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Zettai Shounen 17+18 September 30th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Anime, Zettai Shounen.
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Zettai Shounen 17 - Pic 1 Zettai Shounen 17 - Pic 2
Zettai Shounen 17 - Pic 3 Zettai Shounen 17 - Pic 4

The Triad released two episodes of Zettai Shounen this week, which means we’ve now caught up with original airing in Japan. Episode 17 takes a sidestep from the material fairies and we are treated to some character development and more in to the weird triangle relationship between Kisa, Shigeki and Rieko. Shigeki tries to get closer to Kisa, who still shuts him out a bit, while Rieko is trying to get Shigeki and tells him that Kisa “has nothing”. He’s taken back and bites back, saying that Rieko doesn’t understand either Kisa or himself. Shigeki is busy preparing for his big Shogi game tomorrow, but after the fight with Rieko he’s feeling slightly down. After a match against Hana (who it turns out was his original Shogi teacher) she tells him that he must fight his oponents head on. When Rieko finds out Shigeki had his big tournament today, she’s upset and worries that he may lose at his match because of what she had said yesterday (she also regretted what she had said, since she wanted to hold a birthday party for Kisa). Hana lets her have the day off, and she decides to run to the Shogi institute to find a battered Shigeki, after he lost his game. Shigeki says that Rieko doesn’t need to understand him and says they should head home, but Rieko forces him to go on by himself, as she stays behind crying. Meanwhile, Sukawara is stranded on the ferris wheel which breaks down (and she thinks it has something to do with the material fairies) and once she finally gets off, she takes her chance to be “Reporter Sa-ka-wa-ra!” (be careful not to mispronounce it!) and comments on the strange going-ons lately.

Zettai Shounen 18 - Pic 1 Zettai Shounen 18 - Pic 2 Zettai Shounen 18 - Pic 3 Zettai Shounen 18 - Pic 4 Zettai Shounen 18 - Pic 5 Zettai Shounen 18 - Pic 6

Episode 18 starts with a short scene with Kisa, marking her seventeenth birthday as the clock turns to 0:01. This episode also sees the return of Ayumu (who we saw in Episode 16 having a long conversation over the phone with Miki). Over the phone again, he talks to Miki about seeing Old Laky Okaka, although she disappeared the night after she came. Later, Kisa is standing staring at the “Trust Yourself” graffiti, when Ayumu sees her, and notices she’s staring into her bag. They swap cellphone numbers so that they can talk about the “material fairies.” Rieko is learning Shogi from “Shogi for Dummies” and asks Hana if she might be able to understand Shigeki by learning to play Shogi, but Hana says that those are two very different things. I can’t help feel more sorry for Rieko, although she seems more selfish, she seems to be getting a lot of undeserved hatred from Shigeki. Later, Kisa is upset because although she knew no one would remember her birthday, it hits her hard when she finally realises it. Kisa and Shigeki arrange to meet Ayumu since they both would like to know more about whats going on. Makki over hears Shigeki talking, and tips of Sukawara so that she can see Kisa’s Bun-chan. When Shigeki and Kisa meet up, Kisa is taken back when he offers her a birthday present, before they go off to an isolated park to meet with Ayumu (Sukawara and Makki later run after them to see what they are doing). Ayumu shows Shigeki and Kisa Dosshiru and Shishinn, so in turn, Kisa shows Ayumu Bun-chan, immediately, they rush off, and collide in the sky, and suddenly parts of Bun-chan drop from the sky, and Kisa lets out an awfully shrieking “Noooooo!!!” At the end of the episode, we’re left with the large spaceship from above starting to act rather ominous in the sky as lights start flickering. To be continued!

These two episodes were brilliant, and the ending to Episode 18 was brilliant and the cliffhanger we’re left on really makes you want to see Episode 19 (although as Triad report on their website, it’s going to have to wait until this time next week.. noooo!!!) The pace of the episodes has definitely picked up, especially over the Tana arc which at some points went painfully slow. The final 8 episodes promise to be very intersting indeed, as more details should be revealed about the mysteries of the material fairies.

