February 24, 2005

Anime I’ve been Watching.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done this, and I’ve got nothing else to write about now, so here are some of the shows that I’ve seen recently.

Air: A traveling puppeteer who seems to use magic takes his act to a town and is immediately surrounded by several very strange girls. Sounds like a crazy show, but it’s actually a very serious character study. I can’t put my finger on why, but after sampling a few episodes I got really interested in seeing how the story will turn out. Very nice animation with vivid colours too. I’ll recommend it for those looking for something different than a typical action series.

Major: A baseball anime. I’m not very interested in baseball, but I gave this show a shot and I find it very engaging. Like most sports anime, it’s not really about the topic at hand, but about the characters and what they go through. An aging and injured pitcher, left with his 5 year old son after his wife passed away, attempts to grab hold of the few remaining strands of his career by making a comeback… as a batter! Like most sports anime, this one piles the drama on very thickly, and does a damn good job of it too.

Black Jack: Some time ago I talked about watching the Black Jack special “4 Miracles of Life” episodes, and mentioned how there was going to be a new ongoing series. This series has easily become one of my most favorite anime shows of all time. Each episode presents a new situation in which Black Jack is creatively weaved into the story to use his amazing surgical abilities. Some episodes are real tearjerkers!

Mahoraba Heartful Days: I could tell you how this show is about a young guy who has left home and moved to the city to go to a special school for artists, and maybe that would sound interesting. But after watching the first episode I discovered that the aforementioned young guy has the hots for the girl who runs the building he’s living in. Oh, and she’s his cousin. Now, granted, the cousin is pretty cute, and perhaps the specifics of the situation may not be culturally taboo in this case, but I thought it was kind of creepy so I’m not watching anymore. Just say no, dude. Just say no.

Mahou Sensei Negima: A little boy is a teacher at an all girls school. Oh, and he also knows magic. For a show with so many girls, I was surprisingly bored while watching this.

Ultimate Girls: By the title, I thought that this was going to be some inane series about materialistic girls who go shopping and talk about their school lives while eating sweets. I was seriously wrong. This show is an Ultraman parody. It’s probably only funny if you know anything about Ultraman, but I do so I thought it was hilarious. A giant hero called “UFO Man” accidently steps on 3 girls while fighting a monster who looks like a vinyl collectable toy. He uses a portion of his powers to bring them back to life so that they may fight in his place. There’s tons and tons of fanservice. In fact, the whole show is just a hollow spectacle of fanservice and various transforming super hero jokes with a perverted edge. So, needless to say, I love it!

I’ve got a big pile of other shows to talk about, and even more that I haven’t gotten around to watching yet, but this will do for now.


So, if you haven’t heard by now, Naruto, the ninja themed anime about the Nine-tailed fox demon, has been licensed for distribution in North America. This is big news. Naruto is one of the biggest franchises in Japan right now. The manga has been available for quite some time and is very popular, and a sizable fan base of die hards has already been established through the Internet via Bittorrent downloads. Any fool can see the money dripping off of this show. It has the potential to be the next Dragonball Z. But, of course, to the typical elitist anime fan on the Internet, this is not good news. It didn’t take long for the whole “OMG! They’re going to ruin it!” nonsense to start up. Why? Because they’re going to have to make edits to the show’s content in order to conform to broadcast standards. Geeze, aren’t we past this yet? Who cares? Does it really make that much of a difference? Besides, unedited DVDs will come out eventually. I’m sure much of the backlash has to do with people not being able to easily download episodes for free off the Internet anymore. I think that’s disgusting. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. If you’re a fan, then you should pay. It’s only fair.

Personally, I think the bigger story in the world of animation isn’t the international processing of Naruto, but the potential desecration of the Looney Tunes through this new project, Loonatics. They’re taking these classic characters and making them the basis for a completely unrecognizable, edgy, “extreme” sci-fi show out of them. I’m sorry, but no amount of editing to a Japanese show to make it palatable for an English speaking audience can possibly be as bad as pillaging the Looney Tunes, who are cultural icons that have been with us for half a century. But this is Warner Bros. we’re talking about, and they have proven that they are more than willing to ignore or even rewrite their own history in order to force feed the masses what they think should be popular. Then again, it’s too early to condemn the show outright, and it could end up being good. We’ll see. But the people responsible are working inside of an important and legendary universe of characters, and thus have an awful lot to live up to. I hope that they can see and respect that instead of just picking the bones of a franchise they’ve allowed to flounder in a vain attempt at cashing in.


February 14, 2005

Once Again, I am Twisted.

Better than Chocolate



February 10, 2005

I’ve got Monkeys.

It is not the Year of the Monkey anymore, but I coincidentally made a monkey related purchase just before the Year of the Rooster began.

I bought Super Monkey Ball and Super Monkey Ball 2 for the GameCube. They cost around $20 each. I had never played these games before, but I’d heard and read about how much fun they were since they came out. So I figured, at that price, why not? Besides, it’s got monkeys. Monkeys make everything better.

