Sunday, December 16, 2007

The single goriest movie ever?

If someone knows of anything more gruesome and gory than the anime Genocyber (not in a disgusting way like some ridiculous form of porn), I'd like to see it. Obviously, this video is for mature audiences only.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Podcasts worth your time (If you're a geek)

The Greatest Movie EVER!- Gooberzilla and Co. have fun discussing various cult films, B-movies, and anything that can fit the podcast's title, along with some earning the title of Worst Movie EVER. Good for anyone who enjoys popcorn-type flicks.

Movies You Should See- A bunch of Brits who know their movies discuss their favorite movies, both recent and old. They are very well educated in their knowledge of the medium, so that any type of movie lover can enjoy them.

Scene Unseen- A podcast reviewing recent movies, with a twist: One cohost sees the movie, while the other doesn't. This works very well.

Channel Frederator- Very well-known, and for good reason. A showcase for indie animators to show their stuff, and there is tons of quality and creativity to find.

Play Value- A videocast that has similar vibes of Icons on G4, except much more professional and informative. Great info on the history of the video game industry.

Anime World Order- I haven't been into anime much lately, but this is still a great show. The three cohosts often review older and/or more obscure things, which makes for much better entertainment than "HERES WHAT HAPPND IN BLEACH TODAY GUYS". They are also very, very funny.

Fast Karate for the Gentlemen- Also anime, but not as devoted- these guys often talk about why they hate the title, also discuss gaming just as much, and basically sit around going off on crazy tangents that are fun to listen to, regardless of your interests.

Worst Movie Ever!- The polar opposite of Greatest Movie EVER- kind of. They do have a tradition where they discuss a bad movie in the later parts of each show, but the first parts are reviews of newer movies and discussion on industry news.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Beautiful Katamari: A haiku

Best music in the
series, yet most guys hate it.
I have crappy taste.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Baby steps across the steps out the door...

Two noteworthy for me things have happened in the past two weeks. The first is that I've made money and shared some of my art. Namely, a simple Chupacabra sculpture that a guy replacing my windows really liked. The second is that I've gotten involved in a real animation production a group of fellow college students are working on, one that will actually qualify for a resume spot and portfolio. Basically, it's an environmental short about littering and contaminating animal habitats that also has Teddy Roosevelt in it for whatever reason. I'm currently doing ink and paint, with a very talented roommate of mine doing some of the sketches. (Hopefully I can find a site with some of his drawings sometime.)

Regarding games, it's a real shame that Donkey Kong Baarrel Blast has turned out so horribly. I was hoping for a decent DK game or Mario Kart substitute for the Wii, but it's total crap. Hopefully something along the lines of the Country trilogy or Jungle Beat will come out in time, just like how I'm still waiting for a Rayman game that's an actual action-adventure with fantasy elements. (NERD RAGE GRR)

And a word of warning: Don't try Dragon Blade for the Wii. I rented it out of curiousity, and it's the worst game I've played for the system so far. The developers set out to make a God of War-type game, but everything is so half-hearted and unpolished that it feels like an indie student project.

Do try Phantom Hourglass, though. I didn't care much for it at first, but a little while in it really takes off. There are nice uses of both the two screens and the stylus, and sidequests like treasure hunting are very addicting. I wish they hadn't incorporated repetitive stealth bits, though.

Also, a solemn farewell to Bobobo. I don't have any reason to watch Toonami for now.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hey Nintendo, keep doing this

In fact, Sony and Microsoft should take notes as well.

Nintendo's just released the Nintendo 64 game Sin & Punishment on the Virtual Console. The point? This game has never been released out of Japan before, despite having all-English dialogue and no reliance on text for playing it.

This has opened up the long talked about possibility of putting untranslated and unreleased titles on the Virtual Console. Mother 3 and Star Fox 2, perhaps?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

So that's what dehydration feels like.

It's not pleasant.

