2008 November 22

[13:36] mduo13: Matt.
[13:36] mduo13: I’m coming back in less than a week.
[13:36] mduo13: You need to finish CLANNAD (the first season at least) before then.
[13:37] SpiritsnareAlpha: I am busy watching Kanon 2006 *and* 2002~~~
[13:37] mduo13: You can skip 2002
[13:37] SpiritsnareAlpha: :<
[13:37] mduo13: Watch it after Clannad
[13:37] mduo13: I am serious.
[13:37] SpiritsnareAlpha: Okay, here’s the deal
[13:37] SpiritsnareAlpha: if I can *obtain* Clannad, I will watch it
[13:37] SpiritsnareAlpha: actually
[13:37] mduo13: How fast can you download?
[13:37] SpiritsnareAlpha: I think I have like up to 1x
[13:37] SpiritsnareAlpha: not all 26
[13:38] SpiritsnareAlpha: lemme take a look
[13:38] SpiritsnareAlpha: also, I download fast enough
[13:38] mduo13: Now uploading Clannad
[13:38] mduo13: Episodes 1 and 2 should be finished within the next 25 seconds
[13:38] SpiritsnareAlpha: lemme double-check which episodes I have
[13:38] SpiritsnareAlpha: you can skip 1~9 for sure
[13:39] mduo13: It’s going at 3.5MB/s per episode, 2 episodes at a time
[13:39] SpiritsnareAlpha: DAAAAAMN
[13:39] mduo13: 1 and 2 done, 3 and 4 going
[13:40] mduo13: 3 and 4 done

I realized afterward that the series is like 24 episodes, but still, I certainly can’t finish both Kanon and Clannad – not with my homework (a paper that I have to do research for) in the way. I guess I’m going to have to leave Kanon for later.

Without further ado, ‘sup, Kotomi?

Time Travel

2008 November 22
by Spiritsnare

One of the things I like to do nowadays in my spare time is go through each pop’n music release and play the crap out of it to unlock it, because up to this point in time I still have yet to do so. Just two days prior to my drafting this post up, I unlocked pop’n music 12 Iroha, and was happy. Then I had the pleasure of playing eighteen stages in Marathon Mode to die at the hands of Bubble Bath Girl [EX] – not a pretty failure.

I decided a part of the way through my playthrough of pop’n music 11 that I would revisit a good old friend, and so I swapped the 11 disc for pop’n music 14 FEVER!, the last great pop’n game to ever release on a home console.

There’s something about Fever that I’d like to hold dear to my heart. At Sunnyvale Golfland, all we had for the past year and then some was Fever. Fever was what I devoted at least a twenty to each month. After several attempts at emulation (pop’n 5 for the original PlayStation on keyboard!) and DualShocking, Fever was the game that finally got me addicted to pop’n (blame its inclusion of the Super Mario Bros. Medley). Fever, over the span of that year, saw me progress from the low level-10s to the level-40 wall (out of a difficulty ranking spanning 43 levels), before the innards of the machine were gutted and its marquee replaced with that of pop’n music 16 Party♪, the likes of which I had experienced two months prior, during a trip to Asia. Not only did the arcade release see the progression of my skill, but the home version of Fever was the first home pop’n game I had unlocked fully, on DualShock skill, while waiting for my Desktop Arcade arcade-style controller to arrive.

And now I had returned, after a month and a half worth of Party.

During my play, the home version of Fever felt incredibly weird to me. It was familiar, yes. The home-version exclusive songs were quite fun to play, yes (woooo Innocent 3!). But after a four song set, I decided that it just didn’t feel right anymore.

I wonder why. Perhaps it’s because Fever was all I did have, to the point where I became sick of it, like every other player at Golfland. Perhaps it’s because Fever was really the bad mix that others made it out to be.

I’ve decided that it probably was a mix of both. I think I’ll be ready for another round of Fever in probably a year from now.

Fresh Air

2008 November 12

Having thwarted the wrath of my lovely English teacher (she asked for 750 words on The Laramie Project and I gave her 150 more!…although once you take the quotes from the book out it’s probably ’round 750), I decided that I would rewatch Air, as my friend Tsubasa had done. The exchange went something like this:

Spiritsnare: Give me anime. I actually cleared up some space on my laptop for once.
Tsubasa: Sure. Oh, speaking of which, I just recently finished rewatching Air – did you want it?
Spiritsnare: By gee golly yes.

It’s been a while; in fact, it’s been three years and eight months since the initial broadcast of the series. I had almost forgotten how good of a show it was, until I rewatched it. And now I’ve a new desktop in honor (before, I had this shot from Byousoku 5 Centimeter for, like, half a year).

I should get around to actually purchasing the series sometime. I remember being really hyped up about it back in the hey.

