23 December 2011

Happier Holidays

I'm a legal adult! *blink, blink* And I got accepted into my first-choice college! *screams*

By this time it might as well already be Christmas, especially when my birthday present is always a "sneak peak" into what Santa gave me. This might be the only positive outlook I ever adopted. XD As a bonus I have no worries about applying to other schools and the nightmare of waiting. I was mentally getting off track for a while.

Depressed no longer is the Fangirl of earlier this month. The doom and gloom and cynicism that bleed profusely has been stopped... for now. I dunno what I'm talking about now. Haha!

My vacation started off today with me waking up at noon - which happens rarely. Then after spending alone time for myself, me, my mom, and some friends saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I always wanted to read the book, but thanks to summer reading I did not have the chance to pick it up. After watching it though, my mom said the movie stayed loyal to the book. I figure I'll pick it up someday, as well as watch the Swedish version.

Kind of like with Sucker Punch, I was so impressed with the music that I bought the soundtrack. The opening sequence - though very different from the rest of the film - is pure platinum. The video below only shows about 20% of what's going on. When it played in the theaters though... damn. 0.O

I might squeeze in one last entry before the new year... a top 10-ish list. Big emphasis on "-ish" though.

And to be a good sport, here's another Christmas song. On the bright side, it's not as oppressive as most! :D

Happy Holidays!!! :D

20 December 2011

Christmas Creativity at Its Finest

It's five days before the biggest commercial holiday of the year arrives, and I am still not in the proper spirit. Maybe it's because Todd in the Shadows said it best in his most recent review: "No genre is more stagnant, more overdone, more strangling-ly oppressive [than Christmas music]." There are so many times I can hear "White Christmas," "Deck the Halls," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" before a good portion of my brain implodes.

And don't get me started on "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Once the song begins, I black out for a time and wake up to see my entire neighborhood drenched in blood. Wait... no... The neighborhood is buried in shredded wrapping paper! ... Looks like the damage is done... >.<

Yet there are cynics in the world who do understand the pain some of us face during the most manipulative time of the year.

Found: http://xkcd.com/988/

Merry Christmas, everyone! Remember to be at least 0.00000001% less selfish and commercial this year! ^_^

And as a bonus, I'll share the love from the great pop music reviewer himself:

Owned by ToddintheShadows

13 December 2011

SOPA Will Not Pass!

I've censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet--a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit: http://americancensorship.org/posts/9110/uncensor

"Hey ████████! The ████████ is now ████ ████ ██████████! █████!! ████ and ███████ IP ████ not ████! Yay!" ... I ████ I can say ████ ████...

Uncensor This

09 December 2011

2012 Is Going to Suck

[Update of the Update: Now the Amazing Atheist's video is back up. Huh... wonder what that was about...]

[Update: I just love it when a Youtube video is deleted due to it's "scam, spam, and deceptive content." Sure, the Amazing Atheist can be a huge jerk but he called out Perry for HIS spam of a "political campaign ad." Irony is so lovely.]

I just cannot wait to get my card punched so can freely complain about morons in American politics. Too bad the presidential is terrifying.

There's very little I can say because these guys hit the nail on the head except this: may the superior being(s), whether he/she/it/they is or are a deity, group of deities, or fate itself, not let 2012 suck. My sanity - and many others - depends upon it.

Not afraid to admit being a Christian? War on religion? Gays openly serving in the military? Kids not celebrating Christmas? Liberal attacks on religious heritage?! Faith brought America together?!

If this is the best the right can do to convince me to vote for them, then I rather live the rest of my days as a shut-in. Looks like I'll be an Independent at this rate.

06 December 2011

My Halloween Christmas Gift

I've been pretty bad with adding pictures of my tiny planet. Gomenasai. But here it finally is!

It's about time I remembered to post up my "Halloween" outfit. I figured it was going to be cold, so I added the poncho. Even when trick-or-treating was cancelled for me and my buds, I still wore it.

This is the corset my mom bought for me at the Renaissance Fair, and I love it so much. With it being hand-made and in good quality, I try not to wear it often. But it helped me realize how much I abuse my own back. @_@
(It laces up in the front and back.)

As a bonus, I finished this picture for art class a while back. It was a pain in the arse and took many hours to complete.

December 2011 Update

I am the Fangirl who don't do anything. I just stay at home and lie around. And if you ask me to do anything, I'll just tell you "I don't do anything!"

...except complain.

As if my growing apathy and contempt for the stupidity of humanity weren't big enough buzz kills, anxiety is contributing to the destruction of my hopes of being in the Christmas spirit. The usual drama every senior faces in December. I'm trying very hard to not curl up in a ball, cry, and eat ice cream as I sit by my mailbox.

That's my life in a nutshell at the moment.

Though my spamming my blog with Sonic helped me to relieve some stress. For the longest time I was a closeted fan unwilling to admit how it is a fun, nostalgic part of my childhood. And after spending a lot of time revisiting and catching up... I'm almost thankful that I stayed stuck in the early 2000's. I always knew the fanbase was kinda whacky and chaotic, but now... *shudders* I was happy keeping my opinions to myself!

And with this being the end of the year, I have to do something... special. It's bad enough with rants against evil corporations and other boring crap from the past few months. What to do what to do. Hmm...

02 December 2011

Why Avoid 4Kids' English Dub of Sonic X?

Because you will want to kill yourself.

I would have loved to have gone into tons of detail on this, but I would have never completed my review of the show. The extreme cases can best be noticed visually. However, there are several that go deeper than that. So from the hilarious and obvious, the confusing and silly, and the insulting, I present a fraction of what you will endure in the English version of Sonic X. I wish I could have found so much more in a more organized fashion, but 4Kids has a tendency to delete anything "copyrighted."

