March 07, 2016

Camping at Tyler State Park

My wife wanted to go camping this week as an experiment to see how we liked it as a family.  I had done a lot of camping as a Boy Scout, but not much as an adult.  We had gone on trips with her family when there was a Winnebago Minnie Winne available for people to sleep in, but this time it was a shelter site at the state park.  


I couldn't say no.  I am at a point where I will leap at any change in routine to get me off my keister and out exercising.  So we loaded up the van and went.
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What kind of relationship do Orga and Mika have?

"Not Yet Home" has an interesting encounter between the two. Mika was almost a demon... no, that's not right.  Frequently in the series, there have been brief flashback images to an event in their past involving the killing of another person. It's heavily alluded to in both the ED and OP of the early episodes as well as during the show. With today's episode though, Mika approached Orga and demanded direction on who to kill, what to destroy, as a way to get Orga out of his funk from the events of the previous two episodes.  It was so strong and direct, it painted Mika in a much different light from the quiet figure we have seen of him outside the cockpit.  It reminded me of several different character tropes from fantasy novels where there are berserkers or strong fighters that intentionally enter slavery to someone so that they can make use of their powers and still have a rational focus to their use.


I want to know more of their history.  I want to know if this is Barbados and the A-V system amplifying this, or if this was something more deep seated in Mika's psyche.  

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January 26, 2016

Current Season Shows 1/26

Life is keeping me busy elsewhere, but I wanted to briefly touch on a few shows I'm following.

Erased (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi): Beautiful animation, compelling story, and interesting characters.  This show is gonna make me throw my tablet across the room in a couple of episodes when bad things happen, but I am very much enjoying it.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash:  A watercolor painting of teens learning to survive in a fantasy world. It's abusing the amnesia trope, but the characters continue to be interesting.  Slow moving, but that works for the show.

BBK/BBNK: More typical action fare, but the show has me wanting to know more about the world with each episode. Some excellent character designs, but big mechs keep me watching too.

Myriad Colors Phantom World: While the design and art are right up my alley, they're losing me in the story.  It's not compelling enough and I keep feeling like I'm gonna stop watching the next episode. Not sure how I feel on this one long term.

Phantasy Star Online 2: The animation - I keep watching because it's Phantasy Star, but could they be more obvious about being a commercial?

Schwarzes Marken and Divine Gate:  Looks great (heck, I've not seen a poorly animated show yet this season), but too much introspection and dark thoughts on these to really compel me to continue watching.  Some of these characters could out-brood Batman.

Dagashi Kashi: I went into this one expecting a comedy series.. I got an extended commercial.Not for me I guess.

There it is, the ten minute rundown of my Hulu and Crunchyroll queues. Very happy to be watching a lot of anime again.  It is my favorite media to devour on a regular basis, and I had been in a bit of a drought in 2010-2014. Part of that was that I fell out with torrents and the grey area they presented. But I digress.  That discussion can be in a separate post.

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January 22, 2016

Erased ep 3: Birthmark


This show is going to leave me in tears, but I am really enjoying it.  I'm serious.  It is well written, acted, and animated.  

christmastree


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January 15, 2016

Mega Man: The Boardgame

Another long outstanding Kickstarter reward rolled in yesterday.  The Blue Bomber himself made an appearance on my doorstep and after a single play, I am intrigued.


I was never very good at Mega Man and Mega Man 2  on the NES as a pre-teen, but loved playing through the levels.  Getting through Dr. Wiley's castle though usually resulted in me watching a friend play it.

When I heard JASCO Games was heading up a Kickstarter to make a board game around Mega Man, I bit.  Pictures and thoughts below the break.
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Blue butterfly watch.

Right now, Erased is standing out as my favorite story this season.  Just the right mix of mystery and revelations in the first two episodes. 

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January 11, 2016

New anime?

 Checked my Crunchyroll last night and found that a whole bunch of new series had been posted.  Lots of interesting Sci-fi/alternate world stuff. Here's my quick notes:


Divine Gate: Could be interesting, though it might be an episode or two for it to get interesting.

Myriad Colors Phantom World: Looks like an interesting ghost hunting show, but the fanservice is a bit over the top.  I used to not mind fanservice, but I've changed over time.  Still gonna give it a couple of episodes.

Schwarzes Marken: Giant mecha anime against an implacable alien foe.  Twist: This is cold war East Germany where there are informants around every corner.  Could be interesting, could be too dark for my frame of mind lately.  Looks very good animation wise.

BBK/BRNK: I think this was the most intriguing starter with a very otherworldly opener to a more typical second half.  Very beautiful and high quality animation.  Kept thinking of Chrome Shelled Regios for some reason during the second half.

Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation - Should be labelled PSO2 the commercial.  Seiga Academy?  Once the initial cold open ended, I was shaking my head at every improbability this one threw at us.  While I'll give them credit for not using the 'can't wake up from MMO' that had been used so much recently (SAO, .hack).  Being a big fan of the early Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star Online games, I was hoping for more. Sadly this episode let me down.  I'll watch one more but it's got to pack a punch for me to not drop it.

Just discovered on Hulu:  Assassination Classroom S2 (yay!), Pandora in the Crimson Shell (Shirow?  interesting), Luck & Logic, Haruta & Chika, Girls beyond the Wasteland.  

Lots of promise this session.  Even more so, lots of really beautiful animation.  Makes me wonder if there is a larger investment in simulcast shows this season, or if tech and skill have caught up with what people wanted to output.
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January 08, 2016

Anyone watch an show because of a well done AMV?

Watched Redline last night because of this music video.  




I was not disappointed.

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January 07, 2016

More details for Xenoblade Chronicles X

My apologies, my throat was on fire and I couldn't stop coughing after work Tuesday, so I didn't get back to my original post.  Spent all of yesterday in bed with no voice.  No voice = no calls taken in a call center.


I am still deeply enamored of this game, having clocked in forty hours of gameplay since last Friday.  Even when I am just playing the game on the Wii-U gamepad, it is a very beautiful game.  I am glad I downloaded the 8gb of data from the E-Shop because there is only a little pop in from loading data.

The story has a few holes in it, but I'm not going to nit-pick it yet until I've finished the game.  At forty hours of play, I'm level 34 and almost have two of the advanced classes mastered, and thanks to some story events, I've found a way to earn class xp at a slightly faster rate.  

Okay, slow down.  There is a lot I want to tell people about the game, but I do think the story is interesting enough that I don't want to spoil it.  I'm also trying to avoid the Superlative Adam Savage syndrome where every new thing is the best thing out there 'bar none'.  So lets step back the energy a bit and discuss the details.  I'll try to compare to other games I own on the Wii-U as I am able.  I am going out of my way to avoid any spoilers, though there is light discussion of the game setting and very early game below the break. So... small spoiler warning?

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January 04, 2016

Xenoblade Chronicles X, or "Where did 16 hours of my weekend go?"

Right up front, this is the same general combat system as Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii/3ds.  It's been tweaked and there are new abilities, but it is good.


I'll have more words on this once the workday is done, but I'm really enjoying my exploration of the planet. It's so beautiful!


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Android Netrunner, deckbuilding, and competitive play.

There have been many posts in the Android Netrunner Facebook group about changes to the tournament.  I hadn't read any of the new rulings posted to Fantasy Flight Games website until today.


And now I am sad.  

(Lots of game and card discussion to follow.)

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November 30, 2015

Weekly followup on what I'm watching.

So I'm still plowing along with pretty much the same series:


Record of Asterix War
Chivalry of a Failed Knight
Gundam: Iron Blood Orphans
One Punch Man

Record and Chivalry come out on the same night and still leave me confused on which details came from which series.  But yet I still watch.  I was thinking back and it would seem that part of it is why I like the Phantasy Star Online series of games.  Pretty, flashy weapons made of energy and a sci-fi setting.  

Iron Blood Orphans, oh heck, I just realized all four of these shows all hit on Sunday on Hulu and Crunchyroll...  Orphans still resonates with me.  All the characters feel well developed and I like where the story is going.  Can't wait to see where the Barbados leads the Tekkadan ship next. Also one of my favorite intro songs this season.  I keep sitting through it every episode when I skip all the others aside from One Punch.

One Punch Man still amuses me.  It's taken a bit of a darker turn but given the manga, that is expected. It is still beautifully animated and one of my favorite watches of the season.

Oh, and I've added Concrete Reolutio to my list.  It feels like a 1960s superhero show, or a little like the older Gate Keepers series which I also enjoyed.  There's a bit of jumping around in the show foreshadowing a betrayal or split, but it is all working so far.  Very vibrant too. 

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Baccano?

I'm trying to decide if this series is a ridiculous mishmash, or just plain lucky.



Issac and Miram are idiots though.

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November 24, 2015

A brief AMV

Anime has been good this year.  Not perfect, as some of my weekly notes might show, but good enough.  Here's a great AMV of 2015's shows:


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November 09, 2015

Weekly show followups

So I enjoy talking about anime, at least here I do.  Don't have many people I can chat with in person currently.  So... onwards!


