Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ore no drill wa...

It's been eons since I've posted anything with regards to anime that it felt that it's been put on the back burner.  Well, for the most part, it is.  As new anime series continue to churn out, I get lost in the midst of all of the titles that are being aired.  I lose focus on the type of shows that I like.

I'm a nut for involving stories.  Romance, drama, a bit of comedy, and I can go for action as well.  Sci-fi are good once a while and there are some mind-boggling ones out there too.  Mysteries are also good, as I love to see little clues left behind to get people to solve it.  If only Detective Conan wasn't so lengthy.  There are now over 550 episodes of Detective Conan and not one bit does Conan look any older nor does he ever have come close to curing that little ailment of his.

One of the major hit titles is the series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.  Two movies were made to re-envision the whole story.  However, as with any movies, details had to be cut.  And some parts were rewritten.  The first of the two movies, named "Gurren-Hen," basically featured condensed plot that goes from the beginning up until the Battle of Teppelin.  Certain episodics parts were removed in order to cut down the time needed to tell the story. And some were rewritten and redone with a different method and style to give viewers a different look.  Much of what was shown in Gurren-Hen were perhaps reused from the original TV broadcast.  But where things were different or rewritten, they were adapted for film or for different presentations.

The second movie of the two, named "Lagann-Hen," takes place at the final battle at Teppelin and goes from there to the very end.  In order to get viewers up to speed, some recap clips were shown and arranged in order to get people acquainted as to what has happened thus far since the previous movie.  Like the previous movie, it is a mix of new scenes, rewritten plot points, and original storyline.  However, it felt the ratio of new and old content has shifted somewhat when compared to the first movie, giving viewers more different scenes than before.  This is especially true going into the final half of the movie.

I have seen both the TV series and the movies.  The movies provide a nice primer for people who wanted to see what the show is about without diving into 27 episodes of content for the TV series.  While there are some things omitted or shown differently in the movies, I still hold the TV to be the original plotline.  However, the basic principles for which both the TV series and the movies stand for are the same.

I definitely need to find some new anime titles to view.  However, I am still lost in all of them with nothing to really sort and sift through them.  There is Omamori Himari which I have taken a liking to.  While not a show that is family friendly, it is entertaining for me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Is The Future?

What does the future hold for humanity?  Fear?  Peace?  War?  Sometimes, you just need to ask youself just what the future may hold for all of us.

Judgement Day, the Apocalypse, the End of the World, these are the things that is seen in the movie 2012.  It's a catastrophe movie.  And like any catastrophe movie, expect to see a lot of dying.  But what makes it sorta stand out from the rest is it isn't focused to just one country, one religion, or one background.  It encompasses everyone.  Yet as I watch how the event unfoled, visuals and unheard devastational results simply bewilders me.  Well, movies are like windows to the imagination.  Yet I cannot fathom to think or consider just what if the world could end in the same or similar manner like that.

I'm no scientist.  Is the world doomed as humanity continually chip away its life bit by bit?  Is there a chance where the people of the world could somehow find a way to extend the life of this planet?  The inhabitants of this planet were not given warranty information when it comes to how this planet is used.  And we certainly did not get the memo of any instructions on what to do and what not to do.

2012 leaves a lot to the person's imagination.  But it also instills a bit of fear into all of us.  How much time do we have?  Will the planet collapse in a way like what we've seen in the movie?  Or will it be something completely different?

If you have just hours left, how would humanity deal with it?  Repent?  Pray for a miracle?  Or accept your fate that it is time?  Life, as we know it, is not only precious but also insignificant.  The world changes but we, as humans, change it as well.

What will the future hold?  Hopefully it holds two scoops of strawberry flavored ice cream.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Final Stretch

I guess I never really did much on Guild Wars during all the time that I have spent playing.  But that was until I started actively trying to do things that I thought would take a while to do.  Case in point is the achievement, or title as it's called in Guild Wars, Incorrigible Ale-Hound.  To get this, one must spend 10,000 minutes dunk.  And the timing is actual minutes, or less if you use some tricks to shorten the effect by some margin.  10,000 minutes equates to over 166 hours, or nearly 7 days.  Obviously, nobody is going to sit around for that long trying to achieve this.  So progress on this is recorded and tallied so that one can continue where left off.  After collecting and amassing so much in-game liquor, I started consuming the item one by one.  It was perhaps one of the most troublesome to do as there are times where I'd want to do something, yet cannot due to the game taking up the screen.  And then there are times when I cannot do much due to a certain 3rd-party utility to assist the process of consumption.  On the final leg of this achievement, I turned to something different: Virtual Machines.  I downloaded and installed VirtualBox to toy around with.  And naturally I installed Windows XP on the virtual machine.  It was fast but it was also significantly slower in rendering 3D.  This is due to limited support for 3D rendering within the virtual machine itself, which has to be passed through to the real video card for processing.  It's not a major hurdle.  But at least performance is as good as it gets for the time being.

At the time, my primary character on my Guild Wars account has 29 total achievements that are set at its maximum.  There is a special achievement for getting 30.  However, the 30th achievement is quite far at this time.  None of the other titles yet to max out are not easily attainable, due to starting late in the game.  Though that sounds misleading.  To be precise, I never really pursued some of these titles because it held no interests at the time.  And even today, some of them don't hold much interest.  The only title left for me to actively pursue is the Lucky title, where the highest tier or rank on this track is Blessed by Fate.  Having spent so much in-game gold on trying to advance the title as far as I could, I am now at a point where I may be able to finally achieve that goal.  However, the only thing standing between me and that is time and availability.  Progress on this title can be done at any time.  However, the method is troublesome and somewhat expensive compared to simply sitting on a location and let the game run on its own for hours on end.

As I look at the game as a whole, I can only wonder just what else is there left to do.  I have done all that I have can do within my own personal tolerance for the game.  Doing it all over again on different characters tend to sap the motivation out of me, as I yearn for something different.  What will the future hold after achieving one of the highest achievements in the game?  I wonder... I just wonder...

Several months back, I posted on having completed a Gundam model kit.  Model kits aren't really my cup of tea.  One of the drawbacks to model kits is the unfinished appearance of the assembled product.  This is has been the case for many years.  Hobbyist have the option of applying color via paint or airbrush in order to give their assembled model kits a more accurate appearance and finished product.  There are hobbyist out there who do so much more and I am envious of them.  They take such great care and know the process inside and out.  They apply the finished color and the end result is nothing short of amazing.  If one were to stroll by a bookstore such as Barnes & Noble or your local comic/hobby store, you will find magazines and publications with images of small scale models that look quite life-like.  Helicopters, cars, bikes, aircraft, tanks, boats, submarines, and yes even Gundams, all well made and all assembled and painted to perfection.

So why blabber on about this?  Like I said, model kits aren't my cup of tea.  Yet one thing Bandai has done that I absolutely love is they make their Gundam model kits capable of being assembled without the use of cement or glue.  It is because of this that I was able to finish Sword Impulse Gundam.  And I am considering going through the assembly process once more.  Hobby Link Japan has Bandai's Gundam Seed Frame Astray Red Custom kit for pre-order.  And while the design is rather over-the-top and crazy, there is one thing that usually piques my interests and attention: swords.  Sword Impulse Gundam had a pair of long sword and it got longer when you attach the visual effects on them.  This one features a pair of swords complete with scabbards.  As Gundam is a sci-fi universe, the idea of a traditional-styled sword with scabbard is unusual.  Yet here it is as part of the design and for a Gundam model.