Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Archive for the ‘ Commentary ’ Category

I haven’t seen Deathly Hallows PT1 yet. I’ll be seeing it Wednesday night.

The corresponding book has been sitting on my desk for about two weeks, but I think I’ve decided to not reread it before I see the movie, as has been my habit. I’ve only read Deathly Hallows twice, most recently last summer, and listened to it on audiobook once, sometime in January, I think. It won’t be as sharp as if I had reread it yesterday, but I probably still have a good recollection of all the specific events in the 759-page book. So I will probably still spend most of the two and a half hours hissing complaints and disappointments under my breath like an asshole. Yes, I will be That Guy. I don’t really don’t want to be, but Half-Blood Prince proved that I can’t bloody help myself. It was during the last twenty minutes of that movie that, for the first time, someone turned around and told me to shut up.

I hope it doesn’t happen again. I will try to hiss more quietly this time. :(

(This post contains spoilers for the Deathly Hallows book and the movies up to the sixth.)

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Second Episode: Iron Man

October 10, 2010 Commentary Comments Off on Second Episode: Iron Man

So… this is actually a pretty all right show. So far.

I didn’t write anything about the first episode mostly because not enough happened for me to have much more than a neutral impression. With the second episode, the mood for the series has been better established, and I can more or less see where it’s going from here. And really, it doesn’t seem too terrible.

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Dude. This show is awesome.

As usual, I didn’t pay much attention pre-season and barely remember seeing this show on the preview charts. With Fall gradually starting, I skimmed a few blogs reacting to its apparent insanity, but I wasn’t really interested until I saw someone describe it as Powerpuff Girls x Gurren Lagann x Dexter’s Lab x Sailor Moon x FLCL.

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October 2nd was this year’s 24 Hour Comic Day, a day where comic artists everywhere break their backs and their wrists by attempting to produce, in its entirety, a 24-page, standalone comic in twenty-four consecutive hours. And, by amazing coincidence, it was also the debut of the highly anticipated, at least on my part, Bakuman anime — the animated adaptation of a manga about some kids drawing manga.

The Bakuman manga, licensed by VIZ Media, recently made its US debut. I picked up the first volume and intended to write some kind of review, but at this point it probably isn’t going to happen. However, with the first volume relatively fresh on my mind, I approached the anime with every bit of my usual neurotic purist caution. I was psyched about the anime, but I have a tendency to be disappointed by adaptations, even when I try my hardest not to be. Surely the anime would lose something on the meta level, now as an anime about manga, rather than a manga about manga.

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Black VS White

September 29, 2010 Commentary 6 Comments

All standard Pokemon games come in pairs. But while the reasons were often superficial, I have never had a problem choosing one over the other. Red over Blue. Silver over Gold. Sapphire over Ruby. Pearl over Diamond.

But now thisBlack or White? I am very torn. Very, very torn.

I got Red over Blue because I like the color red better, and because Charizard is more awesome than Blastoise… even though I started with Bulbasaur. Unfortunately, I have neither FireRed nor LeafGreen, but given that choice, it would have been LeafGreen. The version differences between the earlier generation games were pretty basic — just a handful of Pokemon exclusives, and for Red VS Blue, I didn’t really pay that much attention. In retrospect, I kinda wish I hadn’t missed out on Sandslash, Meowth, and Ninetales, but I’ve long since figured out that none of them were going to make my team anyway.

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New Monster Cap: 649

September 16, 2010 Commentary, News 5 Comments

So Pokemon Black/White isn’t due to release in Japan until this Saturday, September 18th, but leaked screenshots and other goodies have been trickling online gradually all week as Amazon and other retailers began shipping things out early. As there isn’t a lot of shipping distance to cover in a small country like Japan, this meant that people were getting games way ahead of schedule. Today, poor-quality photos surfaced online of all 156 new monsters, bringing the full Pokedex total to six hundred forty-nine.

I am so excited.