Exhibit A: Imagery
1:04 - Good kids won't study or try this at home.
1:11 - You mean I'm not a good kid?
1:37 - G.U.N. stands for "Guardian Union of Nations" *facepalm* RESEARCH!!
1:47 - Egg Emperor Eggman Robo E-99

Exhibit B: Death

Admittedly, this might show my bias towards Shadow, but this is one of the biggest contrasts between the Japanese and English versions. Maria was essential to the whole plot of Sonic Adventure 2. Her death is the reason the whole story even unfolded and why Shadow is deemed an "emo" by the general public! Thanks, 4Kids!

In my defense, however, this is a universal problem in all of the other shows. One Piece took the brunt of it head-on. But I digress...

Yes! Maria never died! She was NEVER shot and killed! The whole revenge plot was just a silly, whiny, overdramatic bitch fest over being "taken away" by the boogeyman! Remember: death does not exist, kids!

The English version starts at about 5:00 just in case not understanding Japanese just hurts. Basically though, Molly is killed and Shadow avenges her. After they built her grave, Rouge asks Shadow if he reacted so strongly because Molly reminded him of Maria. He, however, denies this.

"She's off on another adventure." That's a load of crap. "Well, yeah I liked her. She's a good kid." Since when did Jason Griffith portray his half-jackass and half-crybaby Shadow as being open and honest?! And after that stupid edit?! CONSISTENCY!!!!! *rapidly beats head against laptop*

Exhibit C: Voice Acting and Dialogue

If the earlier clips didn't make your ears bleed, then you are made of steel. Otherwise, enjoy more!

At least this was reasonable...

The corny jokes... the emotion (or lack there of)... *groans*
And yes. This is one of the least annoying ones...

must... resist... urge... to... harm... Jason Griffith... *brain explodes*

Exhibit D: Deleted Scenes

4Kids must nitpick over every silly joke.

If they had such a problem with a bit of a girl's daydream, I'd love to see 4Kids take a stab at an anime romantic comedy...

Vector trying [and failing] in his plans to get two characters together. Don't we all do that to our friends with their silly crushes? So why get rid of it in this show? Are you allergic to romance or something?!

And the Finale:

The sub-dub comparison starts at about 7:30.

Sonic X was not as butchered as other anime 4Kids picked up, but every single one suffered from some form of stupid edits and censors that can annoy. You might argue that these shows are meant for kids; HOWEVER, that is not true for their original Japanese versions. It's one thing to make some changes for cultural reasons. Japan is known to let sexual tension, blood, and violence slide (heck, Rouge made an S&M joke at one point.) But to completely deconstruct beyond recognition is too much. To change names, alter plot details, emphasize words awkwardly, add different music, and remove emotion in dramatic moments...

I think you get the idea.

Here are other examples of mentioned edits from various shows 4Kids picked up.

2:09-2:22 - they are ONIGIRI!! Rice balls wrapped in nori seaweed and dried, salty umeboshi plums!! NOT JELLY DONUTS!

2:25-4:07 - "We're friends... I guess I'll shoot... but I'll be sad...ish" :'(
4:08-6:33 - "I CAN'T KILL YOU! I LOVE YOU!!" TT-TT

6:43 - Jason Griffith... singing? ZOMFG, NO!! MOMMY, MAKE IT STOP!! TT.TT *shoots self*
7:40 - Dan Green!! No! Save yourself from this humiliation!!

Looks like I should stop beating the ashes of the corpse of a dead horse. If you were able to put up with me this whole time, I will love you forever. ^_^

30 November 2011

'Sonic Adventure: Original Sound Track'

Why, oh, why must a physical copy be over $100?!
I never considered seriously listening to video game soundtracks. Heck, I never payed much attention to music in any video game. Is it because the mind is so focused on the distracting graphics or the difficult gameplay that one has no chance to care?

Well, I must thank that darned blue hedgehog who forced me to stop and listen.

Sonic Adventure is nearly fourteen years old, and I can see you sticking your noses in the air and saying, "Hmph! The 90's?! How ancient!" If so, then you deserved to be punched. And shot. And smashed by a hammer. And homing attacked. Repetedly.

But yes, there are some tracks that sound kinda dated. Music in most of today's games don't sound like this anymore. Though a far cry from traditional bleeps and bloops from a Gameboy, Sega Genesis and their siblings and parents, this ain't polished electronic noise. Yes, there are some electronic tracks, but the majority of the music here is rock... and a tinge of hip hop... and jazz. Just a tinge... *squirms*

Some may argue that Sonic Adventure is the cream of the crop in terms of any game in the franchise post-1997. Well, in a way, these folks are right. This soundtrack is has the most variety with - truly - most songs not sounding identical. Every track complements its use in the game and sets the mood perfectly. With "The Dreamy Stage" you feel like you are in a casino, in "Tricky Maze" you wander in the dangerous ruins of an ancient civilization, and with "Red Hot Skull" you can almost feel like you're burning up near lava.

Even simple tracks like "Sadness" or "Happiness" are so genuine, it really affects you, especially when playing the game. As dark and emotional as others have been, not many Sonic games gave more heartbreaking tunes over something dramatic. Not even "Reflection" from Sonic Adventure 2 could top "Sadness."

The main problem is to cover an entire soundtrack with 69 songs that differ from each other so much. Those provided barely represent a third of the pie. But as a few honorable mentions, "Station Square," "Twinkle Circuit," "Mystic Ruin," and "ZERO the Chase-master" are some of the many that are too nostalgic to forget.

Fans of Sonic Adventure should definitely take the time to sit back and recall some of the best music this franchise has offered. Not to single everyone else out, but listening alone is nowhere near as rewarding as experiencing the game. However, that cannot stop you from giving these babies a chance. At the least you might hear some melodies that remind you of music you enjoy. Heck, even "Trickery Way" sounds like a demo from The Birthday Massacre!

Though my childhood is rushing back too quickly for my poor emotional heart, I leave you with this: Sonic Adventure: Original Sound Track is long, but entertaining for road trips or any form of time-consuming travel. It has a good mix of electronic rock, rave, orchestral, jazz, and other fun stuff to keep even the most ADD person to not be bored. At the end of the day it all comes down to preference and experience. The choice between playing the game or not makes all the difference.

