Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Anime — Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

Finally, the last episode has been subbed.

There was too much fan-sub drama about this series (even to the extent of a troll-squad being thanked in the final credits); so, even though this is only a month after the series finished airing, not six like with Simoun (done by an open-process group, so we always knew where things stood), it felt much more disrupted. The first series I watched in raws first as well.

I shall have to semi-marathon it to get the flow. Unlike the previous series where I could pick up batch torrents, and the story was carried along in a wave of escalating beam-spam, this went more slowly, carried itself more seriously, and involved many new characters, who needed to be introduced, before the last few episodes when all restraint was off.

Solid, fun to watch, definitely made Fate/Nanoha as close to canon as possible -- and I did like the Takamachi School of Child Rearing (“Rub some dirt in it, rookie!”).

Anime — Gankutsuou

The Count of Monte Cristo (a book that I the philistine have never actually read) as animation, translated to 51st Century Paris. Not that that is without precedent -- Tiger, Tiger, besides being the first cyberpunk novel, did much the same. Starting with the carnival transposed from Venice to Luna, it introduces the Count to us at the same time as Albert first encounters him, and then follows events going forwards, revealing the back-story as events spiral towards their conclusion.

Lavishly, lushly realised in a highly textured style (though you do have to get used to the textures staying still as the characters move); beautifully realised; and a stuning sound-track -- not just the OP and ED, which are by Jean Jacques Burnel of the Stranglers.

Highly recommended.

Links for 30-Oct

The little JavaScripter

Determining offsets with scrolling overflow -- drag and drop on scrolled elements

Be careful with your JavaScript variable declarations -- once and only once

Autopopulating text input fields with javascript -- looking good, being accessible

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A week of doing nothing

A much needed week off draws to a close.

Like n. molesworth "what i did in my hols" : Did 0. Mucked about.

Tuesday, drove to orford for lunch at the Crown and Castle again; an easy drive A14, B1078, park in the square. Amble a bit before time to dine. Dine (Buffalo mozzarella crostini; goat's cheese and red pepper quiche with fries and salad; pistachio and yoghurt squidgy cake), then amble some more to walk it off. The drive back into the setting sun with the A14 knee deep in shadow and the cars glinting against the bright sky, not so fun.

Stuffed cat and springy dog

At the Crown and Castle

Wed/Thu I got my bike its end of season service (new back gear block, chain and cable), getting caught in unexpected drizzle while doing so.

And apart from a little pottering in the garden and garage, did very little beyond tapering off from caffeine overindulgence from work and time wasting on various boards.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Anime — Seirei no Moribito

Anime of the first volume of a popular Japanese fantasy series, done in beautiful, flowing animation by Production IG; and it's obvious that this is the same studio who did Ghost in the Shell : Stand-Alone Complex.

Balsa, a spear wielding bodyguard rescues Chagum, the Second Prince, when his palanquin tumbles into a river, bringing her into the meshes of Imperial intrigue, and, ultimately, the lies upon which the Empire was founded, centuries before.

Generally low-key, low magic, and pastoral, with just a few spear fights — and definitely none of the stereotypical anime buckets of blood. Highly recommended.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Anime — ぼくらの (Bokurano)

I have the series on my Bokurano uninstall disc; but I've not felt inclined to watch the last half dozen episodes -- basically, I gave up at that point where Morita had just about destroyed any possible connection with the manga.

While there were a number of expected "Whoops, can't show that on TV!" changes in the first third of the series, and one was always going to live under the shadow of the manga being incomplete and a "LOL GONZO!" ending, the hostile direction had the paradoxical effect of removing all the pathos from the story and simply rendering the series pathetic.

Daiichi's actions to help let the civilians get to safety before fighting just vanished, due to the reshuffling to get early official intervention; Aiko's poignant newscast was rendered impossible by changing the story around her father; the list goes on...

Those are just the most obvious places where the direction sucked all the power from the story -- and instead gave us comedy yakuza.

As a story, the biggest disappointment of the year. Three thumbs down. But the best OP by miles.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Links for 18-Oct

The static gateway pattern -- an improved Singleton without all that pattern's global variable dependency entanglement.

Using Java classes from JRuby (the other way round awaits the second compiler)

A scriptless CSS slide-show -- impressive.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Anime — Mononoke

A spectre is haunting Japan. Five tales of hauntings and the supernatural in old Japan.

In the same sort of space as Mushishi, an enigmatic and sardonic medicine seller wanders Japan, exorcising unwanted spirits, through a Buddhist ritual involving their Form, Truth and Regret.

It is animated in a stylised fashion, with closing door scene changes, and textured backgrounds, clearly echoing traditional Japanese theatrical forms.

Pretty much the highlight of the year.

Anime — Paranoia Agent

First time (assumed) menstruating girl conjures up horrors and other entities from her subconscious. Now, where have we heard that one before?

Satoshi Kon works better, I feel, at movie length (e.g Paprika, for which this seems a rough draft).

This 13-episode series was a bit discursive, and the internet suicide pact episode (lower left) that rated that DVD as an 18-cert, was pure filler.

Anime — Tengen-Toppa Gurren-Lagann

Heaven-piercing Crimson Face — “Yours is the drill that will pierce the Heavens”

Not since the days of astounding tales of super science, like E.E. "Doc" Smith or John W Campbell have I seen such unashamed escalation.

Simon the Digger rises from humble beginnings in an underground shelter, via a whole lot of transforming/combining mecha, to save the world and free the galaxy from the Great Silence.

A great romp for your inner 12-year-old (especially if the inner 12-year-old has ADD).

Thursday, October 04, 2007