Seriously. For me, the build-up to Black and White has been very similar to the build-up to Gold and Silver, which, as the very first new generation, was the Most Exciting Thing Ever. Sure, by now — generation five and almost fifteen years old — the franchise’s new additions are pretty predictable: new island (based off New York City, baby!), new trainers, new attacks, season changes, three-way battles, more Wi-Fi stuff, and of course, new Pokemon. But as tried as the formula is, I am still most excited about the new Pokemon. I like having new things to collect. Monsters were cool when I was eight. Monsters are still cool, dammit.

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All in all, I’d say their reference of this particular meme was highly appropriate considering the scene directly preceding it. It’s really too bad there weren’t two other people in the scene to complete it (though I guess no one else in the series would be quite as excited).Bakemonogatari approves of the Reaction Guys!

There’s absolutely no mistaking the reference. Both Araragi and Suruga are in the exact same poses as the nearest two dudes and their expressions are nearly identical as well — just Suruga’s eyebrows seem to make her a bit more “Holy shit!” than “Hell yeah!”

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Well, I kid, but by now I’m sure you’ve all heard the breaking news: DISNEY BUYS MARVEL, and I’ve always wanted to use the “[Noun]? In my [Other Noun]?” format. :PSora will team up with Spidey and save Manhattan from the Heartless Croc. Or something.

There are only a few naysayers, and most either confused or cautiously speculative, but I honestly don’t think many things on the fandom end will be affected; there will just be more money in different people’s pockets. What’s really going to change with this acquisition? Disney is notorious for aggressive merchandising and pushing their licensed characters, but will a flood of new action figures and new Marvel-themed rides at Disneyland really affect Marvel’s artistic integrity or quality of work? As long as Disney keeps its hand out of what the folks at Marvel actually do, then I don’t see a problem. People were upset when Disney bought out Pixar too, but Pixar has, for the most part, retained its autonomy and continues to produce outstanding films. So why shouldn’t I expect Marvel to continue making comics like it always has?

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Wow. This is a topic I’ve intended to write about for a while, but I never imagined that it might cause such rampant drama across the community. Of course it had to start while I was out of town. I’ve only skimmed through a majority of the posts made thus far about fanart and artist attribution, but the number of comments and trackbacks to WAH‘s original post, as well as his two follow-up posts lead me to think that just about every possible opinion has already been shared. For the most part, I agree with WAH, and I’m glad to see that a lot of people seem receptive to the idea of attribution. Still, there might be a few other things that are worth bringing up.

Art by Kiriska; I drew this.

Art by Kiriska; I drew this. Yeah, yeah, yeah~.

I don’t really use fanart here. Almost everything I use is official art and the occasional screenshot, and hell, most of my earliest posts had no images at all. Official art and screenshots, regardless of artist, generally belong to the series’ company, which is easy to look up, so I don’t particularly feel the need for accreditation there. The fact that official art is usually purposed for mass distribution is also a good argument. Fanart, on the other hand, is always tricky business, even outside of the aniblogosphere (or perhaps, especially outside of the aniblogosphere?). Legality aside, it’s a question of common courtesy and manners. Regardless of your thoughts concerning your own work, be it your own fanart, writing, quotes, coding, or whatever, there’s no point in pushing your ideologies onto others. Just because you don’t care about being credited for your creations doesn’t mean other people can’t be touchy about their stuff. It’s their right to be touchy if they want to be.

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As is my routine now, I reread Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night in preparation for the movie, which debuted at midnight, but which I’ll not be seeing until this weekend. It was either my third or fourth time reading it. I know I reread it two summers ago just before the final book’s release, but I can’t remember if I’d reread it another time between that and when the book itself released (HBP is the sixth book). I think Half-Blood Prince is probably my least favorite of the series. I’ve always felt that my opinion of Harry Potter started to sour a little after the fourth book, after which I felt that J.K. Rowling lost a lot of focus and inserted many unnecessary and pointlessly distracting things when she should have been focusing on more pressing matters —  so I guess the sixth book would be an accumulation of those disappointments. I don’t think my impressions changed much during subsequent rereading(s) of HBP.

So I guess I’m kind of surprised that this time, I think I liked it much, much better.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (US cover)

(This post contains no spoilers for any Harry Potter book or movie.)

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