It’s that time of year again. Turkeys, brightly colored leaves, crisp cold days…thanksgiving has arrived! Here’s wot I’ve been up to:
Kekkai Sensen S2 ep. 7: This was a pretty good episode. One of Leo’s friends and colleagues in the Libra organization, Zed O’ Brian, is a half-human, half-fish who can only breath water, and despite his capabilities in battle it’s a bit of an expense for Libra to keep him in a fish tank or maintain the specialized equipment he needs to breath outside of water–small attachments to his neck that keep fresh water constantly pumped through his gills. So, feeling a bit bad, he tries to get a job on the side to defray those expenses, but doesn’t have any luck because he doesn’t have a visa or anything like that–even in Hellsalem’s lot, U.S. immigration laws still hold force! Depressed, he gets drunk, where he gets mugged by a couple of thugs working for a very influential arms manufacturer. They steal his breathing apparatus because they think it’s more valuable than it actually is, and only through luck does Leo manage to find him before he suffocates. The rest of the episode is a fun action sequence where Leo and Zed’s other friends (Zapp and Chain) take on the arms manufacturer to get his stuff back…which he doesn’t really need, because he has another alternative technique to keep himself oxygenated on land, haha. He appreciates the gesture though ❤
But yeah, this was a little more introspective, though not by much. We see bits and pieces of Zed’s life, how he was created by a Dracula-esque guy called the Count, and how there wasn’t anything or anyone else like him even in all the other dimensions. The guy who rescues him from the count (his martial arts master) tells him he’s fated to live a lonely existence, which he chooses. You can see that choice weighing on him judging by how depressed he was early on in the episode, but by the end, after seeing his friends come through for him in the clutch, it seems like he’s made his peace with his status in the world, and even makes the best of things–he uses his martial arts abilities to sort of become a performing magician and makes a lot of money–and new friends–that way. Very cool, I always like seeing that sort of positive character development in media 😀
Net-Juu no Susume ep. 7: Ah, this was another nice episode. Yuta is feeling ambivalent about his relationship with our heroine, but decides to log on and have fun with his friends in-game anyways. He shows off his avatar collection, and man, it’s so true…there really are tons more cosmetic options for female characters in almost every MMORPG I’ve played XD And then Yuta’s friend, Koiwai (the guy trying to set him up with Moriko) decides to join the MMORPG on a whim and convinces Moriko to help him out. And when he logs in…holy shit it was funny XD He went crazy with the character creation and made a female character that’s super muscly and speaks in his voice! I cracked up when I saw that, oh man. And even better, when he goes AFK for a second, another character (another guildie we haven’t seen before) has fun with him and leaves a bunch of crappy items all around his character. Haha, again, people do that all the time in MMOs. The folks behind this anime really, really have a good grasp on the best of MMORPG culture 😀 My only problem with this is that Yuta is STILL so damn wishy-washy and ambivalent! His friend is trying super hard to hook him up with Moriko, Moriko is talking in game about how awesome he is IRL (she doesn’t know he’s Lily, the character her character in-game is close with), and at the end of the episode he finds out they played ANOTHER MMO together a few years ago and were good friends there too. But he’s still like, “Ehh…ehh…I don’t wanna get between her and Koiwai…ehhh.” WTF??? Good god, Yuta, how friggin’ dense can you be!!! Sheesh!
Inuyashiki ep. 7: Not much action in this episode, but it was a very thoughtful one. The evil guy, Hiro Shishigami, admits his crimes to his more or less girlfriend, and proves he’s now a machine by taking her flying. He reveals the roots of his psychopathy–one day a few years ago, he saw a man killing himself, and that sight was the only thing that evoked a strong emotion in him, so he concluded that killing people was the only way he himself could feel anything at all now. But his girlfriend appeals to the emotions he now has for her, and convinces him to stop killing, and repent for his crimes. That’s…I suppose some may call this kind of redemption corny, but the way this anime handles it is relatively understated, IMO, and I greatly enjoyed it. So now Shishigami is going around and healing people to make up for killing them, like Inuyashiki did. Alas, government special forces troops have hunted him down, and it seems like this positive development won’t last long…;_;
Star’s doing some Ultraman work…once she’s done with that we ought to be able to get the next episode out.