I should also probably get around to watching that thing called Clannad. But not after a runthrough of Kanon, either version – although I might get more of a kick out of the 2002 series. And maybe if my stock of tears haven’t dried up by then I might replay Planetarian.

Does Not Entail Death

2008 November 8

Via TheaterMania, through The Primary Vivid Weblog:

Les Freres Corbusier present their latest show, the world premiere of Dance Dance Revolution, created by the company, directed by Alex Timbers, and featuring original songs by Gary Adler and Phoebe Kreutz.

Les Freres transforms the Ohio Theater into a fully immersive, bombed-out discothèque as it fuses unmerciful Japanese rave music with deeply regrettable sophomoric comedy in the futuristic dance spectacular, Dance Dance Revolution.

Riffing on fizzy dance musicals like Flashdance and death sport movies such as Rollerball, the show is set in an Orwellian society where dance is illegal. A group of local street toughs harbor no hope of overthrowing the fascistic no — fun government — until a mysterious dance prophet named Moonbeam Funk arrives.

Inspired by the wildly popular video game of the same name, Dance Dance Revolution is like Footloose set in the future — but much scarier, and with 40 really attractive, barely-clothed young actors as well as free beer!

Next up: either the Takarazuka Revue brings this back to Japan and somehow finds a way to make it better, or Brett Ratner finds a way to make his Guitar Hero movie.

Fall Thus Far/Catching Up

2008 November 6

College finally gave me some free time. I decided that I should use my time productively and actually catch up on this thing called “modern-day Japanese animation” and “the fall 2008 season”.


Kemeko Deluxe (1 episode): The most random thing I’ve ever seen since FLCL. In short, I’ve got a love-hate affair with it.

Tales of the Abyss (5 episodes): A pretty good adaptation of the game. Also, a pretty fast-paced adaptation of the game (but that’s to be expected). Good going, Sunrise.

Lucky Star OVA: This actually had me laughing all the way. Also, best ending ever (“It’s true that I asked for water, but this is SORTA DIFFERENT, YA GET WHAT I’M SAYIN'”).

Natsume Yuujinchou (completed): Episodes 7 and 13 are the best. He’s too damn good. He better come back in Season 2.

Strike Witches (4 episodes): I initially was really wary of this, due to the copious amounts of fanservice, but once I got over the culture shock (if you can call it that), it became tolerable. Also, Gonzo fails at rendering 3D; I’m not sure whether or not it’s me, but there are a lot of places in episode 1 in which the 3D rendering lagged a bit.

Bounen no Zamned/Xam’d (12 episodes): As Rome pointed out to me, this series holds the honor of being an action series in which all the episodes are good, but none of them really stand out in any way in that Code Geass SHIT’S GONNA HIT THE FAN THIS EPISODE way. Also, Furuichi is a dumbass and needs to die already.

Quiz Magic Academy OVA: Konami continues its track record with really bad anime (read: Saint October, Sky Girls, TokiMemo Only Love)! Alas, I kept watching it anyway. Aloe is awesome.

The World’s Congratulations, Obama

2008 November 5
by Spiritsnare

I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed an election this crazy. For the past eighteen and a half years of my life, every election has failed to get me hyped up – until now, where it had not only me, but everyone else mumbling to and fro about it.

Perhaps it was because I was young, and did not know anything; maybe it wasn’t me, and the media just brushed away each and every election with a “oh, okay, game over, he won, go back to your daily lives”.

But looking at the way people – not just in the United States, but around the world – reacted to this particular election’s results (least of all McCain, who basically told his booing supporters to shut up and deal with it in his concession speech), I can’t help but join in this supposed swelling of American pride after watching Obama’s victory speech last night.

I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before. Congratulations, Barack Obama, on making me, and a whole bunch of other people, actually care for once.

pop’n music 17 THE MOVIE Location Test

2008 October 30

So, in Japan, pop’n music 17 THE MOVIE commenced its location test. Here are the details, having been updated updating live from 2ch‘s music game board after the break. read more…

The Gun O’Clock PV

2008 October 29
by Spiritsnare

So, in Japan, Bandai is coming out with this thing called a Gun O’Clock – an alarm clock that requires you to shoot a pop-up target with an included laser gun to turn it off. A handful of replies to an Engadget post say it’s been done before.

However, the promotional video plays so heavily off of the Japanese stereotype that most if not all Americans exercise the right to bear arms that it’s hilarious. One, it’s in cute Engrish; two, the patterns in the background mix the American and Japanese flags; and three, the guy appears to get so irked at his alarm clock, he has to shoot it down with a (laser) gun.

Man, those wacky Japanese. I’m still waiting for Konami to release something that forces me to play a game of pop’n music when I wake up. Until then, I’m relying on my trusty four-timer MIDI’d out Vana’diel clock.

