Blog Archive

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Manga Updates:

Mujaki no Rakuen has resumed as promised.  This time it's called 'Mujaki no Rakuen Parallel.'

In addition, the remainder of the Nichijou manga is available for purchase at amazon.  Only the 2nd half of the final volume, volume 10, isn't available scanlated, so it might be worthwhile to just purchase the book for the few remaining chapters and be done with it.

Non Non Biyori is also translated and available at Amazon, but the anime of this series is still ongoing so there's no need to be rash and throw money away on it.

Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card hen is being sold commercially at Amazon.  Despite how much I hate the filler in the anime, it's still not reasonable to buy the manga version.  I can just watch it for free and grit my teeth.  I did drop Card Captor Sakura's anime down to 184th in my rankings, though.  This is a catch-22 where I'm not happy reading the manga or watching the anime, it's a bad option either way, but I'm going with the anime.

Sailor Moon's original anime barely has any correspondence with the source work, and Crystal is taking forever to come out, but that's still not a good reason to give up and read the manga.  Crystal will eventually come out, and then reading the manga will have been a waste of time.  Unless you're diagnosed with a fatal cancer it doesn't make sense to read the manga, but it sure is annoying how long we've been waiting for a filler-free anime version.

My anime wishlist is already wishing for a remake of Card Captor Sakura without any filler before the current season of Card Captor is even done.  Every high ranking light novel and manga series in my value added hall of fames is on that anime wishlist.  If there's a lot of value left in a series that anime hasn't gotten to, that's pretty much synonymous with a good reason for that remaining value to receive a new anime adaption.

There are some exceptions though, and that's when the art of the manga is such that no anime can do it justice.  This is true of ecchi manga that anime always ends up having to censor, like Mujaki no Rakuen, Futari Ecchi, Kodomo no Jikan and To Love-ru, but it's also true of Berserk, which no animator can do justice even if they were willing to show all the naughty and gory parts (which they aren't, Berserk also suffers from censorship issues. . .)

From #55 on downwards in my value added manga rankings, I no longer wish for an anime adaption, because I have more important priorities.  I only get 100 anime wishes for my wishlist, and a remake of Slow Step just isn't valuable enough to be worth grousing over.  There is one exception to this, though.  #60 Sakura Trick in my manga rankings is on my anime wishlist as needing an additional season.  This is because the anime could adapt the whole series, while the scanlation isn't as far along, so the value added of reading the manga isn't that high, but the value added of a new anime season would be very high.

For my good books light novel section, the cutoff is #22.  No Game no Life and everything above is also desired as a new anime adaption, but starting with #23 Gate and below it's no longer an important priority for me to see a new season animated, because it's just not that good and animators could put their skills to use in many more productive ways.

I took Q and A and Tenjou Tenge back out of my manga rankings, because I'm nowhere close to a round number of 100 series so their purpose as placeholders to round out my rankings no longer exists.

I also gave up on my Anime voices + rankings permapost because it was too much of a bother to keep up to date and was redundant due to my Anime Rankings and Anime Voices permaposts anyway.  One less thing to worry about.

P.S.:  On second thought, I decided to cut Card Captor Sakura from my value added manga rankings and just rely on the quality of the anime.  Since the entire series is animated there's no point reading the manga, even though there's a lot of filler.  With that in mind, I also dropped the remake from my anime wishlist, and added a new season of Locodol in its stead.

Also, this April Yen Press will be releasing a translated volume of Kiniro Mosaic that goes beyond what the anime covers, volume 6.  That might be worth picking up.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Gate Finished:

As promised, I read volumes 7-10 of the Gate light novels, which occur after the anime's end.  They weren't bad, but they weren't good either.  The story suddenly became about China and a Klaxon invasion.  It felt like it had lost track of the theme that had made it so good in the first place.  Oh well, I'm still thankful for the books that led to the fantastic anime, so the author obviously did all that could be asked of him.

With Gate out of the way, the only translated light novels in my hall of fame I haven't read yet are from Death March, and I can hop on that once the superior anime version comes to an end.  No point reading the inferior version when I can watch the superior.

I'd rather watch another season of Ryuuou no Oshigoto! than GATE.  The ending really adds nothing of value to the story, so my anime wishlist can be devoted to more pressing needs.

On that note, Gate's tenth volume is fully translated so everyone should go and read the series now that they have the chance.  There's nothing left to wait on.

Next up, I still need to read the third volume of O.S. Card's formic war trilogy.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Alina Zagitova One-ups Perfection:

Yevgenia did a historic skate yesterday and blew away the competition.  The only problem is her 15 year old teammate did the exact same thing today -- including the arms over the head triples.  They train under the same coach at the same place and see each other every day, so I guess you can't really keep that trick a secret.

Alina Zagitova scored a 158 on her free skate, only two points below the highest score ever in women's figure skating -- scored by who else but Yevgenia.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with her routine so I'm not sure why she was two points below.  In any event, we're looking at an incredible competition a week from now when the individual women's figure skating contest begins.