I made some big mistakes today. First, I skipped breakfast. Soon after, I decided to go out for a bike ride in the 90-degree weather without water. I proceeded to bike uphil for half an hour, saw a yard sale, and went in to check it out. 3 minutes later, my sight grew dim, my body went numb, I fell down, and the next minute was a blur of muddled memories as my body began to be wracked by aches and nausea. I was fortunate enough to be seen by the friendly couple running the sale, who proceeded to sit me down on their stairs in the shade, rest, and get some water.

For the next 5 minutes, the pain continued, as I drifted between consciousness and half-consciousness, a feeling difficult to describe due to it being so rare for me. I was telling them thank you and that I would probably be fine in a moment, but on the inside I was terrified- Having never experienced severe dehydration or heatstroke, I was honestly worried I could be dying or affected by this somehow. Eventually the pain subsided, I was able to rest peacefully, and a relative was called to drive me home.

This was a scary experience, due to my inexperience and how out of nowhere it was. I owe a lot to the couple, and things have returned to normal very quickly. From now on, I will be sure to eat all three of the day's major meals, avoid nonstop uphill bike rides, and bring water on especially hot days. Anybody who doesn't do those regularly should take note.

Sorry that I didn't talk about cartoon or some geeky topic this time. This was just something that I'll probably recall vividly for some time.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Joining the Buy Zack & Wiki Campaign!

When I first heard about Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbados' Treasure for the Wii, I was intrigued by the idea of a point and click adventure made ground up for the system. After seeing this video, I've gotten very excited. One of the big selling points of the game is playing it as a group and figuring puzzles out together, which is much easier to do around a TV than a computer monitor. The colorful and appealing art style will also help grab different people.

If you're dying for a new adventure game or something to play on the Wii in October, look into this. At least give it a rental.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The madness of Otakon, Pt. 1

Funny thing: my trip to Otakon was totally last-minute. I ran into a friend at the beginning of the school year (Year-round scheduling), and while catching up, she briefly mentioned going to it. I don't keep track of cons, didn't know it was so soon and so close, and wanted to try something new. It's only the second con I've ever been to (First was Katsucon '05, working at the booth for the store I was working for at the time), so I was still a novice to how everything worked.


-I don't know if I'd call the registration line a highlight, but it was memorable. The length was crazy: Across the street connecting the buildings, a huge loop in the opposite direction of the entrance then back, and hot weather with many people in thick suits. Some people were crafty enough to sell water. I spotted many memorable costumes, best of all a guy in full Spartan warrior gear walking down the middle of the loop for pictures. I got one, but like the others, it still needs to get developed.

-Many incredibly huge and creepy/handicapped-looking people. A guy behind me at one panel seemed to have four chins, and there were several points where I literally gagged while walking past certain people and catching a whiff of them.

-I spent a lot of the day walking around, trying to figure the layout of the building and where everything was. It was very confusing trying to get to the dealer's room, and it wasn't open immediately, resulting in long lines at the start.

-The dealer's room seemed decent, but there was a lot of identical merchandise at various places. I ending up getting Bobobo, Genshiken and Harlock DVDs, I Feel Sick, a Golgo 13 manga, a Mario mushroom phone strap, and best of all, a Robot Carnival cel, which inspired me to go make a topic about it. I ended up visiting a booth solely devoted to doujin, which had a section that was allegedly tradition shonen-based stuff. I looked at the first three, almost immediately found a topless Winry on a cover, and left.

-The Steve Blum line was a disaster. I got there a half hour early, sat in front of the door, was told that it was moved to another area, got in the closest line, was told 10 minutes later that it was for Vic Mignogna, moved into the real line, stood there for 20 minutes with very little movement, and a rep finally came out and said that everyone who hadn't got a reservation ticket had to leave. Some of this was my fault, but they could have tried to say that sooner. I heard that he might come back tomorrow, though.