Elsewhere

Advent Children OST September 29th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Anime, Music.
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FF7 AC OSTThe Official Soundtrack to Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (which I gave a short review of a fortnight ago) was released the other day and I couldn’t be happier. I loved the music featured in the movie, and there are some excellent tracks by Nobu Uematsu, who was also responsible for the music in everyone of the games to date. Some of my favourite tracks on the two CDs are: (but the entire collection is great!)

  • Tatakau Monotachi (Piano Version)
  • Battle in the Forgotten City
  • Advent: One-Winged Angel 

FLCL September 29th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Anime.
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FLCL Screencap 1 FLCL Screencap 2

One sentence review for the entire series: “what the heck was that?” That was such a bizarre, whacked out show. It had some interesting ideas, different styles and generally weird characters and a random story that didn’t really make any sense at all. It’s really fast-paced, since they were trying to fit a storyline (there actually is a storyline if you look deeply enough) into the short 6-episode season. It’s even rumoured that GAINAX used an entire 26-episode budget on this 6-episode series with the intent of experimenting with new technologies. Definitely the best part of the whole thing was the excelent soundtrack, performed almost entirely by the pillows. Overal, even though the show gave off a very dodgy feel to it, it was still quite enjoyable, and well worth my 2 hours, 30 minutes watching.

“What is Furi Kuri?”
“I don’t know!”
“You’re the main character! How can you not know?!”

FLCL Screencap 3 FLCL Screencap 4

PS: I know. Five years old. I’m behind the times. Now you can get off my back! 

Stay On My Side Tonight September 27th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Music.
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Jimmy Eat World - Stay On My Side TonightJimmy Eat World’s latest EP release, Stay On My Side Tonight is released October 4th, although fans have been able to get a download copy ever since September 13th. The other day, I managed to get my hands on the EP… and have been listening to it ever since. Disintegration is one of the finest songs I’ve ever heard, with a gloriously fashioned “build-up” style to the music, that has deemed itself worthy of a 5-star rating in my iTunes library. In fact, I’ve listened to it so much, its knocked Jimmy Eat World to the number one spot on my Last.fm profile. The two other new tracks, Over and Closer, are faster-paced tracks with a more upbeat rhythm, followed by a cover of Heatmiser’s Half Right. The EP ends with a remix of “Drugs Or Me” featured on the Futures album, by Styrofoam.

The new original tracks were pieces the band were working on when recording Futures, but believed they never fit in with the sequence of the CD, and were unfortunately cut, but I am so very glad that they have been released. After the tour with Green Day, it is said the band is grouping to start work on their followup album to Futures.

Howl’s Moving Castle September 24th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Movies.
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Yesterday, I went with some friends to see Howl’s Moving Castle, which was released in UK cinemas on Friday. It’s a grand, typically Miyazaki-ish movie which was a lot of fun. Apart from one other bloke at the back of the seats, we were the only people watching the screening at 3pm, so we pretty much had the entire cinema to ourselves, which was pretty good. We also had a laugh after we left the movie when Mark failed to distinguish between Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Wizard of Oz, when describing the “Wicked Witch of the Waste”. Characters-wise, I loved Turniphead and Calcifier who were very lovable, and the story was pretty good too, although the last quarter of an hour got a little bit confusing, and then very predictable. Still, that doesn’t take away from the excellent movie that it was, with Ghibli’s trademark animation and a very fitting and orchestral score. Overall, it was a very enjoyable movie and well worth my student ticket price!

Whilst on movies, I’m glad to see Google UK now features searching for “movie: Howls’ Moving Castle“, which brings up a list of times near my area. That’s absolutely brilliant, because I used to be forced to check through each cinema’s awfully designed website. Cineworld isn’t too bad, but can be confusing for new visitors; UGC has a great system, but can take a while to get to the info you want; and don’t get me started on Odeon‘s terrible website, sporting completely invalid code, and for the most part, not even working in anything bar Internet Explorer.