Pros: Strong :D
- versatile styles fitting various themes
- universal and easy on the ears
- far, far, FAR from repetitive

Cons: Moderate :/
- sixty nine tracks on two disks = over two hours long
- accessible more to those who played game

4 out of 5

And as a bonus. The track playing to one of the most memorable moments in Sonic games.
Too bad I don't have that exact clip. :P

23 November 2011

Laughing Until The Lungs Bleed

For the past few months I am at my all-time low as a HIM fangirl. The albums have been collecting dust, the official website is still down, and I am detoxing...

Since school started though, my blues have been eased by my friend and fellow HIM fan. Today we went on a full 35 minute spree of quoting all sorts of crazy crap from all sorts of videos of them being random. Way back in the days when I looked up videos and interviews, I only got to laugh with myself. Being able to talk about the same jokes and to share the same amount of humor in it with a friend was the best part of my day. My lungs still hurt so much... X'D

Here's only a fraction of the hilarity...

Oh, and happy belated birthday, Ville! I'm so sorry! T-T

22 November 2011

'Sonic X'

Found on mobianlegends.com
"Goodnight! Have sweet dreams!"
Uh oh.

It's bad enough that the Sonic fanbase is split into so many factions and the last thing we needed is yet ANOTHER show. In terms of likability the very general consensus appears to be that The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog was a drug-induced wonderland, Sonic the Hedgehog (aka Sonic SatAM) was epic and short-lived, Sonic Underground was denied for its stupidity, and Sonic X was "meh." Yet in the world where only my opinion matters [but is ignored anyway], this was amazing... depending on the version.

Sonic X is a three season, 78 episode anime that debuted in 2003 and still airs in Europe and North America. With it being an undead zombie outside Japan, easily it can be considered as the most popular and successful Sonic show ever made. Seeing how much video game shows and movies are crucified for being absolute crap, this really is a gem. Depending on the version.

Yes, it really matters if you watch it in Japanese or in English.

The English version, dubbed by the Intergalactic Empire of Evil known as 4Kids Entertainment, is despised by many. If you watch it, prepare for the abysmal voice acting (Shadow, Rouge, and most of the human characters are the worst), horrible script with confusing details, and absolutely no death at all! And since the plot of Sonic Adventure 2 was adapted into this show, the once well-executed drama is completely childish, stupid and pointless. That's nothing in comparison to other cases. Worst of all, so much was censored or altered for the sake of Sonic X being "appropriate for children."

*Gasp!* A grave?! Oh, God!
The children will be traumatized
by the concept of DEATH!
  • The writting is severely thumbed down to stupid puns, braindead common sense, and annoying tantrums by characters that had no such abuse in the Japanese version. (Shadow is significantly more "emo" in this version. "MARIAAAAA!!! T-T")
  • The once decent dialogue has been completely deconstructed and built up to have little to no resemblence to the original. (Oh I don't know where to begin... how about from start to finish?!)
  • Certain scenes were eliminated outright for being too "violent," "mature," or "depressing." (two minor character deaths were completely eliminated and poorly handled)
  • Some of these edits are so obvious that many characters have completely different personalities. (Sonic is far more incompetent, Amy's more of a bitch, etc.)
  • Must I repeat the voice actors suck? (Dan Green as Knuckles was a tolerable, but unfitting exception. And don't get me started on Jason Griffith...) 

In comparasion, the Japanese version is uncut and is much easier to follow. The adaptations of Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 are very faithful and translate very well. This version of Sonic X makes fun of itself and repeatedly demolishes the fourth wall; yet it gets serious in the most appropriate events. Despite my not knowing a lick of the Japanese, the voice actors give believable and natural performances across the board. From a technical standpoint, this version is far more mature, honest, and open then its sophomoric counterpart.

Amy shall destroy all Mary Sues.
HOWEVER, both versions have a large problem. Sonic X is a decent piece of fanfiction: it has good ideas behind it, but the execution is lackluster. Character development tends to be an alien concept in more recent Sonic games and thankfully this show attempt to bring it back. Still, the cast is all over the place in terms of quality. The general human cast is practically useless and forgettable and it crosses in both languages. Only Sonic and the gang are the most likable overall with interesting interactions and conflicts. As for the human kid Chris? Typical Mary Sue in a piece of fanfiction who wants the fabrics of imagination come to life and befriend them.

Is it worth saving these humans?
When one puts this next to other anime, Sonic X is pretty bland and uninteresting. In a way this is an anime that doesn't quite seem like an anime. Season one is a chore to watch with Filler Episode Syndrome until everything picks up from then on out. Some plot lines are left hanging and episode 78 leaves a gaping hole inside. The animation is generic overall with some CGI effects and a low budget finish at the end. Numerous anime series are like that; however, Sonic X is toned down enough for those new to the style can be headache-free.

At the end of the day I strongly recommend every English-speaker to sit down and learn to read subtitles and watch the superior version of this show. Your intelligence will thank you for it. Sonic fans might enjoy the few music samples from the Adventure games that appear at times, otherwise it's up to them. As for the casual viewer, this show is not horrible, but not great.

Yes, Sonic, there are giant mecha in your show.

4Kids, thanks for introducing this to me when I was young, but man you love to kill any anime you get your hands on, do you? No wonder otaku and other anime fans avoid anything licensed by you.

Just take this as an introduction into anime. The action is decent enough in this overhyped but entertaining ride. And as a show based on a video game series, this ain't bad.

2.8 out of 5

17 November 2011

"Houston, We Have a Problem."

Word has been spread about this lately and the more I learn about it, the more disturbed I get.

If this bill passes, I might as well say goodbye to my days of watching anime that will never be released on this side of the globe. Farewell, entertainment that takes me hours to find and access.

I might sound very melodramatic, but I'm pretty PO'ed about this. Maybe the world won't end, but a lot of my favorite sites, with their music, images, and videos might get banned. It's a scary thought that I take so much for granted.

