One of my favorite Touhou Fansites, “Touhou no Sekai” is celebrating its 3rd Birthday today. Needless to say, congratulatory fancomic was in order. You don’t need to understand Spanish to read it, though: The Humor is Silent.
The results are out, and are kicking our asses.
Let’s take a look at the Character Rankings, yes?
I’d been planning this post since November, but had no idea how I was going to deal with the subject. It’s about OTAKU, and my city, CIUDAD JUAREZ. It’s complicated, but I was missing a crucial component, one element that would show how FULL OF SHIT things are here.
I found it in December.
But before dwelling in how a little trip gave me the tools needed to make this evil, mean and decidedly poignant post, it’s
Just a heads up, while I prepare a post in which I geek out about Nanasaki Ai (HHHHHNNNNNNNNNGGGGG!!) from Amagami SS:
I have a guest blog post over at All About Manga. Many thanks to Daniella, who gave me a chance to rant a lot about what it means to be an Otaku in one of the weirdest, most dangerous places of the world.
Just between you and me, this piece was hard to write. Finding the right structure and the right topic was a huge challenge: Most of the time I was ranting about old anime, and when I realized I was straying from the most important thing about Mexican Otaku (That is, The Current Situation), I scrapped everything but the introduction.
I am not exactly super-amazed at what I wrote. I think it’s barely OK, but then again I am a guy who tries to make literature, not commentary. Stories, not essays. Hence, from a literary stand point, I look at it with hesitation.
It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.
So, it is absolutely OK.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to open this blog post. I keep coming back to it, on and off, and find no easy answer. Instead of trying to be creative, or be witty, I’m going by the formula and getting straight to the point: I loved Angel Beats. I loved it as much as it was flawed. It had the potential for greatness, for being incredibly memorable, of being one of the best of the year, and instead of being Great, it was Just Okay. When I talked to my friends about this, they all agreed, and once we did some research on the subject, it soon became apparent why this great series was doomed to its non-greatness.
Fact Roll: Angel Beats! is a 2010 anime by Jun Maeda, the man behind the story and music in many of Visual Art’s/Key productions such as Kanon, Air and Clannad. The animation comes courtesy of P.A. Works, whose previous works include CANAAN, True Tears, and the Professor Layton movie. Character design comes from old Jun Maeda collaborator Na-Ga (Little Busters!, Kud Wafter, and the upcoming Rewrite). The director is Seiji Kishi, the man who directed Galaxy Angel Rune, Seto no Hanayome and Tentai Senshi Sunred.
And even then, it only weighs less than 10 megs.
Of course, that doesn’t mean converting it into an Embeddable Flash file was easy.
It actually took quite some time (And changing computers a couple of times).
Anyways, once again I barely finished the whole thing on time, but I had troubles with fonts and such. And even then, I’m not entirely sure it’s not without issues. If you find anything that doesn’t work / is broken with this comic, please leave a comment so I can get around to fix it.
Anyways, I was the only one from this city who participated and didn’t sleep for the duration of the event.
Which proves that I either have undaunting stamina, or are certifiably insane.
Nevertheless it’s a win/win situation.
The hardest part is always around 3 or 4 AM, when you count the hours and realize that you’re way behind.
You literally go crazy, then. It’s around that time when I came up with the second half, which is decidedly more scattered than the first.
Of course, my initial plan was not to make another story featuring Juan and May (I did the first one in the 2008 24 hr comic day), but Lunamer.
I abandoned this idea the moment the clock started ticking.
It was around 5 or 6 AM that the idea of introducing Lunamer to the story, but an hour passed before The Game between May and Lunamer came to be.
Not even I know the nature of The Game, but it’s most definitely a game of wits.
Apparently, the rules change each round and you can never plan them in advance.
It’s a game of improvisation, much like Mornington Crescent, only instead of being verbal, it implies doing more physical stuff.
It’s impossible to know if these two are the only players of The Game. It might be entirely possible it is a multiplayer game!
Feel free to give it a go, if you dare try.
The ending of the comic is once again a product of late night madness.
Also, reaching panel 90 and needing 10 more panels.
Thus, it just came flowing.
The hardest part was using the spotty internet connection to download the “X, X Everywhere” template.
I blame Beto for the inspiration. Damn you, Beto! And thank you so damn much.
Finally, before starting the whole thing, I warmed up doing two panels of Lunamer, back when I was thinking of doing a story about her. In the end, they DID end up being used, but I won’t tell you how or where… Yet. 😉
Anyways, this year was the hardest. The change of format, having to work outdoors in the cold, covered in dust and sand, it was all extremely adverse to me.
My allergies are killing me. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch some anime and forget about the whole experience.
I stand victorious for the third year in a row.
By now, you’ve probably read many posts on the subject (It has been a week after all). You’ve also probably read his parting words (Makiko Itoh has a great translation here), seen his movies and series, and voiced your opinion on the subject. Heck, if you own a blog, chances are you may have talked about it. Or tweeted about it. Or re-tweeted what someone else had to say. Either way, his death was the talk of the town in the AniBlogger community, and even in some film fan circles.
But you haven’t read what I have to say on the subject.
And here it is.