-The Michael Sinterniklaas made up for that in spades. Due to traffic, he was 15 minutes late, but he felt so bad that he decided to make it up to the crowd by throwing change and pins into the crowd, and offering us to come up and get some of his gum. The guy was an absolute riot- Very friendly, enthusiastic, and funny. He had many funny stories and info about his time in the industry (Including the time when he first entered the VA business, and got a warning from his boss that he'd be stuck voicing hentai if he did badly). There was naturally a lot of Venture Bros. talk, along with two girls dressed as Triana and Dr. Girlfriend. The most memorable quote had to be him talking about times where he had to read a line without knowing the context of it in the script: "Grab hold of that shiny metal ding-dong!" This got a huge laugh, and when the time came for autographs, I had him sign my Venture Bros. Season 2 set with that, and a regular signature on Season 1. I also caught the second half of Stephanie Sheh's Q&A because I didn't have much else to do (She was under the alias of Jennifer Sekiguchi for some reason, probably union-related), and while I'm not a big watcher of most of the things she's involved in, she had some neat stories and answers, and belched into the mic in the middle of a question.

-One oddly funny event did happen to me in the Steve Blum line. The guy next to me was dressed as a Bleach character, and as we struck up a chat, he showed me some pretty bad Jhonen Vasquez ripoff stick figure comics he did (One of them was almost completely a copy of the toilet bit from Squee), and showed me a picture of Orihime he had Stephanie Sheh sign. What was the memorable moment of this whole talk was what he told me he said to her: "Orihime is a goddess, and you're the one who gives her life." Maybe the other way around, but still just as weird. (If you ever read this, sorry, guy. You were cool otherwise)

-Geneon's screening room showed the first four episodes of Dragon Hunters, covered in a previous blog entry. The bad news is that it was the rather lousy first episode, and it was the only one I could see before Sinterniklaas' panel started. I ended up leaving early, and I only hope the viewers stuck it out to the better episodes (And didn't get pissed that it wasn't anime).

-All sorts of crazy cosplay. I got a Kodak instant camera and won't be able to see everything for a while, but I remember a Spartan warrior, a female Prince of All Cosmos, several guys dressed as V, many, many Kingdom Hearts characters, SO I HERE YOU LIEK MUDKIPS, a 'Ph3r-bot' made entirely of cardboard, and a terrifying blue moogle complete with snout, which is going straight into my nightmares and leads into this.

Courtesy of HedgeHodge from Something Awful:

I couldn't think of anything clever, so I simply said to him, "So, you're a gay furry?" He looked at me, but didn't respond.

Looking forward to Day 2. Hoping I'll see some of you guys and the friend who told me about the con.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Out of both nostalgic interest and boredom, I watched Ferngully for the first time in 15 years. I had never had strong feelings one way or the other about it as a kid, and now, I find the backgrounds and some of the soundtrack to be nice, but everything else rather blah. One thing struck me, however: It's one of the most opinionated and ridiculously preachy movies ever, animated or otherwise.

If you haven't seen the movie, the rainforest (LAST rainforest? The hell?) is portrayed as a mystical utopian wonderland with lush vegetation, crystal clear rivers, and magic all around. And then the villains- Two dumpy, stupid lumberjacks using A GIANT MACHINE OF DOOM to cut trees, and some evil spirit of destruction who's basically a living glob of oily goo- come in. The lumberjacks aren't really given the clearest of intentions aside from, "cut down absolutely everything and leave desolation behind". Forgive me for arguing, but I don't think the industry works that way- they're a bit more selective about what to cut down and try not to destroy everything willy-nilly. Don't get me wrong, this has been proven to be harmful in the long run, but they try to be careful about it.

Also, the rainforest is not a utopia. The South Park guys' opinion is the polar opposite of Ferngully- they have an episode where it's portrayed as a hellhole of snakes, giant bugs, and cannibals. I don't base my life around these guys' opinions and am against quite a few of them (No proof of global warming exists at all? Michael Jackson was framed?), they raise some points. The rainforest is not a good place for a person to live in, but it is an ecosystem important for many species.