UPDATE: I just emailed my Congressmen to oppose the bill. The land of red, white, and blue is proud of her citizen. *jazz fingers*

13 November 2011

Fangirl's Mini Shots: Sonic Games

Because I can never seem to have any organized thoughts about a particular series of... anything, why not I do so now? With that darned blue hedgehog still in my mind I might as well make my opinion of certain aspects of the Sonic franchise. It might clear up some of the mess from a crappy review made this year, as well as set up any later reviews or rants. When it comes to Rants From a Fangirl, I have no clue where the heck my mind will wander next month. @_@

Just as a quick note, I hopped on the Sonic bandwagon right before Sonic Heroes in 2004. Therefore I am more familiar with "modern Sonic" and the gang.

With that out of the way... begin:

It took skill to save all the critters from the evil Eggman!
It's pretty embarrassing to be a casual fan but have never played the game that started it all. (The mini game version in Sonic Adventure does not count.) And as an owner of a Gamecube, I have no excuse to not buy Sonic Mega Collection. Better dash to it!

Sonic and pals at one of their happiest and finest!
Yay, the game that marked the beginning of the 3D era! Supposedly it's the only one handled right. Character-wise, this is absolutely true: Adventure made me fall in love with the cast. Gameplay-wise, this is the most memorable, albeit slightly dated.

Back when the reflection was not solely a piece of reusable "fanservice."
Being the first Sonic game I ever played, Adventure 2 is tightly knit to my heart. The addictive Chao Gardens, the awesome soundtrack, and Shadow. ...Okay, the Fangirl confesses: it was just Shadow and his story. Still, this was just as fun as its elder brother, even if the gameplay was polarized and split into three styles. These were my good old days...

And thus the bullcrap continues to pile up...
Love to hate it and hate to love it. The only game in this series I have lost all interest to beat. Everything is a humongous pile of "meh." Some cool new characters were thrown in, but severely underused. The gameplay was so repetitive I wanted to throw my controller at my TV. And poor amnesiac Shadow forgot to die. I call bull.

That joke's so old...
Say hello to the unkempt black sheep no one will ever stop bitching about. I freaking love Shadow the Hedgehog for the amazing variety in level designs, soundtrack, and storylines (think somewhat-kinda on the lines of Higurashi.) Sadly I cannot defend how the execution was confusing and messy. Even though I now think it would have been fine if Shadow died in SA2, this game gave his story a satisfying resolution. This was the last time a Sonic character ever had decent development though. *sad*

Another hedgehog with a human friend? REALLY?!
Four words: HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN?! Glitchy, stupid, buggy, sloppy, glitchy, insulting, broken, pretentious, glitchy, and depressing. It's pretty damn sad that Sonic is the most useless and incompetent part of this game. He pretty much lets his human-phobic rival and a telekinetic kid be the true heroes! The only good thing? "Dreams of an Absolution."
Did I forget to say this game is glitchy? And Elise? REALLY?! Even Maria wasn't as pointless!

Day + speed - entertainment = BAD.
Sonic Unleashed is yet another hair-and-spike-ball of "meh." Say goodbye to whatever made the 3D games likable. This is the Eat Me, Drink Me of the Sonic games: a degraded, disappointing model of what was decent. The 2D gameplay fails to impress and the Daytime stages are mind-numbingly boring. At least the Nighttime stages gave me the chance to let out my frustration! The Warehog - though a stupid concept - was actually fun!

Yet another adventure to stop Baldy McNosehair...
by saving alien critters!
A much better effort to appeal to the classics, but still missed the mark. The music is a bit too cookie-cutter and repetitive, even for very polished, electronic pop. But... so... pwetty... @o@ The dialogue in the Wii version is so hilarious I cried many times. AND NEW VOICE ACTORS! *waves goodbye to 4Kids cast*

Now that you're all tired out from this topic...

You're welcome.

11 November 2011

November 2011

824 visits last month? Holy sugar crackers! Where is everyone coming from?! o_O

Just the other day I retook the pictures of what I wore on Halloween. My first attempt failed miserably thanks to poor lighting and a crappy camera. I will have it up shortly-ish. :)

To get some of the bottled-up energy off my chest, I will make a few Sonic-related posts (as forewarned.) Sadly I am unable to buy the latest release, Sonic Generations, due to my out-of-date consoles. But in this day and age, there's Youtube for reviews and walkthroughs! All for free!! XD

School is school. Home life is home life. My blog is my blog. Pretty dull, eh? That's the real life me in a nutshell. ;)

In the meantime I have more music to listen until I can make decent reviews. Hopefully I can get though Mechanical Animals enough to get a review up by December.

Speaking of which...

By far my favorite of his.

09 November 2011

Have a Point

Hello, readers.

Goodbye, readers.

Pretty annoying, eh?

Don't worry, Steve Martin, I'm getting to it... unlike some I know...

Every day in Health class I walk through a sea of molasses, chainsaws, and hydrochloric acid.
*smacks self* Fine, I'll cut the cynical crap and get to the point.

Because of being in honors classes since freshman year, I skipped out on Health class in sophomore year. I have to take the course in order to graduate and fulfill my dream of... growing up. Though I still dreaded it, thankfully it lasts for a semester. Sadly, this is far worse than any previous health-related class I ever forced myself to endure. Simply put, my teacher goes at a pace so slow a snail would laugh and he rarely has a point to his digressions.

One time we went over the three aspects of health: physical, mental/emotional, and social. We must keep our lives balanced by how we take care of our bodies, manage our stress, and communicate with others. Sounds reasonable, right? Two minutes later my teacher pulls up a Word document listing the Ten Commandments and claims that spiritual health is also essential.  Without attempting to acknowledge that he threw a wrench in an already well-explained concept, he says this needed to be added because "we're a Catholic school. Too bad if you don't like it."

Fine. You want to preach about religion in a religious school. Fair enough. But how does it tie into HEALTH? Ever since he brought up his "new, unique concept" he has never tried to tie up some hanging thread. For example, how does spiritual health affect our wellbeing? Does it throw off our mental stability? Does it affect how you care for your body? Does it improve or worsen your relationships? Or is it just an excuse to never get God off our minds?

