I've been doing my best to win a copy of Dead Rising in a contest that Joystiq has been running lately. They offer a copy of Dead Rising a day, to whoever makes the funniest submission using an 'Otis template'. I haven't won, and I just sent my last entry in. Hopefully, I snag the prize, and get to sort of enjoy some free Dead Rising. As much as I can anyways, you know, not being able to read anything. Anways, here are my three entries to peruse:
Those were slightly shrunk to better fit my template here, but my Photoshop and comic skills are at their maximum capacity. The first two entries were both selected as honorable mentions. For the last one I decided to go with a Wii game, because that's a hot topic and few others had touched on it. Even that may not be enough to win, ... or I'm just getting robbed, god damn robbed.
Well, I've made enough purchases recently that I think justify the second iteration of Buying Bonanza!! This could potentially be the last of this particular type of post for a while, considering that the act of chronicling my purchases for the rest of this fall isn't actually something I'm comfortable doing. The size ... the money ... It's eye-opening to the point that if I were to do it, I'd probably never allow myself the pleasure of such spending ever, ever again.
Well, who knows? I might come to terms with the fact that I'm a consumer whore, and proceed with the Buying Bonanza's. Regardless, let's take a look at what I've purchased so far:
Mega Man ZX - DS
Cooking Mama - DS
Tenjho Tenge Vol. 6
Patlabor WXIII - Ultimate Edition 3 Disc Set
Daft Punk - Human After All
Seven Samurai - Criterion Collection 3 Disc Re-Release
Gojira - Godzilla 2 Disc Special Edition
Jigoku - Criterion Collection
Spirited Killer - Tony Jaa's first feature film
Books & Manga:
Deus Vitae Vol.'s 2 & 3
XXXholic Vol. 2
Boogiepop and Others
That's about everything. I think I outdid myself with quality purchases this time, and I got everything at great prices too! I also picked up a nice pair of headphones considering the last pair I had, got torn out of my ears and swung around my body in a display of rage similar to that one scene in Office Space. I think they found themselves somewhere deep in the woods after that. Don't ask, it was a lawn mowing incedent. I've paid for Okami in full as well, but that money has been out of my pocket for almost a month now.
Right-o, back to regular posting next time. Well, I guess Buying Bonanza!! is regular posting for me. It's not as fun to read as reviews, or critiques or anything like that, but I do love it so.
I don't think I actually have the time to be making this post, but well, I'm crazy. I never managed my time that well before, so why start now? Anyways ...
I just finished The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya and whew!, it's a killer. As a short series (14 episodes) it's difficult to compare the story with some of the longer anime out there, but this show makes up for it in so many ways. Like:
1. The Music: The theme song for Haruhi "Bouken Desho Desho?" is sang by the voice actress of Haruhi herself, Aya Hirano. So excellent! ... and while that is something that everyone should go listen to, a particular episode follows a storyline that ends up with Haruhi performing two songs in a concert, and they too are performed by Aya Hirano. I might consider them the best songs ever performed in anime, ever-like. Yuki's "solos" are just pimpsauce.
Such can be found here. For the sake of all that is holy, watch such coolness. NOW!
2. The Fanservice: Normally, I'm neither here nor there on fanservice. I don't necessarily enjoy it, but I don't hate it either. Most of the time I find it kind of creepy, in the sense that these are like, girls, and by girls I mean not women. Also, they're cartoons. Haruhi seems to avoid most of that and the fanservice is actually kind of funny in most cases.
3. The Mood: Haruhi, while taking itself as joke most of the time, is actually rather serious as well. There is some good social commentary about giving up on dreams (Haruhi's dreams in particular), and there are some really somber moments that make for some great thought pieces. Yuki's never-ending dramatic pauses being one of my favorite things in the series. She's also probably my favorite character. Not only is she quiet, reserved, and mysterious, she's also probably the most bad-ass character in the series.
4. The Timeline: The creators of Haruhi took some serious notes from Tarantino to use in this anime. The episodes from Haruhi jump back and forward in time and it makes the series more interesting than it would be otherwise. You actually have to piece things together actively instead of following along in a linear fashion. I love it!
5. The Suprise: Haruhi is generally a character drama, but the suprises contained within are supremely awesome. I won't spoil them for anyone, but I really doubt anyone going into this series will expect some of the things that actually happen.
Bonus - The Art: Some seriously beatiful moments in Haruhi. Wind-swept hair, the shine on a pair of glasses, and other wonderfully pretty scenes contained within.
