This week I purchased one of the craziest, funniest, most addictive video games I’ve ever played. It’s called Katamari Damacy, available on Playstation 2 from Namco, and it’s all about things. The wacky story involves the King of the Cosmos accidentally destroying all the stars in the universe. His son is sent to Earth and must use these big spherical objects called Katamari to collect, well, things! These Katamari are then sent into the sky to become stars.

The goal of the game is to roll up as many things as possible onto your Katamari so that it reaches a certain size within the time allotted. At first, only small things can stick to your Katamari, but as your Katamari gets larger, you can get bigger things to stick to it. Early levels have you starting with things like thumbtacks and buttons, but eventually you can move all the way up to getting dogs and cats. As you progress through the game, you start larger and can work your way up to rolling over people, even Sumo wrestlers! You play the game using both of the analog sticks, and you don’t need to use the 4 face buttons during gameplay at all.

What really makes the game shine is just how weird it is! There’s a lot of Japanese-style absurd humor. The characters look very silly, the text is hilarious, and some of the objects you’ll find to roll over are very strange. As you play, a story unfolds involving a family of block-looking people with cheesy dialoge. This is one of those obscure Japanese games that wouldn’t normally be released internationally, but when people in North America caught wind of it, they demanded its release. And with good reason, it’s just too crazy to resist. Best of all is that it’s an inexpensive purchase.

Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun with a game in a long time. I’m the kind of person who gets frustrated when I can’t passed a level of a game, but in this case when I don’t win I’m eager to try again, because it’s just that much fun. It’s the strangest, most charming game since Pikmin on the GameCube. Check it out for yourself and see how much fun rolling over things can be!


October 25, 2004

Null and Void.

Well, my main computer is screwed up again. I’m posting on the machine I usually just use for Photoshop and the like. Windows won’t even start anymore on the other one. I suppose I could try to repair the damage, but there have been some issues with it for awhile now and I’ll probably just wind up ripping out the hard drive, backing up all my files, and then reformatting the thing and installing fresh. That’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a few weeks, but now I actually have a reason to. But that means that my planned update for this month may not happen like I wanted it to. Oh well.

So I’m back at work at Comic Book Masters. I’m only teaching one class this time, Anime Round 1. I was disappointed that Anime Round 4 did not go ahead as planned, but the numbers are fairly low for everyone’s classes this time around. My class is fairly small, but it seems like it’ll be an interesting session this time around. Two students are 16 years old, which is great because the older students seem to get more out of the class and take things more seriously. Another student, an 11 year old boy, said that his favorite show is Robotech, which thrilled me to no end as an old school anime fan. So I enjoyed teaching the first lesson and it was great to talk with people who actually appreciate what I do after several months of dealing with idiots and jackasses over the Internet.

Speaking of which, this comes from Mark:

Yo mama. This site sucks a fatty. Eat a fart. A fat fart. You dummy face head. And poopy on you.
Charming. You know, I could sit here all day and talk about how many different reasons why this “Mark” is an idiot and his opinion is null and void, but in all honesty there’s no reason to do that. It would be redundant. Mark has done a fine job of proving that he’s an idiot all by himself, so I have no reason to even bother acknowledging him any further.

And from Sean:

Yes, I agree with Mark. He’s a very wise man. You should take his advise. And that is simply telling you…to… Eat poop and stop drawing. Because you suck. Thank you fo your time, and have a wonderful day!!!.
No, I do not agree with Mark. He is not a very wise man, he is a trolling punk and you are obviously his friend who he has put up to agreeing with him. I will not take his advice. I will not eat poop. I will not stop drawing. I do not suck. I refuse your gratitude for my time, and I will not have a wonderful day if I don’t want to. Go to Hell. That is all.


October 20, 2004

The Spanish Ninjatron!

I got this great little e-mail today.

You are like me!!! My nick is NinjaTron too and i like the same things!! xDDD

This is a mail in spanish.

Hola al leer tu perfil me he dado cuanta de que aparte del nick grab parte de tus gustos y aficiones son semejantes a las mias, por ejemplo mi acotr favorito tambien es jackie chan y me encantan las tortugas ninja, tambien me encantan las pelis de kung fu ( lo practico ) y bueno como ya he dicho me parezco mucho a ti xDD me ha hecho gracia, un saludo.
How about that? There’s a Spanish version of me out there! Now, I don’t really speak Spanish, so I’ll have to resort to using the great Bablefish for translation to see what he actually has to say.
Hello when reading your profile I have occurred to whatever of which aside from nick grab part of your tastes and likings are similar to mias, for example favorite my acotr also is jackie chan and they enchant the turtles to me ninja, also they enchant pelis to me of kung fu (I practice it) and good since already I have said I seem to you xDD much has made me grace, a greeting.
Umm, ok. Well obviously Bablefish isn’t much better at Spanish then I am, but I get the jist of it. I quite enjoy that “they enchant the turtles to me ninja” part.