This got me thinking about other things TV and movies seem to want us to believe are the absolute truth. Here are some of them:

All lawyers are evil, money-hungry liars. These guys do a lot of good for people, and almost all of them are honest and hard-working. At least we have Harvey Birdman and Phoenix Wright.

Parents are stupid. This is especially evident in children's entertainment. It really would be nice to see stuff more often with parents who have at least the same intelligence as their children, as stuff like The Incredibles shows that it adds some good dynamics and dialogue.

All gay men are fruity, girly sissies and all lesbians are fat, ugly and butch. Huh?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

And now for something you've never heard about

If you're someone who's actually kept an eye on this blog, I'm both surprised and a bit thankful. Sorry I've been neglecting it as of late, but I've got plenty of stuff to talk about now.

The show I'm about to discuss is something I'd be willing to bet money you've never heard of if you're American. However, it's apparently pretty popular in Germany, Arabic countries and France (Its country of origin), and possibly Canada. Not sure. In the U.S, however, it has never really gotten a chance.

The show goes by the name of Dragon Hunters (Les Chasseurs de Dragons originally), and is a fantasy-adventure mix. Taking place in a world made of numerous floating islands (Think Skyland, only good), it usually focuses on a team of three: Lian Chu, the muscle, Gwizdo, the diminuitive negotiator, and Hector, a tamed dragon and assistant. The world they live in has dragons of many varieties scattered throughout it, and they are a common problem for people trying to make a living. Our heroes go about looking for bounties and people in peril, slay the dragon/s, and collect their reward (Sometimes- the show reminds me of Cowboy Bebop in that the guys rarely manage to get cash for their efforts.) The three take up residence as tenants at The Snoring Dragon Inn, a restaurant and lodge run by a portly brunehilde-type named Jennyline and her young daughter Zaza.

One thing notable about this show, and one of its greatest strengths, is the character of Gwizdo. Whoever translated the scripts to English (As well as Rick Jones, his voice actor) did a great job. The guy is a total penny-pincher, coward, and sneak- but it's all pulled off in a way that makes him funny. His dialogue is very natural and often funny- there are very few times where he does stuff that seems out of character. The other two hunters have their merits. Lian Chu, despite being a hulking warrior, spends most of his time knitting and playing with Zaza, and Hector spends a lot of time panicking and speaking pidgin English.

This show has some nice backgrounds. The concept of floating islands is one that I've always liked, and this show does them nicely. They're of all shapes and sizes, and while most of them only serve as scenery, they do a good job of giving the show some atmosphere. When the hunters are on land, the landscapes look very nice and appealing as well.

What keeps me from heralding the show as a true gem is the side characters. The leads are designed and voiced very nicely, but I can't say the same for most of the others- they often look ugly or simply unappealing (Is this a French thing? No offense.), and while the French version might be another story, most of the English actors used for them are awful- apparently the dubbers felt that the main characters should be the only real priority, as they're well-voiced.

Also, this is not a show where you're guaranteed good writing with every episode- there are many well-done ones, but there are also some total duds. Plus, the show has a tendency to do the completely awful "lame joke that everyone laughs at for 30 seconds fade out okay" shtick that wasn't funny when it started in the 70s and isn't funny now.

The reason I'm willing to bet that American cartoon fans haven't heard of this is because Cartoon Network, being the trainwreck they are today, totally botched their plans for it. Originally, they showed it for about a month on Saturday mornings in early 2006 with no promotion other than a 5-second bit in a single commercial for the block it was in, and it was unceremoniously pulled after that, randomly put in months later, than pulled again after two weeks. Whether it was because of ratings or the network just didn't like the show, I'm not sure. But maybe if they had actually made people more aware of its existence, and maybe put it on a prominent block like Toonami or Miguzi, it would be a different story. As it is, the only way Americans can watch the show now is CN's online on-demand service, which will require a PC located in the U.S.

So go give this show a try, as you've got nothing to lose. If you like what you see, Geneon has released a couple of DVDs in all of North America that can easily be obtained through online retailers. Give it a chance- broadcasters certainly haven't.