atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6808: Yes, that's decidedly a keeper

Finished watching Just Because! and it's fantastic. I want the OST for it.

One of the nicest things about the story is how little actual exposition was done in it. Which is to say, there are very few times that the viewer learns a fact by having someone state it. Okay, you don't learn that Eita Izumi likes Mio Natsume by his saying so--but by the time it becomes important, you know it, even so.

The setting is a real place, and it's rendered beautifully. The artwork in this series is gorgeous, even though there are a few flubs here and there as mentioned previously. These flubs are entirely in character animations, not in the backgrounds. I feel like I want to live there.

The series centers on a group of seniors in high school during their last few months there. It really gives you the feeling of being there, of what it's like to be a senior in high school in Japan who is facing entrance exams and graduation.

When it comes to exam season, seniors in high school are allowed to skip school to study. At that point they have learned everything the high school can teach them, and further attendance at the school could keep the student from exam prep, so basically during the month of February they're not required to attend school, but for a few hours per week for necessities.

In Japan, if you don't want to go to high school, you don't have to. Education is compulsory through age 15--about the end of freshman high school in the US--but afterwards it's optional. The kids who are attending high school, generally speaking, want to be there, in fact worked very hard in junior high and took entrance exams to get into whatever high school they're attending.

Anyway, this is a fantastic series. Fantastic.

* * *

Incidentally, the series name in romaji is Jyasuto Bikoozu. I reread the katakana under the English title and realized I'd gotten it wrong.

* * *

Also incidentally, Mrs. Fungus has been binge-watching Mad Men, so I watched eps 9 and 10 on the Giganto-Tron from the comfort of my new desk chair. I'm really glad I bought it.

* * *

Last night, in the middle of my binge, I took a break and went outside. There were clouds, but the waning moon was visible, and as I stood there I could watch lightning play in the clouds as the moon rode through them. I probably would have watched that until it started raining on me if it hadn't been for the raccoon that ran across the driveway and under my wife's car.

* * *

The grass has not been growing, owing to the lack of rain. With what we got last night, I expect to have to cut it sometime this week, but probably not soon. The weather, in general, has been moderate but humid. Tonight, for example, it's like 70 outside but the dewpoint is 68, which is cool but sticky.

So it's the worst of both worlds. I have to run the AC, to keep the humidity down and maintain a comfortable environment inside the house, but it's not hot enough during the day to use the swimming pool.

* * *

But we're in the last half of August, which means we're on the downside of summer. The days are getting obviously shorter again; I need to turn on the lights around 7-ish. *sigh*

* * *

Well, we've now got just nine days until WoW Classic goes live. I did some fiddling on Ormus and Weaksauce this evening but I...I don't know, I just didn't find it as engaging as last week when I was playing in the stress test. I feel like the latest version of the game is just not as much fun as the original version. Part of it comes from the fact that in order to do some things you need to farm reputation with this or that faction, and you can't do those things until you've jumped through the hoops.

Right now the big push is to get Ormus to "exalted" status with a certain faction in order to unlock a new player character race. But grinding rep is tedious; doing quests for that faction get you a small handful of points per quest--typically around 80-100--but "exalted" status takes 21,000 points. Ormus is most of the way there, but it'd still take days of grinding to do it. There's something called an "emissary quest" where, if you do four world quests for the faction, you get a big chunk of rep with them--about 1600 points--but I haven't had one of those in more than a week for this faction. And it'll still take Ormus about three or four emissary quests for that faction to get him to "exalted" status. And so, to get there, one must grind rep.

And they don't call it "grinding" because it's delightful and fun game play; they call it "grinding" because it's tedious. The rewards for the quests aren't enough to make me want to do them absent the emissary quest; and even with that bonus, it's still dull. The worst aspect of the whole thing is that the area in which these quests exist is a pain in the ass to get around in.

In classic, rep really doesn't matter all that much--which is to say it makes goods and services cheaper with that faction, but you don't need to get "exalted" with anyone in order to play this or that race. It takes a long time to level up a toon, so it would be stupid to force someone to get "exalted" with, say, Ironforge on one character before they could create a dwarf.

But that's the mechanic they're doing here, have done since Legion came out: if you want to play a character of the new race, first you must get an existing character to "exalted" with the right faction, to unlock that character race. Then you can create a new character of that race.

And so leveling is completely challenge-free. You can hit level ten in a couple of hours in Battle for Azeroth, assuming your character race doesn't start at level 20. Do a third of the quests in Elwynn Forest and you're ready to hit Westfall, and by the time you're done there you can skip right to Darkshire which--by then--is a cakewalk because you're at the upper end of Duskwood's level range. Zone scaling mitigated this to some extent but hasn't fixed it, because you can still start at zero and be questing in Duskwood after an afternoon's worth of play. Or if your character race is one of the ones that starts at level 20, just go right there.

...leveling becomes a series of hoops to jump through on your way to endgame content. Boring.

* * *

Oh no. I just discovered that I downloaded the OST for True Tears, and now I'm going to have "Reflectia" stuck in my head for the next couple of weeks. Again.

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