and general other things that took up my time, I just never had the time I wanted to devote it. Then the project from hell ended, time began to open up and there I was on November first, talking with a friend about NaNoWriMo and it’s actual start being that day. I created my account on NaNoWriMo.org, still not sure whether to do it or not. By the end of the work day, I had decided to make a go of it.I cheated a bit as I really didn’t write fiction, but the important thing to me was that I was writing. I had this idea in my head that my family had made my life somewhat interesting so I started the idea of, “How The Old Country Died in America.” Conceptually this was my growing up in America, with the slant that my family brought me with their upbringing in eastern Europe. What mattered, to me, was that I was writing.

This being my first experience with NaNoWriMo, here’s what I learned:

  • For the month of November, I watched a lot less TV.
  • Holy crap! Distractions!
  • I have some supportive folks around me, especially Flak, my wife, and certain members of my family who read a few excerpts and gave me a bit of feedback.
  • I learned that I want to know more about my family, because to truly depict their lives correctly and respectfully, I need to write more than what I know, but about them and their views.
  • I can actually write (not sure how well, but I can put words on a page in a coherent manner).
  • Scrivener is a pretty cool writing instrument.
  • 50,000 words is a whole lot of words.

So, as much as I enjoyed the experience, for someone like me, trying this for the first time, it’s pretty daunting, even near impossible.

There are a few things NaNoWriMo could do to make the experience…I don’t want to say better, but more palatable for less experienced writers. NaNoWriMo is held in November, which is where most of the drawbacks exist:

  • November is short
  • November has a major holiday that most people likely celebrate
  • For students, November tends to be near the end of fall semester which certainly doesn’t help get things done

Now those drawbacks can be overcome, I just couldn’t do it. Once you fall behind, it’s daunting to try and catch up. To hit that 50,000 words, you have to write around 1,666 words a day, which is doable, but pretty challenging. Personally, my subject matter was practically already written in my head, until I hit the wall of what I didn’t know, but when I fell behind, I found myself trying to make up that deficit the next day, which was nearly impossible at some point. At the end, I started using NaNoWriMo’s dashboard tools with Scrivener to figure out better daily goals that were more palatable.

In the end, I enjoyed the experience, even if I didn’t hit the goal for the month. I wrote almost every day, save my wedding anniversary and Thanksgiving. So, not that you all care, but I did get 28,440 words down and the intent to write more on the subject.

Someone said I watched some GAINAX shows

GAINAX's most epic robots

As many other anime fans, I have lists out on several sites. Each is different, and has different features. A while back the one I keep at Anime Planet delightfully informed me that I had completed fifteen shows principally produced by GAINAX. So for your reading pleasure, I have provided below the list of shows and my brief thoughts past the break. It’s not a full review of the show, just two or three bullet points about how I feel about it from my memories. The keyword being memory; some are remembered well, some more memorable for how good (or bad) they were to me.

These are not ranked in any order aside from alphabetical, sorry to disappoint.

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iDOLM@STER is better than I thought it would be.

idolmaster

Idols, now with less giant robots

So far each episode of this show has left me digging for what I want to see, which is annoying, but not entirely bad, because the standard moe tropes that are presented can be passed off as garbage easily and put aside. It’s almost like getting two episodes in one.

Every episode holds a little treasure for me due to personal experience, but what didn’t work for me in episode three was playing with cows, or Yukiho’s fear of men/dogs; things we’ve all seen before. This tends to pale with the rest of the episode, which was a pure joy for me.

Personal experience in live sound, recording, and even helping my wife attempt to get into the “business” as a singer, leaves me almost squealing with joy at the rest of the episode.

This episode has 765 pro on their first live gig at a festival. Expectations are high with all the girls as they think they’re about to be treated extravagantly, and they’re expectations are tempered when they arrive after the really long drive to the venue. The venue is small, the equipment old, and the clientele is a very small town.

Peppered between the silliness is the entire idol crew pitching in to make the gig work. They work the PA system, the lighting, the decorations, the stands for the festival, and all the background prep needed to pull off the show.

So what’s shiny is the team work, and the depiction of the setup for the gig. Watching the girls figure out how to put the old system together to make the PA work, was like a flashback to my days running live sound in a field with nothing but a tiny generator. But what sold me was overcoming what you expect to become what you need to be by working from the very bottom of the chain when you’re handed practically nothing.

The girls have a dream, and aside from Iori’s outward ojou-sama attitude, the rest understand what they need to do to attain those dreams, even if means performing in a backwater venue that no one will notice.

To be honest this works so well on the business aspect of the show, that the part about Yukiho overcoming her fears was just secondary. I really don’t care that it was secondary, because the background prep is done so well.

The goodness extends to the previous episodes also, even if the entire first half of episode one was chasing the hamster all over the office, the second half where the girls were interviewed about why they wanted to be idols was so well done, you didn’t realize that half an episode was wasted. Episode two gave us the promo photo shoot, which through a few snapshots gave more insight into the personalities of the group than any intro could. Two episodes in, and you know what each individual’s personality is, and what they believe the idol business is.

I was so ready to dismiss this, but I’ve found something that I’m really enjoying, even if I need to push some things aside and roll my eyes a few times to find it.

2011 Spring season lick test: part 2

Embossed Miku

Art still by ヤチヲ. Stupid emboss effect, by me.

More licking…let’s see what flavors come out this time for my discerning palate. Previous post is here.

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: Setup, with an OP that I’m not sure whether I love or hate. At least the main character tells us all the clichés to be expected for the setting. It’s almost like he was reading from the high school anime handbook. Continue reading