Week in Review: My Desktop is a Worthless Steaming Pile

I have a pretty awesome desktop computer, a gateway with an i7 quad-core processor, and a radeon 5850.  It will handle pretty much any game, and will effortlessly play BD-quality encode, while at the same time, have enough hard drive space to store them with.  The only thing it can’t do, however, is handle an hour straight of Raildex songs on Beat Hazard.  The video card’s fan got fried, and it will be another week of sitting in the shop waiting for a replacement to come in.  It feels terrible, man.

In the meantime, I’ve been struggling to find a way to play these 720p anime episodes on my less than optimal netbook (ie, I can’t).  Thus, I’ve downloaded both the 720p and 480p versions of the same episode so I can watch one on the netbook, and save one for the desktop when I get it back.  At the moment, it’s a huge blow to my bandwidth.  Here are some noteworthy shows that I’ve watched from the past week or so.

Shinryaku! Ika Musume

For as long as I’ve been a fan of anime and manga, I’ve always wanted an anime adaptation of Yotsuba&, and the flawlessness of Azumanga Daioh notwithstanding, I could not imagine the manga being produced in the exact same vein as AzuDai without losing some of the lustre that gave Yotsuba it’s charm.

It is only through watching Ika Musume that I’ve once gained confidence that a Yotsuba adaptation is doable.  Despite her uncanny physical similarity to Index, Ika actually acts a lot more like Yotsuba: a childish and unbearably cute little girl who always gets caught in misunderstandings due to her naive perspective of the real world.

Ika Musume’s recent episodes have really built on that tried and true formula of initial misunderstanding, built upon layer by layer by her friends, who misunderstand each other in turn.  This series is by far the best in exploiting dramatic irony, which compliments the moe elements of Ika Musume herself, to a very effective extent.  Easily a sleeper hit of the season.

MM!

Dropped.  I haven’t watched anything from this series since the whole transport stream fiasco and ElitistFags closing down the doors.

If it weren’t inconvenient enough, the amount of whining and complaining from the group I was getting my subs from was a bit too much to bear.  Their lack of professionalism in their public statements turned me off from them entirely.  Of course, fansubbing is an area that is very informal, but even in this context, there are still some standards with regards to presentation and image that translates to overall success and recognition from the anime-viewing community.

In this regard, they failed, and I was given the best excuse to drop this show that didn’t stand much of a chance to begin with.

Bakuman

This is the series that has captivated me on a personal level, simply due to the premise of a pair of characters who aspire to be published in the field of their creative art of manga.  As an aspiring writer, the passion and somewhat bohemian idealism of being a successful author of an original work shown in this series is nailed pretty much perfectly.

In the most recent episodes, the main characters have gone through some hardships with regards to rejection of their submissions, as well as heavy critique of their work.  From my perspective and background, I could only commend their optimism in response of what would otherwise be a drawback to their careers.

I found the approach that the show took in the most recent episode refreshing, despite it being the same old adage of “never give up.”  The way the two characters work hard and listen to the advice of Hattori, their editor/contact at Shonen Jack, is very mature for their age, and is reflective of the way authors and editors ought to work in order to produce success.

In the end, both sides want to bring forth a good product, and I am excited to see where Mashiro and Takagi do with the suggestions that Hattori has given them.  The shadows under Hattori’s eyes are a nice touch, and a slight hint that he’s working hard for the main characters as well.

Only My Desktop

The lack of a fully functioning workstation has left me with minimal resources for working on the blog.  However, I have somehow managed to do with just a netbook, and to be bluntly honest, I only have the people I’ve met on twitter as well as on skype to thank.  The concept of SCCSAV, the Standing Committee for the Coordination of  Simultaneous Anime Viewing, is something that has put me in contact with a number of anibloggers who have a lot of ideas to share.

I’ve already watched Hidamari Sketch, Yozakura Quartet, Kuragehime with a number of them, as well as a number of viral youtube videos for fun.  If there’s anything that I can take away from this experience so far, it’s that I shouldn’t let a lack of technology completely shut me down from writing altogether.  I did 50,000 words in a month, a large number of them on a netbook in a starbucks.  What’s 800-1000 words for a single post?

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