Chivalry of a Failed Asterix War... wait, no...  Asterix Knight of the Failed War?  Both these shows have some great ideas, but I can't help but get them confused.  So far, the only significant difference I've found is that one protagonist has dark brown or black hair and the other has light purple hair. Both shows come out on the same night and have red headed co-protagonists. (Is that even a word?)  Art wise, I still enjoy what I see but I'm mostly just watching the episodes to see if they go somewhere interesting.  Chivalry is actually doing a bit better, but I still don't like how they're overdoing the harem.  Asterix War has some good ideas, but is muddled plot wise.  

Heavy Object: Largely dropped.  The first the episodes captured the essence of the manga I read several years ago.  Now as a reward for surviving a fight they should have, the protagonists get to do it again?  I might be more interested in the series if the background for all the fighting made sense, but as of ep 4, it's just an excuse to put the trio into weirder fights than the last.  Might revisit at completion of the broadcast.

One Punch Man: I keep hitting refresh waiting for this one to drop.  I"m still not fond of the later manga story and may drop it after the first season finished, but I'm still enjoying the early absurdity.

Beautiful Bones: I like where this is going, but my mood hasn't been great so I've not been watching it.  Hope to pick it up more later.  Hope they drop the 'putting her gloves on while skeletons walk around her' scene at the start of every investigation.  

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blood Orphans:  It's moving slowly in terms of plot, but I'm enjoying the cast they've built here.  There's a political plotline here that has promise, but I'm not going to wait forever. Who'm I kidding, it's mecha fighting.  Of course I'm gonna watch. Another show I look forward to the new episode to hit.

Comet Lucifer: Dropped until I hear it being talked about more.

I would like to say that Hulu Plus has been a worthwhile investment this fall.  Timely posting of episodes, lots of other episodes to watch as well (I'm getting to rewatch the original Dirty Pair. )  The no-ads monthly subscription is long overdue and for now, worth it.

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Thoughts - The Irregular Magic at High School


I finally finished watching the last six episodes of this series on Netflix last night and I come away from it with mixed feelings.  I liked a lot about the story and setting and it did many things right, but it had some missteps that really hurt it.  There might be lots of spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.
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October 13, 2015

Some brief notes before the workday begins

so the first episode of Chivalry of A Failed Knight was pretty good despite feeling like they had borrowed part of the plot of The Irregular Magic at High School.  Episode two has me almost running away from the series. They managed to squeeze in every possible harem meet up trope they could in this one.  I'm over exaggerating of course, but despite having started my anime career loving Tenchi Muyo, I'm pretty much over the harem plots. I don't mind a couple of intersecting possible romances here and there, but so far we have a sort of tsundere, an younger sister, an old school friend, and possibly one more. This one has about two episodes to balance itself out before I drop it.


One Punch Man is delightfully absurd and wonderfully animated. Cant wait for episode three. 

Still waiting for more Heavy Object.

Watched Comet Lucifer.  Almost turned it off again after the OP played. Too shrill.   First two episodes weren't bad.  I'm going to give it a few more episodes as well.

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October 12, 2015

Audible has a free audio drama of Locke & Key!

IF you have an amazon account, go sign into Audible.com and down load this drama.


I've had the first two volumes (Welcome to Lovecraft / Head Games) for some time, but never got around to picking up the other four.  This is a very well done 'radio play'.  The drama will be free until November 4th.

As a side warning, yes, this is a dark story, and the name of the town is no coincidence.  Welcome to Lovecraft Sound, Massachusetts. 

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October 07, 2015

Random anime...

Hulu suggested Assassination Classroom to me and I had seen some clips of it's absurd moments.  It's been a down kind of day so I figured a laugh could do me some good.  


After 2 episodes, I have to say I'm intrigued.  It has some downright funny/absurd moments and some interesting drama too.  I think I'm hooked.

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October 06, 2015

Windows 10

I finally took advantage of Microsoft's free update to Windows 10 from Windows 7.  I've been running the OS for about a week and a half now and I'm largely happy with it. 

Only have one real major failing with it at this point and that has to do with the chipset of my Netgear WNA1100 wireless N adapter.  Depending on how much I'm doing on the internet (connection wise), all my USB devices will just disconnect.  At first, I thought this was a recent Win10 development, but after thinking over the pattern of things, I realized the network disconnection has been going on for some time.  What is new is that the device completely disconnects now.  Previously I would just hit seemingly high pings for up to 30s and then be back to normal.  So I do think it was going on while I still had Win7.

All said, even after making sure I had the latest drivers, it seems the answer is don't use the Atheros chipset in my USB wireless or get an internal card. 

Or do what I really want to do and just start using Ethernet over Power adapters.

 I don't think most users will have many problems with Win 10.  Yes, stuff is arranged differently and I don't like how much usage information is being sent to Microsoft.  It lacks all of the touch interface items that made Win8 annoying.  Heck, I suspect it is only an iterative update from Win 7 overall under the hood.

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