So here is my reply.

Hello. Thanks for visiting my website. I hope that you enjoyed it. I’m happy to hear from the Spanish version of myself. If you are also named Ninjatron, then it makes a lot of sense that we should like the same things. I’m sure that means that you are a very cool person then. My Spanish is not very good. but please visit my site again sometime anyway.
Well, of course I can’t just leave it like that, so I’ll translate it into Spanish!
Hola. Gracias por visitar mi Web site. Espero que usted gozara de Ć©l. I’m feliz oĆ­r de la versiĆ³n espaƱola de me. Si tambiĆ©n le nombran Ninjatron, despuĆ©s hace los muchos de sentido que debemos tener gusto de las mismas cosas. I’m seguro que medios que usted entonces es una persona muy fresca. Mi espaƱol no es muy bueno sino visita por favor mi sitio otra vez alguna vez de todos modos.
Hmmm, but I wonder what will happen if I translate the translation back into English? Let’s find out!
Hello. Thanks to visit my Web site. I hope that you enjoyed him. Happy I’m to hear of the Spanish version me. If also they name Ninjatron him, later it does many of sense that we must have taste of the same things. Safe I’m that average that you then are a very fresh person. My Spanish is not very good but he visits my site please again sometimes anyway.
That’s right, the Spanish Ninjatron is a very fresh person. OlĆ©!

Now I wonder if there is a German Ninjatron too.


I just watched the last episode of what I thought to be a fantastic anime series, and I was so impressed by it that I had to share. It’s called “Black Jack: The 4 Miracles of Life“, and it was a 4 part special that originally aired last year in Japan. Black Jack, for those of you who don’t know, is a classic character created by Osamu Tezuka, the God of Comics and creator of Astro Boy. An amazing but unlicensed doctor who charges outrageous amounts of money for his services, Black Jack’s stories have been grounded in realism, since Tezuka himself was a doctor and used his knowledge of medicine and anatomy in his work as a comic book artist.

These special 4 episodes were recently fansubbed in anticipation for the brand new Black Jack series currently on the air in Japan, with fansubs forthcoming as well. The first episode starts with a flashback detailing how Black Jack became the man he is, but other than that each episode stands alone, and assumes that the audience already has a familiarity with the character. But even if you don’t know the character it’s still easy to get into this show, and I’m sure you’ll be a fan by the time it’s done.

The only prior exposure I’ve had to Black Jack is a 1996 movie released in English in 2001 by Manga Entertainment. That had a different animation style and was much grittier and graphic than this more recent series, which is more or less appropriate for all ages. There is more Black Jack animation out there as well, and after seeing “The 4 Miracles of Life” I think I may have to track it down and see for myself. The character is just so dark and cool, and the stories are unlike anything else I’ve seen put to animation before.

If you’re an anime fan, I urge you to check these episodes out. The fansubs are by Froth Bite who did a great job. There’s not much in the way of fancy digital effects or eye candy here, and it’s really nothing revolutionary, but it’s good, solid anime inspired by the guy who started at all.


October 13, 2004

The Thanksgiving report.

Had a great weekend with family up North to celebrate Thanksgiving, as well as my Grandmother’s 80th birthday. There was a lot of travel involved, though, and all in all I wasn’t even there for 24 hours. But it was worth it because pretty much everyone was there and I got to see all of my cousins at once. I’m the oldest of all of the grandchildren and it’s important to me to be able to spend time with them all. It was unfortunate to wake up on Monday morning and hear the news that Christopher Reeve had past away. That’s a true shame. He was a great man and he didn’t deserve to go out like that. He’ll be missed.

We drove back through the US to get home, thinking that it’d be a quicker ride to beat the Thanksgiving traffic on the Canadian side. Wound up at a Target department store along the way, and lucky for me I found this brand new exclusive Transformer:

Nemesis Prime

Transformers Universe: Nemesis Prime!

This evil Optimus type character is an awesome new recolour of the previously Japanese exclusive toy, Big Convoy. I’ve got a Big Convoy as well so it’s really cool to have his Evil American Doppelganger. He turns into a Mastodon with bloodstained tusks. The box even has a bio for him, rare for Transformers these days, which tells the story of how he was created by Unicron as a twisted clone of Optimus Prime, and carries the Dead Matrix, which can destroy the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Too bad his box art sucks. Since Nemesis Prime is a Target exclusive, it’s highly unlikely that this guy will ever see the light of day on the selves of a Canadian retailer, so I’m glad to have picked him up when I did. A very cool addition to the collection.