So far the only health we covered was strictly based on nutrition. Oh, and that alcohol and sex are the devil incarnate because they are. ...Yeah, forget mental and social wellbeing since they are no huge concern! Let's make sure we stay away from cancer and heart attacks because of all the junk we eat! It's not like there are paranoid schizophrenics and recluses to worry about because they dont exist!

Right. The point: I am ranting about health class... and it sucks.

On one hand it's wonderful that my mom is a nurse and that I grew up with her endlessly helpful words of medical wisdom. However, having that upbringing mixed with an "everything in moderation" philosophy drilled into me, the black and white world of basic education teaches the same information that never successfully sticks.

I know I should be thankful for my "privileged" position in a school that actually makes every student take a health class so he/she is somewhat educated. Many don't have such a luxury to access information about food and how to care for one's wellbeing. It's a heavy burden I must bear and will never be happy with.

But have a point. This goes for anything. If you are going to throw religion in some discussion, have a reason and explanation as to how everything connects. Just because I go to a Catholic school that does not mean someone should bring up God in algebra, especially if no logical connection can be made. If you bring up God, religion, or spirituality in a health class, you better go deeper than posting up the Ten Commandments and saying "it is what it is, so deal with it."

On a brighter note, my classes in general are very practical and fairly enjoyable. There's enough to counteract the sleepiness I succumb to as a result of pointless banter. Thankfully I only have two more months of it to go...

07 November 2011


Strikingly awesome poster. 'Nuff said.
(CREDIT: found on Wikipedia)
Shakespeare, a fraud? Try saying that to your English teacher. I know I did... playfully.

The greatest playwrite of the English language. Any pieces of fiction writen in books, sung in poetry, and performed on stage or film is subject to copywrite thanks to a dead man. The Einstein, the god, of literature. And it has been a solid fact for hundreds of years. Denial and skepticism will send you to the guillitine, electric chair, or the gallows.

But honestly, this whole debate about the authorship of Shakespeare is long and heavily researched to the point that an average human brain will hemorrhage. You might catch me spending more time in a library than the science lab, but even I don't have the attention span to tackle a controversy on life support thanks to stubborn scholars. I'll stick to extensive research on vampire mythology, thank you very much. Both might be overrated topics, but I have more patience with the latter.

Anonymous is a movie you should not take as historically acurate or factual. (For that matter, doubt that anything "based on a true story" is completely authentic.) And unless you are a Shakespearian scholar or history nut, don't overanalyze every single thing this film does wrong. Again, your brain will explode and I won't be there to clean you up.

To simplify things this film states that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was the real "Shakespeare" who gave his written works to Ben Johnson, who was to take the credit. But the real actor Shakespeare decided to take it for himself. ...It's complicated.

Standing on its own as a film, Anonymous is very entertaining. The look and atmosphere of London is absolutely beautiful - though the darker imagery made it felt more Victorian than Elizabethan, especially when it feels dark and cold all the time. (Even though I went to England over the summer, I had no clue the country was always like winter!) However, the cast is very good and solid with great performances. Shakespeare was an annoying drunken idiot, but he grows on you albiet very slowly. Everyone else... great. There is a lot of personality in the cast, but it gets so hard to remember names past the "big players."

The story, however, is a mess. The main cast is easy to recognize, but everyone's roles blur together and create an entangled confusion. Once Anonymous dives into the political drama - or "facts" - it gets really hard to stay on top on the banter. Some information was either extraneous or poorly conveyed to the casual viewer. Furthermore, most of the characters contradict their historical counterparts.

Worst of all the sequence of events were severely disconnected as the jump cuts jerk you back and forth between various periods of time. At first, the film was nice enough to give you the years but later you will be left asking "when in the heck are we?" The flow of time simply makes no sense.

If you can easily sit through an entertaining movie, you might enjoy this. Everyone else might bust their brains into the wall. As for me, I might or might not watch it again to pick up on the bullshit. It looks nice, but the storytelling is pretty darn confusing. At the end of the day, this conspiracy theory did not make me believe everything really happened. But then again I'm mature enough...

Maybe I'm too moderate for this type of thing...

2 out of 5

04 November 2011

Next Post

20 years of animals on speed. Oh boy...

I told ya. I'm so literal. :)

Instead of Halloween consuming my life, a spiky blue hedgehog and his anthropomorphic escaped inmates from a Japanese zoo are bending reality. I swear, I'm not lying! T-T

Despite that I invested some time in Halloween-related videos via the last post. That's not much, but I have been feeling really "meh" lately. On the bright side, I further fulfilled my life as a vampire fan by finally watching Interview with the Vampire and Daybreakers (Hallelujah to emos with no sparkles!) Going down memory lane, I re-watched the Distressed Watcher's Marilyn Manson's Spooky Donut. And dad and I watched The Thing... the "prequel." Oh the enjoyment from laughing, nitpicking, and reminiscing.

Let's see you sitting on your butt writing
suicidal essays, you damn laid-back hedgehog!
Life seemed to start to get pretty spooky...

... until that pesky hedgehog ruined my life!

On the bright side, I feel like a kid when I really need it. Applying to colleges has fried my nerves beyond overcooked-dead. And I still have more applications to fill out in case I get rejected. Must seek refuge with my Gamecube...

EDIT: Halloween plans were a minor failure on my end. But I got to show off my "costume" to my best friend and hung out at her place. I might post up my pics if I get to it. XD

Music Mood (unrelated to anything):

31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Once again, I am still not fully in the dark, creepy spirit of Halloween. (It doesn't help that we got over five inches of snow on Saturday...) Call me lazy, but after I tried with movies, I simply said "screw it!" and gave up. Oh well. :P

However I decided to provide some stuff slightly related to things spooky. Enjoy the trick or ignore the treat. Pick your poison. :)

And, you know what, MM? Sadie's cover blows yours out the water. Sorry! >:)

23 October 2011

'Rabbit Doubt'

The Birthday Massacre should totally sponsor this!
Rabbit Doubt is a game where among a group of "rabbits" hides one "wolf," who deceives and "eats" everyone until someone can identify and stop him/her. Six people, Yuu, Mitsuki, Rei, Eiji, Haruka, and Haijime, decide to play the game for fun until they are abducted and the game comes to life. There is a wolf among them killing everyone off one by one...

