dusting off the old blog

I had a bunch of blog posts planned but either forgot to write them or got too busy with work, so here’s a random update post.

I currently work as a software consultant, and my project is in Los Angeles, CA. I typically fly down there on Sunday night, then back up on Thursday night. I haven’t gotten sick of the travel yet, plus I get to work from home for a couple weeks now (Thanksgiving) and then again next month (Christmas + New Years), so we’ll see how it goes when there are consecutive months without holidays :)

Aside from the new work, I’ve been playing a fair amount of Magic lately. In October, there were 2 US Grand Prixs, team sealed in San José and regular sealed in Philadelpia. We did pretty well at San José, but I didn’t do too well at Philly, going 4-2-2. In my own defense, my pool was extremely mediocre, so I lost easily to people with better pools.

I’ve also been keeping up with my anime, as usual. Sword Art Online is my current love, watching it religiously on Saturday afternoons (or Thursday at 1 AM after I get back from LA, if I wasn’t home for the previous weekend). Fall 2012 is about halfway through, so I’ve mostly established my set of shows for the season:

  • OniAi (Onii-chan dakedo ai sae areba Kankeinai yo ne – You’re my brother, but it doesn’t matter as long as there’s love) is a ridiculous harem manzai comedy along the lines of D-Frag! or Fujimura-kun Mates; based solely on the title, I can understand why the typical person would start running and never look back, but I’m glad I gave this a watch since I really enjoy it.
  • “K” is an interesting show; the first episode was all about visuals and audio, and now the story is starting to pick up. I’m not sure if it’s good or not, but it’s a fun watch.
  • Robotics;Notes continues the 5pb adaptations from Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate. This one is more grounded, a story about a high school robotics club. Definitely slow to start, hopefully it picks up soon.
  • Girls Und Panzer = Girls and Tanks. This is a fun show about an alternate history world where, apparently, there’s a girls-only sport that’s, basically, strategic tank battles :X if you just attribute any other ridiculous characters/settings to “it’s an anime about girls and tanks,” it’s actually very good. Basically, this is Saki with tanks instead of mahjong.
  • Little Busters! is the newest Key VN adaptation. Not much to say, your typical high school dramedy (where comedy and tragedy are hand-in-hand). Same type of story as Kanon or CLANNAD.
  • Kamisama Kiss is a fun, lighthearted youkai story. Girl is evicted from her home and somehow becomes the god of a local shrine. The shrine’s servant, a fox spirit, doesn’t approve of a human managing the shrine, so follows the crazy shenanigans as they get used to their new lives. Nothing special, but it’s, again, a fun watch.
  • Shinsekai Yori – in a closed society of espers, a group of children accidentally stumble into the outside world, and the truth of their own society. Definitely a drama. There are some horror undertones, but it never really gets to that point. Very interesting, they tease a lot of scenes from the past and the future, making you really want to watch more and see what happened/happens.
  • Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (“My Little Monster”) – a rather untraditional, but somehow more realistic and meaningful, love story. As the ANN review put it, very rarely are you presented with a love story where both the girl and the boy are broken, but that’s what we have here. It works really well, and the writing is really good.
  • Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! – Roughly means “Childishly delusional but looking for love!” If you don’t follow Japanese culture, imagine a Goth person who’s a little too into-it, like where they believe they really have magic powers or the ability to curse people or whatever. Now, apply that template to sci-fi/fantasy instead. Basically, “chuunibyou” refers to middle-schoolers who do this, act like they have magic powers or whatever. This anime is about a high school boy who used to be delusional, has gotten over it and hates being reminded of it, and meets a girl who is still delusional… but actually believes the boy has magic powers. Pretty cute, it’s KyoAni so the production quality is ridiculous. Definitely not as polished as Hyouka, but still very, very good.
  • Last is Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo. This one also probably gets some bad press since it appears to be all fan service, but it’s actually got quite a deep story.

Other things I’ve been doing: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky; I’ve gotten past the first 2 towns, then I came home from LA and found 2 neat packages outside my apartment door: Ragnarok Odyssey and Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward. TitS won’t be seeing much play for the foreseeable future :o I’ve more or less stopped playing Guild Wars 2, since I’ve got 2 lvl 80 characters and, with my telecommute job, I’ve lost my rhythm I had before, so it just feels like there’s nothing to do when I log on now. Ragnarok Odyssey, I’m currently in chapter 7, and damn, this game is getting rather challenging. Boo at Tim for saving the game for when he’s traveling :|

Well, I’ve been sick for the last 4ish days, and my NyQuil is kicking in, so that’ll be the end of this post, until next time!

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