Yevgenia is a big fan of anime and skated to the classical opening to Sailor Moon while cosplaying as Sailor Moon in a previous event, (even down to the dango twin tails hair style), so for purely partisan reasons I'll be cheering for Yevgenia.  But Pyeongchang is blessed to have either of these skaters on the ice.

I've been looking forward to these Olympics for years and it's already lived up to the hype.  The figure skating quality that's already been shown in the team competition is surreal -- and not just in the women's group, the men, pairs and ice dancing teams had some amazing moments too.

Meanwhile, my Final Fantasy 8 music within my hall of fame had a ton of remixes so I had to cut it down to size.  The new total is 4451 songs, still 10.1 days in length.  Will the era of remixes ever end?

Yevgenia Soars:

I'm a huge fan of figure skating, especially women's figure skating.  I've watched every gold medal performance in the modern age.  I've never seen a triple-triple combination with a woman's arms above her head.  I don't think anyone in history has ever done anything like it, but Yevgenia did it perfectly, with complete aplomb.

No wonder she's skated the highest scoring routines in women's figure skating history.  It was a privilege to witness something so otherworldly-better than everyone else out there on the ice.  Russia is such a great country.

I love the team figure skating contest, but it is spoiling our appetites for when they all go out and compete individually using the exact same routines as we've already seen here in the team competition.  I feel kind of dubious about whether this event is a good or a bad thing.  I think the best part about it is it gives a chance for athletes to land a routine in case they fall on their other try.  I want to see everyone at their best, so by giving everyone two chances in the Olympics to skate their best, I get to more often see everyone at their best.  I think that makes the repetitiveness worth it.

Meanwhile, I'm up to book 9 of Gate.  These books, all set after where the anime end, are a lot worse than the anime.  The heroism of the JSDF as it reforms a world dominated by an evil empire was a great storyline, so why did it devolve into political shenanigans on Earth?  That's all these later books are about.  Now I understand why they never made a third season.

Well, who knows, I haven't finished the series, so maybe it gets good again later.  I just have to keep plugging either way.

Meanwhile, the Card Captor Sakura anime insists on being mostly filler even with this new season.  The exact same problem that plagued the original series plagues Clear Card hen as well.  Like this, the season is practically worthless.  In fact, the entire series is practically worthless.  People would be better served just reading the manga and be done with it.

The next time I revise my rankings, I suspect Card Captor Sakura will be down there at the bottom with other filler-plagued series like Negima and Rewrite.  Someday I want a top 200 anime with no filler-ruined series at all.  Maybe in a couple years. . .

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Possibly 4 Years:

My music hall of fame is so big, that listening to every song in it 100 times (not just across my lifetime, but on this computer, ie, in just the recent past onwards) is a massive project.  In fact, it may take up to four years.  It may even outlive my computer, which would make the project unachievable. >.<

Well, if the computer dies before the itunes counter ticks to 100, I won't reset my count.  My next computer will be allowed to just carry on the quest from there and finish things up.  In truth, I've listened to most of the songs in my music hall of fame 100 times over the course of my lifetime, but part of the music hall of fame's intended purpose was to get me re-acquainted with music I'd been ignoring for years or decades, so it really doesn't count that I once valued this music long ago.  If I don't also prove I value it now, then the music isn't great anymore now is it?

It's okay to start ambitious long term projects.  The next Olympics is already slated to occur in four years too, people are already planning and building for it.  (Beijing 2022).  I've already spent years just getting to this point.  First I had to listen through all the Tales music ever made 100 times, then Final Fantasy 15's soundtrack 100 times, then I spent a year coming up with the idea of a music hall of fame and finding all the songs that might belong to it, culminating in the Motoi Madness music I found just a few weeks ago.

Now that the Hall of Fame is fully constructed, I can get down to the business of listening to it.  But there's no rush.  It took a decade to fully construct my top 200 anime hall of fame, and it will take many years more than that to fulfill my pledge to have watched every episode of great anime not just once but twice.  I'm on schedule to fulfill that promise, but it is a rather massive one, just as ambitious as listening to all my favorite music 100 times in recent terms.  I'll undergo any challenge for the things I love.

It was a huge challenge reading all the authors' best series/works in my good books hall of fame.  I'm currently reading Gate.  In April I'll read Death March, and then that goal will be fully honored.

It was a huge challenge reading all the top 10 visual novel franchises in full, but I completed that last year with Really? Really!

It was a huge challenge reading all the good manga in my hall of fame, but I'm up to date with that as well.

It was a huge challenge beating Mega Man 9 and 10, but in the end I beat them.

It was a huge challenge getting my 17 alts to level 101 in World of Warcraft, but I did it.

It was a huge challenge building and playing 68 unique 60 card Magic decks but I did it.

So what if it takes four years.  I plan on doing it all the same.  My only regret is it means I won't be able to listen to the music that's already crossed the 100 plays threshold for four years -- including my Ogre Battle march of the black queen music.  >.<.  That's some of my favorite music!  Well, maybe I can occasionally indulge in it like a guilty pleasure every now and then, even though it will slow down the pace of my overall project.