Ultimately, I can't recommend The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya enough, I'd love to go into detail and talk about the revelations in the series, but in faith that someone might read this (cough ..Nathan.. cough) and it inpsires them to partake in the series, I don't want to be the one to have ruined it. The full 14 episodes can't take too much time for most anyone, indulge yourselves and watch some very, very solid anime.
A Half-Assed Series Review Score: 9 out of 10
I do my best to keep my blog squarely rooted in the world of games or movies, or some other form of acceptable entertainment, mostly because those are my favorite things; but also because I think that those make for a slightly more interesting read than:
"I called Sheila today, OMG!! she broke up with Brad..."
... or the even more common ...
"Why do I have to keep living this mundane life in this small town?"
That last one was the "EMO" post, get it? However, even I'm sometimes drawn away from my choice topics to divulge some random information about myself, or my life, that I just have to jot down somewhere. Whether it's read or not isn't necessarily the goal, the purpose is in the writing.
One of my college courses this semester is a Human Relations course that I didn't have much of a reason to enroll in, apart from the fact that I needed a PSY elective. I heard the class was going to require little work, and was also very entertaining. Therefore, enrolling seemed like the right choice.
This is where things will take a slight turn. I'm of the opinion that life will occasionally take these particular instances of chance (my enrolling in a random PSY course) and pepper them with full-on realizations of extraordinary substance. Perhaps this requires some explanation:
The Human Relations course that I found myself enrolled in began with some pretty heavy-handed conversations about goals, thoughts, wealth, and the human condition in general. That was apparently going to be our topic of discussion for much of the course, and I've never had a problem with going that route. I enjoy that route. To date, our conversations have always ended with some really beautifully laid-out suggestions about how to improve life. Much of which I've heard before, but I think this course is leaving me with something much more beneficial than simply the advice. I'm also finally learning to follow it.
It's always been really interesting that no matter how often I may watch a movie that reveals some particular insight about life, or read a book, speak in class. etc., I never find myself following that specific advice. It's almost as if I take the advice and say to myself, "That's absolutely profound, ... I'm now a changed person," ... and within minutes the feeling fades and I return to the ways of thinking that were never really getting me anywhere before. This has happened to me countless times, and most realistically to everyone that reads this as well. It's a feeling that I think is common, because changing the entire way to think or feel about the world is a pretty laborious task.
But, the real ticket is that it doesn't have to be so heavy a burden. Baby steps ...
One of the first steps I'm going to take to make my life move in a direction I'd like to see it heading is an idea proposed to us in our course called a Vision Board. It's essentially a board covered with items or things I'd like to have in my life, and the dates I'd like to acquire them by. The idea being that by focusing on those particular objects by reinforcing thoughts upon them often enough, they'll always be attained. I know ... it sounds so hokey. I'm like the godfather of cynics, so I obviously don't buy into the 'positive thought' pyramid scheme, but I do think that by having these things remind me often enough that I want them above all others, this could in fact work. Perhaps the positive thought affair can come afterwards.
I've going to begin my Vision Board very simply, and I'm going to do it right here. Before the week is out I'll have to make something concrete and visual, or it isn't exactly following through with the initial idea, but my Blog is as good a place as any to announce what will be happening in my life:
Cody's Vision Board
By December 1, 2006 - I'll own a Nintendo Wii.
By January 1, 2006 - I'll own a Sony PSP.
By March 30, 2007 - I'll own a new car. Not necessarily a *new* car, but a different car.
By September 15, 2007 - I'll own a new computer. A Macbook Pro.
By July 14, 2010 - I will have been to Japan.
That's a simple enough beginning, and those are at this point, the things I want most in my life. It's easy to read them and think, "Those are stupid things that aren't really making your life any better." However, that's missing the point of the Vision Board, and pretty much life as well. The Vision Board doesn't have to say, "I want $1 Million Dollars by the time I'm 25." It's about what you want, and what you're willing to spend your life thinking about.
Believing that those are things that don't make life any better isn't right either. I'll give out the meaning of life this one time only, and if you don't savor it, pfft... Ready? FEEL GOOD. Being happy is a part of feeling good, and those are things that make me happy. That makes them more important than anything else on this entire planet.
There are a myriad of other great things we're learning in my Human Relations course, and I'm doing my best to apply myself to all of them. Naturally within reason, I still don't go for hokey shit in which I'm supposed to wake up every single day and think about what I'm gracious for. I mean come on ... that's just gay.
There we go. That's sounding more like a normal post. I'll finish with a picture of Nintendo's extra bonus that came with my Star Fox review copy. I'll update my works to include the review and other projects soon enough.
Fox always had an issue with airline martinis.