Music: Gunslinger Girl OP.

I had made mention of this back in the December 2009 Month in Review post, but I had watched the first season of the Gunslinger Girl anime and I had a thing or two to say, not only of the anime (which will come in the future), but of the opening theme as well. For those of you who missed it, here’s another shot at it:

(I am not going to blog about the iPad at this time, though I’m sure the blogosphere is all atumble with the “news”.)

This is a good song, and more than that, the animation which is quite on the slow side, has things to look at, to look for.
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On Weight; Buffy versus Babylon 5.

The first season DVD set

Back in 2007 I had several months of free time, and I decided to watch some of the unwatched DVDs that collected in our cabinet, courtesy of Amazon. I’ve watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all 7 seasons of it, and the first season of Babylon 5. For those of you wondering, I watched 4-8 episodes a day, so it didn’t take that long.

 So what I want to talk about here is “weight”, the weight of the shows. Now, what sort of weight is this? It’s a subjective feel that you have after the show ends. I am not sure if I can grasp what exactly I mean in a short amount of words, so I will make several passes around the concept, and hope that after that, you will know what I am speaking of, even if a definite definition will elude us.

So, some books, some movies, they are “meaty”. After you watch them, you sit there and keep thinking about it, you go and talk to your friends about it, you go online and post lengthy posts about it (;)). The point is, the media item in question has a lot going for it, and you can keep talking and thinking about it for quite some time.
This is sometimes not an attribute of the item in question, but rather how it touches upon something in you, the reader. Good media often touches on enough topics and in such a way that most people will have something to address in such a way.
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Comedies and Geekhood – Genshiken/The Big Bang Theory? All.

Genshiken animeWell, this is not a post just about the geekier comedies which I love, such as Genshiken (which may not exactly be a comedy, but a slice-of-life series) and The Big Bang Theory, but it’s true for all comedies, and many stand-up shows as well, certainly all those who deal with current events and politics.

I think intertextuality is what geeks thrive upon, and geeks who are into “geeky things” seem to respond and be proud of it, but having watched some comedies that deal with sports, I think it’s true for all geeks – all those who are nearly obsessed with a field respond well to shows that “reward” them for their knowledge, and which separates them from those who do not “get it”. Geeks do tend to take it one step further.

Think of Genshiken, with all of the anime and mangas referenced, and which those of us who watched with subtitles usually had helpful notes explaining what is being referred to. And then you have the self-proclaimed “Big Geeks”, who scoff at those who do not recognize all such references immediately, or TV-Shows such as Stargate where things from the first couple of seasons will show up in season 8 (and then think of conventions where there are minutiae quizes, to prove you’re the biggest fan).
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Figure Friday Feedback Edition.

This is not actually a Figure Friday post, but a post where I talk about Figure Friday a bit and ask for your input.

As you may have noticed, the last time a Figure Friday post was written covered October 16th-22nd, and there had been a couple of major causes for that, which can be summed in one simple word. Time.

There’s an upside and a downside to this being an issue of time: The downside is that I am a full-time student, and if I have a busy semester or busy week at school there simply cannot be a Figure Friday, and even before we sometimes had the post delayed (ok, after a certain point it was almost always delayed). The upside is that should I find ample time again, I could just go back to writing these posts. I expect the upcoming semester to be slightly easier on my time, BTW.

The other point is that I doubt most of you understand how much time it takes to write a Figure Friday post. While I love having these posts written (and not just for the number of comments and views, which is much higher than usual for this blog), but I liked the accomplishment of having completed such a post. But how long does it take to get a Figure Friday post up, you want to know? From the time I begin working on it until it is published, well, let’s call it about 6 hours.

Six hours. I go to Neko Magic and Kumo’s blog, and find and open all the interesting figure pages, then I try to whittle it down to the best and the worst, and sometimes the most interesting, I try to limit the number of pictures I use for each figure, so there’s more indecision and option-weighing going on. I write down my thoughts on each figure and then I try to find a place for you guys to reserve it, sometimes adding notes on how to go with special stores and deputy services, etc.