The Life and Death of User’s Side

2008 October 28
by Spiritsnare

Here’s a eulogy crossposted from my original deviantART entry to start things off…

Today was a rather ordinary day. I attended my Sociology class, then, deciding that I was in the mood for sweets, headed over to Nijiya Market for some milk tea and maple bread. I headed over to my next class – the ever-dreaded Algebra II – and, while taking in a lecture on cube roots and how to be eternally rid of them, I munched and sipped happily on the pair.

After the class (in which half of it was admittedly playing the excellent Mother 3/EarthBound 2 translation), I decided that more milk tea was in order, and visited Strawberry Park, which is this strip mall oriented toward the Japanese community in the Saratoga/Santa Clara area. I did indeed obtain my milk tea from the Mitsuwa Marketplace there, but I also made another purchase: a Japanese keyboard, from a little shop to the right of Mitsuwa, called User’s Side (formerly Grow Up Japan).

User’s Side billed themselves as a “PC pro shop” from Akihabara, but didn’t limit themselves to just PC equipment – they stocked all kinds of import goods, the most notable being video games and video game accessories. Among these were some neat stuff, such as one-handed “RPG controllers”, Hori arcade sticks (of which a number have been purchased by my group of friends), official PS2 Multitaps (are these even sold in America anymore?) and game posters (A poster I have from User’s Side – a poster for the console release of beatmaniaIIDX 13: DistorteD – hovers above me tacked to the wall). My friends and I visited User’s Side every time we passed by Strawberry Park for Kinokuniya runs, and someone out of our group always found something that would come in handy. Even if I passed by alone, User’s Side never failed to charm me with their stock. And, most importantly, the prices on their goods were always reasonable and certainly better than what the online stores had to offer.

And now, User’s Side had closed, indefinitely, after having given the public two weeks’ notice and sale.

I stopped in front of User’s Side to stare at it, for I would never be able to see it as it was again. At that time, an employee came out and announced that they were closed. I replied that I was just passing by one last time because they were going away.

After a moment of silence, the employee asked, “Did you want to take a look inside? We still have things that we haven’t gotten rid of.”

“Sure,” I said, and he called to the attendant inside and told him that I would be browsing for a bit.

The lighting in the store was dim. Not much was left inside the shop. A handful of import video games sat on the side, their prices having been reduced to $14 as a last-ditch sales effort. Computer wires and software sat against the wall, a sign in Japanese proclaiming that they had been slashed by 60% to 80% – as an example, their copy of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection had been cut from $1,100 to something around $200.

And then I spotted the keyboards. A stack of various keyboards had their prices slashed by 80%. I decided that I should at least pay them a final tribute before I would never see the store as it was again, and grabbed a Logitech (or, rather, Logicool – apparently someone beat them to the name “Logitech” in Japan) slimline keyboard. The register rang up the keyboard for eight-plus-tax.

As the attendant gave me the receipt, I inquired, “I’m curious: why are you guys closing down?”

The answer was a nonchalant “I don’t even know, to be honest.”

And so, I left the store carrying my supposed $40 keyboard and went home. The moment I came home, I plugged the keyboard into my laptop, played Mother 3 for a bit, and started typing this entry in full.

For sure, I will miss User’s Side. There is a store in the same strip mall that does still sell import games, but are more focused on offering Japanese mobile phone services to the public, rather than selling all kinds of neat doodads that might catch my eye. They’re also pushing their online store in lieu of a brick-and-mortar shoppe, but, for me, there’s just something inexplainable about the tangible experience that makes all the difference.

I’d rather pay for this keyboard in full than see the store go away, but what’s done has been done, and another part of my childhood has faded into mere memory.

For now, saraba, User’s Side; you’ve had a great run. See you online.

We Are Starting Over

2008 October 27
by Spiritsnare

nyami-chan! playing together in this game is fine

Hello, once again. My name is Spiritsnare.

You might remember me. I used to operate an anime blog called Waffles on this domain. What happened was that the lovely-lovely Misu, who graciously hosted me on the VisualNews network (now NovelNews, I guess) — his server went down, and took Waffles with it, and I didn’t have a backup. I think the only full backup I have is probably on either AnimeNano or the AnimeBlogger Antenna.

I waited for the longest time, mostly out of laziness. The only journal updates people would be able to get from me resided on my sketchy deviantART account.

And now I’ve decided I should pick up somewhat regular blogging again.

It occured to me that I am not watching as much anime as I used to, forsaking new seasons of fresh content due to laziness and college. Reviving Waffles would be out of the question. So, I decided to create a catch-all blog, writing about life on the domain that once held my old one.

As for old content on Waffles, I will be reposting content from it. It’d be nice to at least have it up. A la Azrael‘s transition from I Am A Japanese School Teacher to Gaijin Smash, old content shall be reposted over time. (The only solid date I’ll give you for a reposting is Manabi on April Fool’s.)

In the meantime, I shall get to work making myself at home again.