The current plan is to watch the Olympics (starting today, when figure skating begins) until the 22nd, when figure skating ends, and then start playing Dynasty Warriors 9 starting on the 23rd.  There's not enough time to do both so DW9 will just have to wait.

I should also finish the rewatch of Kyoukai no Rinne and the Gate light novels during this time.  Then March can be fully devoted to DW9, March Madness, Jessica Jones season 2, etc.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Rokka no Yuusha Read:

If an anime is great, its source work must be great too.  When there's more translated content in the source work than the anime covers, it stands to reason that it should be sought out and consumed.  Who would turn their back on a story they love?

This is why, whenever I label an anime great, I must also go and read the visual novel, books, manga, etc upon which it is based, (or in Utawarerumono's case, play the video game), so long as they're translated.  When I labeled Rokka no Yuusha's anime great, the quest to read the books began.  Since the anime only covered the very first book, that meant I was left to read books 2-5.  6 still isn't translated, so there's nothing I can do about that.

Because the books were good, I read them all in less than a week.  Pretty impressive, huh?  Rokka no Yuusha is complete.  I've read all the translated books and watched the anime twice.  Its greatness is now completely indisputable.  Now I'm just waiting on a translation of volume six like everybody else.

Books 4-5 weren't as good as 2-3, but you can't expect every book to be that good.  The author is only human.  They're still well above the level of, say, Spice and Wolf, Baccano or Hataraku Maou-sama!  I have no complaints, except that the story ends on a cliffhanger.

It's been 2.5 years since book six was published, and the story still isn't complete.  There's no evidence that it will ever be completed at this rate.  The author seems to have all sorts of mental and physical health problems, so maybe this series was doomed from the start.  Maybe this is all we'll ever get.  If so, it was a nice ride while it lasted.

There's still time before the Olympics begin and DW9 arrives in the mail, so next I'll start reading the Gate light novels.  I need to read four of them as well, books 7-10, though 10 isn't fully translated yet.  I'll worry about that bridge once I reach it.

I've been on a crash course of reading books ever since Christmas, and it doesn't look like the deluge will let up any time soon.  (There's still all of Death March to read once the first season of the anime ends. . .)

Meanwhile, I found another remix, so my music hall of fame is down to 4457 songs.  Every time I shrink my list the quality density of my hall of fame improves, every time I grow my list the amount and variety of good music I have to listen to improves.  Either way I can't lose, so every change is another sign of progress.

I found two remixes from Final Fantasy 6, but I also discovered that by using the itunes tool that allows you to start or stop a song early, I could retrieve only the 'new' musical portions of FF 6 songs I'd previously identified as remixes, and thus salvaged them back into the non-remix fold.  The end result was plus minus zero.  I wonder how many other songs that have been discarded as pure remixes could be salvaged in this way?  It's definitely food for thought.

Well, I could have been more thorough, but this will suffice.  I resurrected Anxious Heart and Treasure via careful editing of when the music starts and stops to make them all new songs instead of remixes.  The new total is 4459 songs.  It's a cool tool, but hardly all powerful.  For instance, I can't start, stop, then start then stop again, as often as I like, which would have been a much handier version.  Like this I only managed to save four songs.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dynasty Warriors 9 actually has 94 Characters:

Hua Xiong, Dong Bai, Xiahou Ji and Yuan Shu are playable characters if you buy the digital deluxe edition.  (which I didn't.)  Presumably they'll become ordinary downloadable content in the future, and then everyone can get their hands on them.  But if there's any way to play the character, that's a playable character, so that makes 94.

In my awesome post discussing my hopes for new characters in Dynasty Warriors 9, which I wrote four years ago, I asked for these very characters.  Hua Xiong and Yuan Shu were on that wishlist.  It's great to see Koei-Tecmo agreeing with me and adding these characters in just like I asked for.

In the end, out of the wishlist I made for DW9, 6 of the characters were actually added.  That leaves 17 left to go.  Maybe Dynasty Warriors 10, right?

Out of these 94 characters, though, there are only 36 unique weapons.  In Dynasty Warriors 8 everyone had their own unique weapon and fought in their own unique way.  Now we're back to square one.  The difference is this time everything looks better and the world is bigger.  I guess you can only ask your programmers to do so many things at once.  I'd like to see, for downloadable content, everyone getting their own unique weapons again, though.  Games should be improving on their previous edition, not going backwards.

Dynasty Warriors 9 is going to be amazing, but there's still a ton of room for improvement.  DW 10 should have all unique weapons and the remaining 17 characters I asked for that they still haven't added.  It should also include the Jin conquest of Wu, which is the actual ending of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel, something they've stubbornly refused to do all this time for who knows what reason.

Meanwhile, the Saki Biyori manga is ending.  One of the four pillars of the Saki manga world has crumbled.  But that's okay.  There's still Saki, Toki, and Shinohayu to keep us company.  And it's still one of the best manga franchises ever.  Only 13 manga series come out at all regularly in the fan translation world, and out of those 13 Saki, Toki and Shinohayu are three of them.  That's like 1/4 of all good manga in the English-speaking world all directly attributable to the same person.  Saki Biyori was a nice addition to that ridiculous record, but hardly necessary.