April 26th, 2007

#374: News linkfest

More and more, I am liking Australia.

Rapper stay home.

That's awesome. I don't blame them one bit. If I had a choice I'd keep rappers out of this country, too. Problem is, this country is where they all come from.

The music is shit, the culture is shit, and the people are morons.

As for Australia, I've been impressed with how much spine the country has. If Australia would just get away from its gun control stupidity, I'd probably move there.

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This is kind of funny: this article refers to a UK computer security expert whose last name is "Cracknell". Heh.

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Trading in carbon offsets doesn't appear to be working very well--at least not for the purported reduction of greenhouse gases. It seems to work very well for the people who sell them.

Oh, Dupont is making a very potent greenhouse gas called "HFC-23". Wait, "HFC"--that stands for hydro-flourocarbon, doesn't it? I thought the HFCs were supposed to be eco-friendly replacements for CFCs. Dupont itself supported the ban on CFCs even though it owned the patent on them.

(...as I've said before, the patent on CFCs was due to expire, and Dupont had a nice shiny patent on HFCs waiting in the wings. This doesn't surprise me.)

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Mexican immigrants need better health care says this article.

America, says Mexico, ought to take better care of Mexican "immigrants". The article does not differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants, of course; but here is the telling quote: "In the past, migrant workers tended to see a doctor on seasonal visits home to Mexico, researchers said. But heightened border security has reduced this circular migration."

You know what? "Heightened border security" doesn't mean anything to legal immigrants. And legal immigrants are more likely to have health insurance.

So Mexico is essentially telling us that it's our responsibility to take care of people who shouldn't even be here in the first place.

Screw that.

#375: Fansub roundup

Here is the list of the latest-and-greatest:

Comic Party 6
YUA 2nd 3
Amaenaideyo! 11
Okusama wa Joshikousei 7
Stratos 4 Advance 3
Bincho-tan 3

Ichigo 100% is not on that list because I watched the last episode on the 23rd. It was, as expected, a "running end" to the anime series--there is more story to be told but the producers ran out of episodes. That's okay, though; the manga is set for release here in the US starting in July. (At least, according to my Right Stuf catalog.)

As of episode 6, Comic Party is percolating along rather nicely. The main character is going to go overboard in the next episode, charge too much for his doujin, and probably face humiliation. That's what it looks like, judging from the omatase. His girlfriend has begun to accept his otaku-ness, at least a little.

YUA is drifting, ever so slightly, away from the formulaic beginning, and starting to be a little more interesting.

Amanaideyo! is winding down. There are only 12 episodes; clearly there is a lot of story left to tell but as of episode 11 we have seen only the barest beginnings of that story. Finally in episode 11 we learn that each of the six girls that Ikko studies with are somehow connected with a Bodhisattva of one of the six realms--heaven, asura, human, animal, hungry ghost, and hell--and they draw their powers from them. Ikko's power comes from an as-yet unknown place, and I don't know that there's time left in the series for that to be revealed.

Unfortunately, the fansub outfit I got this series from has up and disappeared from the face of the internet. Their URL now links to a search page; I have no idea if there is any more of this series in existance.

Okusama wa Joshikousei is also running along smoothly. We continue to be treated to "oops, someone almost found us out!" stories, though, which is getting a little tiresome; also the "Asami tries to have some alone time with her husband but is foiled" stories are getting old. Partly it's because the Japanese would never do something as rude as tell an uninvited guest asshat to get the fuck out before there's bloodshed--at least, not in anime--and partly it's because that way the story can keep going. But if someone else's kid sneaked into my hotel room and got in bed between me and my wife, that kid would be summarily removed from the room--and I cannot guarantee that he would be gently removed, either. (I couldn't guarantee that I would even open the door before throwing him out, in fact.)

Stratos 4 Advance continues to develop its story. As of episode 3 it's plain that some kind of politics have kept the original four main characters from advancing within the organization, but the reasons are not yet being explained.

The third episode of Binchou-tan left me with a big smile on my face. It was just a nice episode, and the series continues to be 100% feel-good stuff. It's a definite keeper.

And O!MG!--OMG, it's still perfect, and it's still faithfully following the comics.

I only have one quarrel with OMG: the animation is uneven. It looks like every animator in the studio had a chance to do key frames of Belldandy; her character design wanders all over the place and is not very consistent at all. Also, in several scenes it looks like they utterly omitted her nose. They gave her an Osaka (from Azumanga Daioh!) nose; so small that it disappears at some angles so that you have a blank expanse of face from the eyes down to the mouth. It's just not right; they should have exercised great care with Belldandy--any other character in the series could vary and I wouldn't notice it, but she's supposed to be perfect...and when she's not, it's distracting.

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Series I will be looking at in the near future:

He is my Master--a maid series
Yume Tsukai--I don't think I can describe this one simply, but it looks interesting
Lovely Complex--I downloaded the first episode just based on the name; I know nothing about it.

The Comic Party box set is going for $45 in the thinpack edition. It looks to be about 18 episodes long; at 423 minutes in length, obviously it contains material outside of the first 12 episodes.

I've also seen that there's a Magic Knight Rayearth box set, of both TV seasons, going for about $53. I may have to invest in that one, too.

Anime: drugs would be cheaper.