Man! That sounds like great fun! So, who wants to play Rabbit Doubt?

Too bad the experience of reading it was nowhere near as fun as it should have been.
Hope y'all got your rabies shots!

As far as psychological horror goes, this sure hits rock bottom. Maybe the manga is only twenty chapters long and not much content can be covered in four volumes, but there are short stories that can be described as epic poems of old compared to this. The characters are pictures of stereotypes plastered on some cardboard: it may be thicker than before, but it's still flat. And as I mentioned with Paranoia Agent: if your characters are dull as crap, why should we care about their problems? Why care if they are dancing on the razor's edge and at the point of falling into the abyss of death? If a pile of roses can't make a pile of feces look nice, then no intellectual theory from a college psychology textbook can make Mr. John McBland Smith likable.
Smart. Peppy. Normal. Spoiled. Jerk. Slut.
Name all the horror films of late that have such characters.

Let's see... Yuu is the normal and kind young man. Mitsuki is the cheerful straight-laced good girl seen in far too many anime. Eiji is a delinquent asshole. Haruka is a slut. Rei is the lolita with a sweet, sad soul asking for love and attention. Haijime is the smart one with black hair and glasses. I'm sorry, did I spoil too much? Guess which one is a hypnotist and how relevant they will be. Now THAT is a spoiler!

That's the problem with most horror stories and films to date. The characters and plot are absolute crap.

On a less cynical note, the art style is really good. The character designs are nothing too noteworthy, but their clothes and hair are fairly realistic and nicely drawn. The environment of the abandoned building is very detailed, dark, and eerie. The rabbit masks are especially creepy, often seen worn, torn, or bloody. At the very least the manga does have an okay atmosphere with several relatively creepy images of the murders that occur.

Pretty darn detailed. Mangaka earns a cookie.
Despite the premise sounding interesting, it is definitely not a slasher or torture porn unlike some films. *cSoAuWgShEcRoIuEgSh* Rabbit Doubt is bloody, but not gory (the most graphic is a severed hand holding a cellphone.) That being said however, the horror is handled very weakly. There is an amazing lack of suspense from start to finish. No "scare" is built up in any way and the end result might look good, but only out of context. The scariest panel will be so bland that you can go to bed and sleep like a baby. I did.

Predictable plot with a bullshit twist ending. Boring characters with no likability. Terrible executions of horror. This manga is pretty darn pretentious to have the "psychological" label slapped on its bloody head. At least the art is pretty.

You're better off with Higurashi or Paranoia Agent, both of which are far more intriguing and not as predictable. Yes, Satoshi Kon's "masterpiece" is better than this premature shonen one shot. Avoid unless you have nothing else to read.

Final Verdict: 0.8 out of 5

18 October 2011

Yet Another Update

Holy crap, I almost forgot my blog exists! I have little to no ideas...

For the past few days my stress levels have been a little higher than I had wanted. Currently I'm in the middle of finishing up some essays for a college application that I have panicked over for months. Even though school continues to destroy every chance I have to harvest positive energy, thankfully almost everything else in that process is finished. Hopefully I get in. Or I'll cry.

As far as being possessed by some spirit, so far Halloween has not phased me! I really do want to watch some scary stuff, but so far the one "horror" film I watched was mediocre to the point I laughed at the climax. (Me smells a potential review? o_O) However, thanks to thatguywiththeglasses.com, a few attempts to bring Halloween to my stubborn soul have found some success.

The best example was Lanipator's Let's Play of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Roaming around a decaying castle, creepy Silent Hill-esque monsters stalking the halls. Sanity meters. Lovecraftian horror elements. Pretty freaky stuff. If I played it, I might wet myself and have nightmares for months. Thankfully Lani's cynical remarks and jokes lightened the tension... but not enough to take away too much of the rich atmosphere.

So what mood could possibly be taking over the wonderfully spooky and dark spirit that is hypocritically accepted more often during this time of year?

See the next post... :P

09 October 2011


Another new album I can proudly say I thoroughly enjoy.
I hate pop. Wait, that has been established a long time ago... yet I still mention it. This introduction is pointless.

Like a preppy girl is jealous of another girl's pricey skirt, bag, or outfit, I am madly envious of anyone who can speak more than one language. My green jealousy is nearly at the level of deep, pure, black resentment for the lucky ducks. Or maybe I just hate my laziness and impantience...

Back in 2008, Bentley Jones released TRANS//LATION, his bilingual debut album featuring covers of Japanese pop songs. Ben-chan sang most of them in their original language, but he got permission to translate some into English. It was only released in Japan and is yet to officially set foot further west. But that's where TRANS//LATION 2 comes in. This album has a handful of new tracks and re-recorded versions of two songs on TRANS//LATION: "Sunao ni Naretara" (or "FINAL NIGHT") and "GLAMOROUS SKY."

There will be plenty of Japanese for the English-speakers and English to the Japanese-speakers. Consider this a "no duh" warning for the clueless. Moving on.

Anyone who is a fan of the Shakugan no Shana anime might be happy or enraged by this special cover of "JOINT," which is much a more aggressive rock track than the original. After hearing this and the original, Ben-chan's version creates a more epic four minute track of badassness without spilling into unlistenable noise territory. Also, fans of Naruto Shippuden might recognize one of the ending themes: "Michi~to you all." I know I didn't; but my stance on Naruto as a whole is completely irrelevant.

As for English covers, Bentley gives us a hilariously catchy song, "Word Up," which is tolerable for one who dislikes dance music. Despite the somewhat creepy lyrics, "Stay" is very melodic and epic track despite the chorus having only three words repeated over and over. Meanwhile "Running Up That Hill" is a pleasant surprise by not being soft and mellow like Placebo's cover. Oh, no. It gets intense here too.