Usually, thinks are calm down the base: Not much to do, just upgrade things here and there, fix other things, deal with the occasional troublemaker. But sometimes, people ask you to solve bigger problems. And that’s when things start getting messy: You have to manage the usual Fixing, Upgrading and Pest-riddance in conjunction with Bigger Problem Solving. And when the Bigger Problem comes in the form of Even Bigger Problems, you know you’re bound to get your hands full of oil, blood and sooth.
So, that’s the situation here at the base. I ain’t Fixing, Upgrading and Pest-ridding as much these days because I’m working on some Even Bigger Problems, but as soon as those are sorted out I will go back to the usual.
I predict a post in the future.
A post about Anime.
In fact, it’s about a specific anime title that I liked, despite its flaws and controversy.
It ain’t no secret series or anything: It’s Angel Beats!.
The post is already half-done, but it’s a goddamn mess and I can’t clean it because those damn spies keep sappin’ my sentries.
brb teleporter comin’ up
Finally saw Inception last Friday, thanks to the way movies are distributed in Mexico. But that means nothing, because Inception is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Ever.
I have been talking a lot about this movie recently. With friends, pals, random people in the net. There’s a general consensus that this movie is indeed very good, and only one person had a dissenting opinion, arguing that he did not like it that much because he didn’t find it “revolutionary”.
Well, he’s right. This movie doesn’t introduce any new concepts that have never, ever been used before in any media.
It does, however, work with those concepts to create a straightforward, rich narrative that captures the audiences imagination and never lets go in the 5 hours this film lasts.
Yes, this film bends time as you watch it. And that’s part of its magic: While other movies with great execution, like James Cameron’s Avatar, make perfect use of their storytelling resources to weave the same old tale with almost no flaws whatsoever, other masterfully executed movies also choose to do something more. What Inception does extra is, it plays with the audience. The movie conspires, whispers, and acts in coordination with the viewer. You let your guard down, and BAM! You’re immersed, and you can’t escape until it actually lets you.
Director Chris Nolan is not afraid of pushing the story forward by any means, giving the proper spotlight to each character, all the while playing at/along/with the audience, creating small incoherences and then throwing them aside for the sake of storytelling. The man is subtle, firm and explosive, all at once. He caresses your eyes with bullets made of explosive razors, and you love every minute of it.
The cast is made of some of the most synergistic characters I’ve ever seen on a film. Each one serves its purpose, and they all get enough time to shine properly. Add the super performance of the actors, and you get “memorableness” all around: Not a single character wasted, not a single moment of “I wish that character didn’t appear on the scene”.
The soundtrack… It’s Hans Zimmer. Hans Zimmer always delivers.
In sum, Inception is a combination of super storytelling, great characters and acting, and another brilliant score. All those elements are so good that you almost forget that the visual effects are in-fucking-credible. They become simple cherries, atop of a cake made of pure, unadulterated awesome.
My recommendation to you is this: Watch it. Now. With this movie, you can, and will have your cake, and eat it too, no matter what anyone says about it.
Yesterday, I decided to finish some things that had been left… Unfinished.
Nope, I still have to get 1 more Super Mario Galaxy 2 star, so I’m putting that off for a while.
I’m talking about… SP!
Yesterday, I finally got what I had been waiting for! SP!
Of course, I’m talking about…
What? You thought I was talking about ANOTHER SP?
A comic? Why would I talk about comics in this–
Oh yeah, Amazon did deliver this baby to me. So I guess we can talk about comics.
If you don’t know what Scott Pilgrim is… What the hell are you?
Are you living UNDER A ROCK?
Are you ISOLATED from the rest of the HUMAN RACE?
Do you even know what THE INTERNETS is? (PROTIP: You’re reading it)
Scott Pilgrim is a series of Graphic Novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Just like it says in the cover!).
It is also the name of said Graphic Novels’ protagonist, a 23-year old slacker, Bassist for the Sex Bob-Omb, a crappy band in Toronto. He starts dating a high-schooler at first, but finds himself falling in love with mysterious Amazon.ca delivery girl, Ramona Flowers. Now, if Scott wants to date Ramona, he must defeat her Seven Evil Exes!
If I were to describe Scott Pilgrim’s style, I’d say: “It’s everything every geek that has been alive for the past 20 years knows by heart”. There’s music references, videogame references, life references, all in a package that blends Manga storytelling techniques with a peculiar, bold-lined style that you can’t help but admire.
And Volume 6 is the last one. It brings the story of Scott’s fight for Ramona, and does so with a bang. It is simply one of the Best Comics Ever Made, Ever.
The first volume in the series feels a bit experimental, almost as if O’Malley was still trying to find the way to make the storytelling work. It slows down sometimes, and sometimes is a bit all over the place, trying to find its focus.
In comparison, Volume 6 never stops: It reads fast, it cuts to the chase, it flows like a master Traceur entering The Zone during a Parkour run. It essentially kicks your ass.
And you want it to kick your ass all over again.
Mainly because it deals with Scott and Ramona’s personal issues in ways that the previous Volumes never did. It wraps up every loose plot, every thread, every character’s involvement with the story is properly finalized.
And in the end, everything changes, and you know what? Maybe it’s not a bad thing.
It’s actually a wonderful conclusion. It’s not just Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour… It’s everyone’s Finest Hour.
Thank you, Bryan O’Malley. You’ve given us a wonderful comic that speaks the language of a generation, in a way few comics ever have. I, as well as all the people I’ve actually roped into reading your comics, are very much looking forward to your next endeavors.