Back to our regular schedule, friends! I’ve had myself a VERY productive week. Here’s the lowdown:
Jojo episode 5, Macross Delta episode 5, and the Escaflowne movie.
Jojo: I’ll leave things vague so as to avoid spoiling people, but I’ll just say that bit with the photograph hit me in the feels a little bit ;_;
Macross: Loving this series more and more with every episode. I just can’t get enough of the mecha dancing~
Escaflowne: This summary will have a *few* spoilers, so watch out!
What a ride…the music and animation were top-notch, but as a movie, it felt very rushed…the protag seemed to turn from a sociopathic killing machine to a lovey guy at the drop of a hat, the villain’s motivations weren’t really explained (why did he want to annihilate the whole world?), the nature of the Escaflowne and especially the rival’s mech were left up in the air…lotta stuff seemed like it was left out. And with the female protag’s suicidal ideation, it was a lot more melancholy than the series. Still, the music and animation were worth it 😀
FINALLY sat down with Trails in the Sky. I set it on Nightmare mode, and it’s a pretty damn respectable challenge on that difficulty setting. It is, as they say, “comfy as fuck.” The battle system isn’t too complex and the dialogue is utterly charming. My only complaint is that I wish there was a way to turn off the battle animations…you can turn off voices, but it’s kinda time consuming to see the same spell, special attack, etc. effects over and over.
I’ve also been playing Battlefleet Gothic—in fact, playing it more than Trails in the Sky, because I hear there’s a THIRD chapter for that game that hasn’t been released in English yet. Gothic is very fun as well, a pretty solid RTS feature fleets of ships in space (in the Warhammer 40k universe, which most of you are prolyl familiar with, I’d wager), though sometimes the randomness can get really annoying. In some missions, you have to get a ship to a certain location in time, and they can be either very easy or close to impossible because the locations are randomly determined—i.e far away from your fleet or very close to it. But other than that it’s a damn fun spaceship RTS.
FINALLY finished David Brion Davis’ Inhuman Bondage this week. It’s a great book, though to be honest, I felt a *little* let down after reading it…perhaps because I’ve done my own reading in graduate school (I first came across the book when I was an undergrad at college) but it seems just a little shallower than I remember when I first read it. Of course, this is because it’s a general overview of slavery—since I’ve read so many of the books and monographs on specific regions (North America, the Caribbean, Brazil, etc.), I’ve acquired a (at least slightly) deeper understanding of them than what I would have gained only by reading Inhuman Bondage. Again, that’s no critique of Davis; if he had gone into a specialist’s level of analytical depth on *each* region he covered, the book would have been like 80 times longer! So I guess all this is to say that while I still love Inhuman Bondage, and still think it’s a great overview of slavery, I’ve grown a bit as a ponderer of history since I first read it 😀
I’ve also been spending time on William Dusinberre’s Them Dark Days, which is an examination of the economic and social lives of black slaves and white masters on rice plantations in Georgia and South Carolina. I’ll put the finishing touches on it later tonight, but so far it seems to me there are two great virtues of it: First, it illustrates how terrible American slavery could be; the mortality figures of the slaves Dusinberre provides are quite horrifying. Second, it’s as good a work as any on slave life itself, at least that I’ve read recently. Though sources from black slaves *while they were slaves* can be hard to find–most accounts of slavery were written from guys and girls who escaped and educated themselves, like Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth–Dusinberre manages to piece together their experiences from what their masters (in diaries, letters, recollections of interactions with the slaves) wrote about them saying. Such an approach isn’t perfect, since masters would never know as much about their slaves as the slaves themselves, but a careful eye can tease out the truth, and Dusinberre had such a careful eye. So I’d definitely give this book a read ;D
Busy busy on this front. First, though, some good news: My committee finally got back to me about my dissertation draft! They…haven’t read it yet, cause they’ve been super busy with grading for their undergrads (it was crunch time for exams and stuff when I handed in my draft), but now that the year is almost over and summer’s on its way, they have time to look at it, so they should be back to me in a couple of weeks or so 😀
Aside from that, check out my previous entry. A little snarky, but IMO it’s the best piece of historical writing I’ve put out since I finished my rough draft. Kept me busy though ;D
Victory on this front as well, my friends! Finally released episode 15 of Metal Armor Dragonar:
So yeah, overall, great week! Here’s hoping the next one goes as well 😀