But probably the most memorable track is "GLAMOROUS SKY." In TRANS//LATION, it was a weak. Now, it is a symphonic, heartbreaking pop rock track whether you listen to it in English or Japanese.

So, take a step back from the information overload and let the nitpicking begin.

On one hand, I praise Ben-chan for singing in Japanese very well. When I first discovered his music a few months ago, I had no clue he was British. Props to anyone who can sing in another language pretty darn convincingly and clearly. Also, each individual song stands on its own enough so not one track sounds exactly the same, even if one cannot understand a lick of Japanese.

Best of all, even though this is considered pop and autotune is used, Bentley Jones's voice is emotional and genuine, giving very beautiful performances when he wants. Even when he jokes around in "Word Up," he doesn't come off as an overconfident party animal desperate to get attention. Unlike some obnoxious artists in the mainstream...

However, releasing a new album with nothing but covers is a bit of a let-down after blowing off steam with Finally Free. In a way the release TRANS//LATION 2 says "Yeah, Bentley Jones can make his own music now that he can do what he wants, but let's stick to the debut album shtick." Sure, now he releases singles and other small goodies, but it would be nice to hear another full album with his own material. Maybe that's what's in store next.

TRANS//LATION 2 is not as good as Finally Free, but this is definitely worth checking out. Like Escape the Fate, this is yet another newly released album that I can proudly love.

FINAL VERDICT: 4 out of 5

08 October 2011

I Won't Die THAT Easily!!

Last Halloween, there was an ongoing joke with my friends that I would be one of the first people to be attacked or die in a horror film. Sure, I was bouncing off the walls with all the chocolate and cookies that refused to leave my field of vision, but how dare they compare me to the cliched blond being the first to go!

To those jerks, I shall shove this in their faces:

Thanks, Tenebris for teh link! :)

Halloween Fails

Way back when I used to have a monthly theme just so I can better organize my thoughts. And just like any other new thing I try, it fell apart as the remains crawled in every which way. October MIGHT be different this time, I swear! Just give me another twenty three days and then I'll have something planned out!

Just so I can have a new post in nearly a week, here are some Halloween items that made me chuckle a bit too loudly. With the laughs and the snide remarks, I'm shocked no one kicked me out of the store.

This is so hilariously bad, it might as well be the staple for the obvious Hot Topic I-wannabe-badass-emo shoppers. With green mohawks.  Or something like that.

A "Steampunk Victorian Vampiress Costume"... On paper, sounds ok-ish. In reality, this is fake. The top is cheap as hell and the shoes are unfitting, especially when nothing else is as white.
But this isn't a real steampunk or Victorian outfit anyway...

It looks magnificent does it not? Hot, steamy pizza served just for you at any time and any place. Literally.
It's a pillow.
It is the pinnacle of creepy when you wake up from a nightmare and your bedroom accessories look like food.

I can hear the cries of thousands of men and women killed for hundreds of years because they were "witches".

Forget the pig. This is as f***ing low as the "content" in Elfen Lied.

Halloween's gonna suck...

03 October 2011

October 2011

Yet another make-over!

Since it's getting colder, I've been in a much better mood than during the hot, sticky, humid awfulness called summer. Now I can walk anywhere I want without anyone giving me looks for wearing dark clothes! That happened many times in DC while I had a black top and black cargo pants. More comfy than those flip-flops for sure...

Yesterday I went to the Renaissance Faire in the cloudy, freezing cold. But I loved every minute of it. I always found that time period and theme to be very interesting... especially the music. (Silly simple-minded, Fangirl.) If only I did not forget my stupid camera I would have uploaded them. Though on the bright side, I was not under pressure to capture everything on sight. I could walk around and enjoy the food, costumes, antics, and jousting to my hearts content.

And I bought my first corset! Once I got it on and paid for it (with mom's help), I wore it all day. Surprisingly, I was really warm and comfortable! Too bad it was so pricy that everything I'll get for Christmas will be super cheap... T-T

Everything else in life is just fine and dandy. School has become rather interesting since I seemed to have acquainted my self with a few transfer students. My friend from China returned this year and she's helping a bit with the Mandarin I'm learning via Rosetta Stone. Who'd think "bike" would be such a long and hard thing to say in Chinese?!

Anticipate the usual unusual posting schedule I adapt very often. See you later this month!


30 September 2011

Facepalm-Worthy Ignorance

Isn't it funny when you realize something and it bothers you to the point you immediately question and research, even if it is the wrong time to take out your netbook in the middle of a guest speaker's talk? That happened yesterday.

As I have stated in previous rants, I generally call myself a skeptic at heart. This strong sense of doubt, accompanied by cynicism, grows ever so mighty thanks to the institution I call a high school. Yes, religion has made me a bitter old woman trapped in the body of a teenager. Or perhaps it's all just the hormones that make me scream for attention.

Anywho. Yesterday two men in their twenties came into religion class from the seminary to talk about vocations. In order to ATTEMPT to guilt trip us by saying if you have any material security you are depressed like a suicidal maniac, one of the guys claimed that according to a Harvard study, the happiest country in the world is Nigeria. The least happy country? Russia.

Within seconds, a brain cell blew a bullhorn with all its might, commanding the universe to stop the tape and rewind. After letting the men go on about how to not deny the calling from "God," I asked where the source of this "information" is. They simply said something around the lines of... "A fellow priest told me it. I think the info is a few years old." Smooth move, dude, very smooth.

The rest of the day I spent time online searching for this study with no success. The closest thing I found to Harvard in any way was a popular course on happiness provided in 2006. Yet, I found a list similar to what the seminarian kid said... on The Happiness Show. Any surveys or studies I have found otherwise comes nowhere near close to what was said in religion class, often with any one of the Scandinavian countries ranking number one.

What is wrong with this picture?

First, we need to define "happiness." Just what is it? All I know is that I have my own wants, needs, and expectations that might make me think I am "happy" overall with life. Maybe you are in the same boat: happiness means something to the individual that cannot be objectively pinpointed to one standard or definition. They say one man's trash is another man's treasure, right? So what is "happiness" and how is it affected?