And of course, the adding of the images. After I finished everything else, adding the images from Flickr… it used to take me about 3 hours or so, but I found a way to take it down to “only” an hour, an hour and a half. Getting the images to be about the same size, not too big, centered properly, etc. It’s such a headache, it’d truly be easier if I were to only post one or two images…

And after it all, I go over the figure sales I find on eBay, various sites, the restocks, the new releases, the news of conventions, and this takes some time as well. Not as much as other things, but it all adds up.

Options:
So now, here comes my musing about the options, things I could be doing to help get Figure Friday more on track. And yes, I know I promised Figure Monthly and it’s not out yet… I hope to get at least November and December, if not also October, next weekend (semester break begins, and I have a relatively small number of tests, on account of having numerous large assignments instead, whee!).
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Music: The Guild – Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?

Well, I must say that I’m fairly disappointed in you guys, especially those of you who come from the Western Hemisphere, even moreso from those of you who come from, say, the USA, for not knowing, and if you do know, not mentioning this video, while mentioning the Touhou Bad Apple video (now with subtitles!).
(And why, yes, an actual Music Monday on Monday ;))

Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?” is very much a geek video, and it also looks good. It uses stop-motion, which makes it look classy in some bits, a bit hokey in others, but quite stylized all the same. Personally, I didn’t like the stop-motion too much in Bad Apple, because with the shadows it broke the fluidity a bit much, but here it works.

For those who do not know, the video shows the people who make up the cast of the online series The Guild as their characters, for they happen to play in World of Warcraft. Felicia Day who wrote it is an avid gamer, and those who watch The Guild or listen to the lyrics of the song can quite easily tell there’s “insider knowledge” of the game, so it’s “legit”, so to speak.
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Atarashi Games’ School Uniform Design Contest

For those of you unfamiliar with Atarashi Games, they’re an independent publisher of tabletop role-playing games, best known for a psychic schoolgirl adventure game called “Panty Explosion.” PE can be kind of dark, but despite the title it’s not particularly pervy or anything. It’s earned them all kinds of extra attention, though the objections have been mainly from men (including a guy who punched one of the designers in the head) rather than women. They also put out Classroom Deathmatch, which is basically Battle Royale with the serial numbers filed off. In short, not unlike myself Jake Richmond and his associates are fans of various kinds of Japanese media and generally like messing with people.

That’s why Atarashi Games is probably the only RPG publisher that would hold a contest to design a Japanese-style school uniform for them to use with their games. I urge those of you who have some artistic inclination to consider entering, but the focus of this blog post is on school uniforms as a cultural phenomenon.

Jake Richmond is an artist, teacher, game designer, and generally has a number of pursuits that take priority over being an anime fan. Anime and related media can be surprisingly subtle in terms of the visual elements they use. For Panty Explosion, Jake mostly did a bunch of relatively generic pictures of Japanese high school girls, with an emphasis on sailor fuku style school uniforms and in a realistic style. It works, though it gives the impression that the art is based off of stills of old Japanese horror films.
Western RPGs in general seem to have a hard time really getting the “anime” look down. Steve Jackson Games got one of their staff artists to fake it for GURPS Mecha, while Guardians of Order hired a variety of fan artists, sometimes with mixed results. More recently, Green Ronin did a Mutants & Masterminds supplement called “Mecha & Manga.” Some art was very good, and some of it was kind of iffy, but even the really talented artists produced a lot of pieces that were highly derivative.
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Month in Review – December 2009: Purchases and Media.

Well, this is the last month of 2009, of the decade, so you’d expect me to close with a bang, right? Well, I didn’t. School is still busy, and my money situation deteriorated somewhat. I now earn half of what I earned before, and well, I didn’t earn much before either ;)

I am accepting donations of money, figures, and other non-food goods, apply at the closest Geek-Donation Association Chambers near you! Heh.

Media:
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