Talk like a Pirate Day September 19th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Random.
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Arr, don’t ye be forgettin’, today is Taaalk Like a Pirate Day, arrr! I expec’ all o’ yer landlubbers to be blabberin’, or I’ll send yer to Davy Jones’ Locker, yer scurvy dog!

MicroTorrent September 18th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Bittorrent, Software.
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Through Keith Devens’ weblog, I’ve come across µTorrent which promises to be a feature-rich bittorrent client with a low memory footsprint and little CPU usage. I’ve been using Azurueus for some time now, and I’ve tried many others, but none of them compare. But Azureus’ memory usage, thanks to the fact it was written in Java is sometimes a problem for me (unlike µTorrent, which was written in C++). However, this one looks like it may have all I want: simultaneous downloads, multiple file priorities and, from the “micro” screenshot, it looks like a pretty good interface, on par with Azurues too.

On the otherhand, it’s still pretty new, and bugs are to be expected of software which hasn’t had much user testing yet. Still, having said that I will at least try it out, and see whether it can become a replacement of Azureus for me.

Update: (24th Sep) Development appears to be coming on very nicely with µTorrent, who have now released Version 1.1 after two beta releases, and the development release for 1.1.1 is already available. It appears this might be a great application after all, which is getting a lot of press lately, thanks to its small size which makes it perfect for placing it on USB pen drives.

The Revolutions September 16th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Music.
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The Revolutions

The Revolutions are a four piece band from Wales who started in January 2004 who describe themselves as a bit of a mix of “Guns N’ Roses, Queen, The Beatles and the White Stripes” with their own musical tastes dashed. Joe Mensor on vocals and guitar, Geat on guitar, Eddie Wyatt on bass and Rich Hutchinson on drums, all with their diffirent music backgrounds got together in a garge in South Wales.

On their website, you can find seven demo tracks released over the previous two years, as well as six tracks from a live gig in London.

MGS4: Guns of the Patriots September 16th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Games.
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Solid Snake MGS4More news from the Tokyo Game Show, Kojima has announced the name of the fourth installment in the Metal Gear Solid series will be titled, “Guns of the Patriots.” Originally dubbed as Nowhere to Hide at E3 several months ago, the game has been eagerly awaited by impatient fans of the previous games. There is a 60 megabyte trailer available that Kojima have been showing throughout the convention today. Aside from being classed by Kotaku as Freddie Mercury, Solid Snake looks set to rock:

With the fourth installment of the MGS series, the storyline is once again set in the near future. The next-generation PlayStation 3 platform will be infiltrated by an all-star cast and loaded with shocking new scenerios. The secret behind winning the warfare of the next-gen is not found in any “place” but rather in “Sense.”

The game once again puts the player in Solid Snake’s feet, set in a storyline post-MGS2, making this game the furthest into the future. And from the screenshots, it looks like time has taken its toll upon our poor old Snake, who is now looking rather old (and donning his “Freddie Mercury” moustache). Details of the game at PS3 Today, GameSpott, IGN and 1up offer’s their impressions.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children September 16th, 2005

Posted by alsotop in Games, Movies.
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My views on the movie basically mirror what pretty much everyone is saying so far. The plot stinks, the characters have little development, but the animation, the soundtrack and the glorious action scenes are a big reason to love this movie. I have to admit, that I have never played the game, (don’t hit me!) but I know the general idea of the story, and I know how greatly respected it is. Apparently, the movie does very little to add to the storyline and barely expands upon the ideas, but it was still incredibly enjoyable to watch, no matter on it’s downsides. The animation isn’t on-par with that other CG movie, ie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, but you can’t really expect it to be, since it’s not as big, yet it’s still damn impressive.

Warning: A few slightly spoiler-ish pics when reading the full article.

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