So far I’ve just been playing the first Monkey Ball, and will tackle the second when I’m done. It is as quirky and silly and fun as you’d expect from a game with the words “Super“, “Monkey“, and “Ball” in its title. Despite the game’s cute exterior, it takes a lot of skill to roll that monkey around without falling off the ledge. There have been a few frustrating spots, but like any good game should, it keeps me coming back for more.

The real treat of this game, however, are the Mini Game and Party Game options, specifically “Monkey Target“. The concept itself is so crazy that it could only originate from Japan. You take a monkey in a plastic ball, roll it down a huge ramp, launch it over the open sea, have the ball split into hemispherical wings, carefully maneuver it towards the targets, close it up back into a ball, and hope that the monkey lands on big points instead of in the water. It’s one of the most insane, difficult, hilarious, and addicting things I’ve ever played. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but once you do, you’ll keep on trying to beat your score. I think that, from now on, various conflicts and arguments should be solved with Monkey Target. It just makes perfect sense to me!

There was another game I saw available at that same budget price: Billy Hatcher. It’s about a little boy in a chicken costume who rolls an egg around. Yeah. How appropriate for the Year of the Rooster. Think I’ll have to pick that game up too. Between Monkey Ball, Pikmin, and Katamari Damashi, I’ll be developing a crazy collection of weird video games. Could be a future article in that, so if you know of any weird, silly, obscure video games that are worth looking into, let me know and I’ll keep it in mind.

Now I’m off to play with my Monkey Balls.


Just before the new year, some punk kid who I had never met before sent me this e-mail.

You can’t be a moderator like me! I am the best moderator and every time I come to this site I puke all over myself! Want a good site, try mine! Bitch! I’m Raven and my site KICKS ASS, you stupid idiot. You cant draw either!!!
Wow, such an eloquent statement. Bitch. I have no freakin’ idea what he means by saying that I can’t be a moderator like him, but judging by the way this clown does business when he talks about his site, I am quite sure that I don’t want to be anything even remotely resembling whatever the hell he is. The way he wrote all of this forces me to believe that he’s been to my website more than once, so in turn I am forced to wonder why he bothered coming back for a second helping if he puked all over himself the first time. Not the most intelligent thing to tell someone you’re trying to make a point to. And you’ve got to appreciate how he just tacks on “You cant draw either!!!” at the end. With three exclamation points. Oooh, serious.

Perhaps I was being vain, but I could only assume that this e-mail was sent to me with the thought that I’d make fun of it, and thus draw attention to the so-called kick ass site that this “Raven” person claims to have. So of course I’m not going to put the URL up here because that’s exactly what he wants and I’m not playing that game today. Not that it would have mattered if I had posted about this at the time, since the website address provided in the e-mail did not work. I found this kick ass “Page can not be found” site amusing, but I shrugged it off and didn’t even bother replying.

Then I got this a few days later:

Hey jerk, I told you I wanted to challenge you in in who’s a better webmaster!


and then cry because it is FAR supierior to your crappy site!

Heh, “supierior”. Well, actually, he did not officially issue a formal challenge the last time, but whatever. So I check out the site address he included, this one being a completely different URL than the one from the first e-mail. The result?

Page can not be found.

You just can’t write comedy like that. It’s just too funny to make up. I sent “Raven” an e-mail complementing him on the nice job he did on this nonexistent web page, and that was the end of that. I haven’t heard back from him, so I just assumed that it was just someone’s idea of a joke.

But recently sorting out my in-box, I went back to take another look at those e-mails and, lo and behold, this “kick ass” website actually does exist now! So it’s real after all. Raven probably should have worked the bugs out before shooting off his big fat mouth, but there I was so I took a look around this “kick ass” website and found, in my humble opinion, that it was about as generic as you could possibly get on the Internet. Just another in a long line of anime websites with a fancy layout using standard images and the same sort of rudimentary information on the usual batch of popular, well known anime series that just about every other anime website like it already covers. Not bad, but nothing spectacular, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing no one else has ever seen before. Whoopdee freakin’ doo. Bitch.

Most interesting, however, was that there was a “Webmaster Tips” section. Perhaps this could help me make my crappy site as “kick ass” as Raven’s? So I read through it and, based on this situation, picked out a few lines that seemed to, shall we say, strike a chord with me.

You are not the best! This goes along with attitude too. Constantly saying “the best” or “the newest” not only sounds redundant, but also makes you look like a fool, and infuriates other webmasters. Nobody is the best – it’s a community.
Hmmm. And yet…
I am the best moderator and every time I come to this site I puke all over myself!
Maybe you like to pick on the little sites, but one day they will be stronger and you will have made an enemy. If a site looks promising, help them out. With this little bit of help, the site may succeed, and who will they thank?
Hmmm. And yet…
…and then cry because it is FAR supierior to your crappy site!
There will be periods of time people make fun of your site and such, but if you have the right motivation then move ahead forgetting what they’ve said and fulfill your goals.
Hmmm. And yet…

I’m Raven and my site KICKS ASS, you stupid idiot. You cant draw either!!!

Like I said, interesting. Draw your own conclusions. Bitch.