I forgot to mention much about it last week–an error on my part–but Battletech and Phoenix Point had some cool updates recently, check em out:
Battletech’s single player campaign is going very well, they’ve just about finished it and now they’re putting in the final touches and extra content and stuff like that. I’m really relieved, I hadn’t heard anything from the developers (Harebrained Schemes) but it seems they’ve had a good reason for their radio silence–tons of work finished up! 😀 😀
Even more good news from Phoenix Point:
See, when the the original Phoenix Point campaign ended on Fig, we only had 750,000 dollars total. The minimum goal was 500,000, which we reached easily, and 750,000 gave us the extra content of vehicles, which was cool. But the other stretch goals were floating bases at 1 million and underwater missions at 1,250,000$, and we didn’t get those ;_; However, fig allows for investment after the campaign ends, so we inched up to nearly 800,000 dollars thanks to slacker backers, and then some nice guys invested 200,000 to give us the boost we needed for the floating base stretch goals! Good times, good times~
I’ve also been playing a bit of Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm. I got it for free cause I paid for the original Wings of Liberty campaign. I used to be a HUUUUUGE Blizzard fan when I was a kid, got all their games, but not so much these days. Heart of the Swarm tells me why…as an RTS, it’s pretty good and fast paced, but as many people have described, the plot is just soooo bad. There’s very little of the hard edge 90s and early 00s Blizzard was known for, and instead a sappy, ridiculous romance plot. The characters are also pretty bad. Wings of Liberty, the entry before this one, had Tychus, an awesome, funny foil to the protagonist (Raynor), but in Heart of the Swarm, there’s nothing. None of the Zerg Kerrigan interacts with are really interesting in any meaningful way. It’s not so horrible, but still…ugh. Even worse is a plot inconsistency. In the original Starcraft, the Zerg originated on a lava world. In Starcraft II, though, their homeworld has been retconned into a jungle world! It’s ridiculous! No consistency with the old series! Man, I like Chris Metzen (the main writer for Blizzard games) but this is a bad look…ugh.
Finished up Grady Hendrix’s recent book, Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction. At 15 dollars for the Kindle version, it was pretty expensive, but it was just published earlier this year, so it’s understandable. And worth it, given the amount of historical information and all the great cover artwork of so many paperbacks it contains! Hendrix provides extremely enlightening and well-thought out background and context on the development of horror as a genre during these two decades. He explores how pulp occult action novels set the stage for the flourishing of publishers and profusion of books we saw in the ’70s, how social changes during the ’60s encouraged horror authors to push boundaries, how worries about crime, gentrification, and nuclear war influenced the themes of ’80s horror fiction, and how a glut of it led to a crash in the ’90s. The book is also chock full of delightfully irreverent humor, though IMO Mr. Hendrix was kinda harsh on magicians ;_; My only complaint is that he doesn’t seem to pay much attention to some really big names of that time period, like Stephen King or John Saul. However, I get the feeling he wanted to highlight a lot of less well known authors that may have been buried under the weight of all the novels published back then, and since everyone knows King and Saul, there wasn’t as much point spending time on them. So yeah, undoubtedly worth the price! I highly recommend it 😀
Not much this week, aside from this entry 😛
With all that said and done, I suppose I ought to say a few words about thanksgiving. I didn’t do much for the holidays…my family went to visit other family, but I hate travel so I stayed home, especially to look after the house. Still, as you can tell from the above entry, I’m pretty damn thankful. I’ve got a pretty damn nice life…I’m grateful to my folks for providing it, my friends for livening it up, and God or good fortune (whichever you prefer) for providing it all in the first place. As I often say, I’ve lived a strange life, but in the end it turned out to be a good one. So I’ll always be thankful for that. Here’s hoping I have more to be thankful for next week! ;D