The red flag that came up initially in class was just that. These men took such a subjective and slippery concept and shoved it into an advertisement to serve the almighty Christian God. Going back to "The Happiness Show," we must ask why is Nigeria the happiest country in the world? How was the "study" conducted? What questions were asked? According to the site, it simply says:

"The University of Michigan's World Values Surveys (WVS) has compiled data on the happiest countries in the world for over twenty years. Their results are considered the most authoritative by happiness researchers.

WVS measures the happiness of individuals by two different means. The first is to simply ask them how "happy" they are. The second is to ask them how "happy" they are, and also how "satisfied" they are.  The results are then combined to arrive at a measure of their "subjective well-being," a term generally considered synonymous with happiness."

Let's see if I have this right. Your data is gathered by asking "How happy are you?" and you jot down the answer among the billions you gathered and produce a list? THEN you have the balls to claim your results are the "most authoritative by happiness researchers" WITHOUT giving any names?

The Happiness Show, here is my question to you, and please don't take too much offense. Do you think I am retarded? 

Your site looks shady, not just in the lack of professional images and layout, but the complete lack in having an extensive bibliography to back up your "most authoritative" findings. After exploring on other pages, you even make a bold claim on your "Ways to make our world happier" that "research finds that religious people are consistently happier than the non-observant." That statement is not an objective truth. Some studies show religion does relate to happiness; others find the connection indeterminable or pointless. But that is a controversy for another day.*

Problemo numero dos: Nigeria being "number one." Who was responsible for this work? What did you really ask? When was this conducted? Where in Nigeria did you ask? Why in the heck are they number one? On no other site have I found this list.

I think the greatest problem of all is that it all depends on the factors and standards placed under these studies. Not every one is conducted in the exact same fashion. Some factors may include data on economy, education, wealth, welfare and health, as well as responses to political, religious, and social ideologies. Furthermore, there is the human error. There might be incorrect information or a liar, creating inaccurate and contaminated results. Might I also add the bias that arises in how the information is released to the public?

That is what happens if you don't attempt to research by scratching the surface. That is why I was so upset over the speakers. For the sake of encouraging my classmates to serve the church, they carelessly relied on a random survey they heard from someone else that might have been misread. They used it as a tool to convince us that the poorer country is happier and, therefore, more religious. It is incredibly embarrassing and slightly disturbing. It happens all the time too...

So if your brain hurts from all of that junk, just remember one thing, dear readers. Have doubts. If something doesn't sound like it makes sense, question and research. These two tools will be your best friends for life. Do not be like those seminarians who gobbled up that vague information without consulting Ms. Question and Mr. Research.

But then again, these two had never heard of the term "Nordic" before and believed Luxembourg was in Scandinavia. Please, dear readers, do not succumb to this plague known as faceplam-worthy ignorance.

* Some sites I looked over breifly. Really, this research will go on forever...


24 September 2011

'Elfen Lied'

And no. It is pronounced "lēd" or "lead" in leader, not "lied" as in a lie. >.<
(CREDIT: to the mangaka and the poet who wrote "Elfenlied")
RANK: 1.9 out of 5 <-- frustrating="">

"Don't judge a book by its cover." Damn, that phrase irks me every time someone says it. It's thrown around so loosely to the point that you just judge for the sake of forming an opinion. This time, however, that phrase is the best way to describe Elfen Lied.

This series is a literal disaster zone. Buckets of blood and violence with cute little moe-styled characters having their heads and limbs fly everywhere. Tons of fanservice and nudity more disturbing than those in shows like Ikki Tousen or Master of Martial Hearts. Excessive exposition, unanswered questions, sloppy writing, etc. etc. ALL of these things plague and stain the reputation of this series.

So why did I put myself through hell to read the manga? The anime was made before the manga finished; thus, to experience the "true" story with the "true" ending, I read all 108 chapters online.

On one hand, Elfen Lied, despite the annoying writing style, has a decently endearing charm to it that can be liked or hated. Like an amateur "theater group" trying to perform Shakespeare, Elfen Lied has such a crude facade that only certain people can overlook to find the quality behind it. At its core, Elfen Lied is about the pain, loneliness, and rage inside of a girl who fights against it every day. No matter how hard she tries to not kill and to live at peace with humanity, her powers and years of abuse explode and create an unwanted bloodbath. Yet you might be surprised of how emotionally attached you might be to Lucy in the last few manga chapters. Easily she is the best thing in this series.

Other characters get backstory, and some relationships are heartwarming. Lucy and Kouta's relationship went down a very predictable path until the last quarter of the manga, which allowed their conflict to end on a bittersweet, but satisfying note. Besides the main character, Kurama, Nana, and Bando were some of the most memorable characters in the cast.

Now, about that theater troop...

Elfen Lied is a good tragic drama with some really cool sci-fi elements that are easy to understand. That being said, if someone on this planet could rewrite the manga and anime by eliminating all the - pardon my French - bullshit, maybe this series wouldn't make people cringe.

The anime might be notorious for being extremely bloody (like Hellsing Ultimate) and full of fanservice... BUT the manga has an inexcusably monstrous amount of both. There are so many pointless and revolting scenes of nudity that it might as well be porn. I think Marilyn Manson's face would turn green if he saw this.

I really wanted to like Elfen Lied, even in the "so bad, it's good" kind of way. Yes, I cried a billion times at the manga's end and twice at the anime's end, but this series has such a thick, nasty outside that it might not always be worth it when you get to the good stuff.

At least the anime has beautifully haunting music.

Elfen Lied had a very interesting premise, with elements of sci-fi, drama, and tragedy morphed and twisted into a gruesome but different creature. With some serious work on rewriting scenes, humor, and events this would have been a more sophisticated work. Plus, cut out the disgusting fanservice: some of the nudity in later chapters were fine, but early on it was still horrendously overdone.

I don't regret trying this out but...*cringes* I seriously need a shower.
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