Ahh, it is GOOD to be back home. I’ll admit I haven’t done much dissertation work, but I DID do a little, so this does deserve to be a Dissertation Saga entry ;D You know, this song might as well be the OP for my dissertation at this point:
Macross 25: No action in this episode except at the very end, but at least we find out the truth about Hayate’s father, and Mikumo’s true nature. But they sure are loading a lot of revelations in the second to last episode…
Macross 26: Only one revelation in this episode (the bad guy wanted to make humanity a hive mind), but I gotta say, it was a satisfying finale. Tons of action, tons of singing, and the sympathetic antagonists teamed up with the good guys to take down the main bad guy. The love triangle was resolved too, so everything ended well.
Urgh…Overall, I liked Macross Delta, but I agree with a lot of my friends who say it started out with potential but petered out by the end. The first episodes, with stuff like a fuckin’ breakdancing mech, were really fun and inventive, but a lot of that stuff never shows up again. Not even mecha dancing, or anything fun like that! It ends up being bogged down in all the ‘mysteries’ that take such a long time to be revealed, and while there was a payoff, IMO it wasn’t enough payoff to justify 26 episodes rather than, say, 13.I would personally have started to reveal some of this stuff earlier, like maybe have the protags find out about Mikumo’s past when they raid the first Protoculture ruins, to spread out the revelations and keep later episodes from just being “infodumps.” Ah well, at least the characters and music were likable enough. I’m just kinda sad it could have been so much more, though maybe my standards are too high nowadays…
Jojo 28: What a bizarre enemy Stand! This invisible vampire thing that…sucks out people’s nutrients with what are apparently footprints and can only be evaded by going 60 miles an hour. I gotta give Araki (the creator of Jojo) some credit, he comes up with the craziest ideas.
Jojo 29: Pretty intense episode, very high speed. Once again, I can see why Jojo is as popular as it is…the fights and action are some of the most inventive of any manga I’ve read, and it’s translated to the TV anime format very well!
Total War: Warhammer. I gotta say I love this game–I got it when it was first released a few months ago, and I’ve already put in 229 hours on it, which is more than I’ve played some games I’ve had for years! The Total War series has, up to this point, been a historical grand strategy game where you build up a nation’s infrastructure and armies during, say, the Roman era, the Japanese Warring States era, and try to conquer the region. This grand strategy element is turn-based, but when you send your armies to fight, you play real time tactical battles! TW Warhammer is in that style, but set in the fantasy universe of Warhammer, so there are goblins and vampires instead of centurions or samurai 😀
A game like this is what I’ve always been waiting for, honestly…I’ve really been having so much fun with it. There are a few things I’d change, though. I may write a longer post on this later, but for now, I gotta say the battle camera is annoying. You can either have an exciting close-up view of the battle, but you can only zoom out the camera to a limited extent; when you zoom too far you’re sent into a battle map view, which lets you see everything but also takes away the useful UI. From what I saw on Youtube, there’s a way to activate the debug camera which lets you get a good view and keeps the UI, but you have to change the setting manually in the game files. I wish they added a way to give you something similar to that debug camera in the game itself.
Gorge is still havin computer problems ;_; Well, not much to be done…
Vessel by Andrew Morgan: I’ve kinda been on a scifi rather than horror kick recently, I suppose. After reading Not Alone, I decided to buy another cheap indie scifi novel off Amazon. This one is a little diferent, though it does involve government cover-ups too.
It starts off with some Russian astronauts on a space station seeing a bizarre extraterrestrial craft (the titular Vessel) orbiting nearby–it can’t be detected with cameras or radar or anything, but when they look at it with their own eyes, they see a trapezoidal object that changes colors constantly. It doesn’t seem to hurt them initially, but after some time has passed it seems to have an adverse effect on their minds, so naturally a rescue crew is sent up to help them. And that’s where things get interesting: An American from NASA, John Bales, is in charge of the operation, but his Russian underlings are convinced he’s up to something, and he certainly seems to be hiding something about the craft–something serious enough to kill for! An enterprising American journalist, Sean Jacob tries to get to the bottom of the mystery on Earth while keeping Bales from hurting anyone else, and in space, our enterprising female protagonist, the physicist Sally Fisher, is sent up with the rescue mission to figure out the true nature of the vessel–along with a mentally disturbed ex-astronaut who has a secret relating to the alien visitor that Bales isn’t telling anyone else about. The novel then revolves around Jacobs’s attempts to find out what Bales is hiding and Fisher’s attempts to find the same about the vessel, interspersed with a lot of spy-type action (for Jacobs) and space survival action (for Fisher, as her shuttle up gets damaged and she also has to figure out what the alien vessel did to the Russians aboard the space station).
As far as that goes, I thought it was OK. The Russians are sympathetic, Sean Jacobs was likable (though I probably wouldn’t be able to distinguish him from other ‘truth-seeking journalist’ type protags), Sally Fisher was too, and Bales was a sufficiently sinister and threatening antagonist. There are also some major revelations about him that I don’t want to spoil here, but definitely took me entirely by surprise. The action bits, like the fights between Jacobs and Bale’s goons, or Fisher’s attempts to survive when something goes wrong on her space trip, were satisfactorily exciting. My main complaint is with the ending–again, I don’t wanna spoil anyone, but it struck me as kind of schmaltzy and derivative. It was happy, though, and I do like happy endings, so there’s that. So, all in all, while it’s not the best novel I’ve ever read, Vessel was a pretty fun read and I got my money’s worth. I’d give it 3 and a half stars, but I might as well round it up to 4 😀
Not much of that, I’ve mainly been thinking about my dissertation. I finished up reading my main advisor’s comments on it and it seems he really liked the stuff I had at the end–he explicitly said it was “critical” and one of his comments actually outrightly said (more or less), “this is the best work you’ve got here!” On the other hand, he also told me that one of the additions to my thesis was just terrible, but I was expecting that–it was the sort of thing I added because I was looking for absolutely anything I thought made my project significant, so I added in some stuff that was oersonally important to me, or had some ‘moral significance’ (so to speak), but not really academic significance. But it’s no big deal, as the renewed emphasis on the second half of my first chapter, which will likely be mirrored throughout the rest of my dissertation, means I have a new, even better thesis ;D
So that’s it for this week. Not too much dissertationan, but a little. There’ll be more next week, see ya then 😀