29 July 2011

'Shadow the Hedgehog'

Looks like I'll review anything... inconsistent me...

(CREDIT: due to SEGA and Sonic Team...)
RANK: 3 out of 5 <-- Underwhelming, Easy, but Entertaining

Alongside the various other franchises and series I invest in, Sonic the Hedgehog is definitely one of them... kinda. I confess that I only have played four games thanks to the Nintendo Wii and have watched Sonic X. Yeah... I'm watching it in Japanese right now instead of the English dub... my cool points are severely plummeting... Besides that, I barely dived into half of what the franchise has offered. Well, there's watching people play the games on Youtube for that...

This was the last Sonic game in the main series I played, and it's unfortunate that my experience ended as it did. It's not just because every other game was for the latest generation of game systems; this game was just a really awesomely designed bag full of mixed candy with a flimsy string to tie it shut. Shadow the Hedgehog looks good, but the quality of its content is all over the map and the final package is not very satisfying.

First, the visuals are generally good, depending on what you're looking at. As someone who generally likes darker art styles, Shadow the Hedgehog has a beautifully set tone of dark reds and blues with black. Yet the game is as colorful as every other game in the series, except Shadow held Sonic Team at gunpoint and demanded a darker color scheme to suit his game better.

Another praise goes to the six or seven, highly detailed cutscenes. Sadly, most of the cutscenes in Sonic games tend to be in-game graphics, and everything is generally shiny and simple. But at random times, some really great,-barely-realistic animation will play in a mini-movie, mostly for the "wow!" factor. And it's really beyond "wow." These cutscenes are the times when the character design is absolutely amazing, especially the humans, who generally look awful in-game. It's unfortunate that better care was not done to the design of the human characters. Poor Maria... in that one cutscene I was almost convinced that her design would be better than that in Sonic Adventure 2...

Gameplay is simply a "meh" in my book. Unlike most people, I had no issue with the guns and the vehicles (for the whiners about the motorcycle, it only appears in ONE STAGE) and I found them quite useful most times. The multiple paths and endings aspect of the game was a very interesting add-in, and I enjoyed it very much since I would not get bored too quickly. The only flaw in this is that some paths don't tell a decent story. In a way, it could have been better if the game was more like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, where the player's focus on certain aspects can change cutscenes, character behavior, and endings. With that approach, Shadow the Hedgehog's plot could have been a deeper analysis of Shadow rediscovering his identity and lost memories as the Black Arms, Dr. Eggman, the military, or Sonic affect his mindset. But maybe I've been into far too many psychological stories to expect much from a game series about hedgehogs running fast and obtaining power to destroy the bad guy.

As for the music... catchy, fun, dark, badass. Fangirl likes the hard and industrial rock. Voice acting? Only two things must be said:
    1. 4Kids
    2. no, the VAs don't suck as bad as in Sonic X. They're... tolerable... unless Shadow is laughing manically.
And, the cursing? Shadow saying "damn" and "hell" is so conservative and lame; Sonic says "shit" all the time in Sonic X!

The biggest problem I had with this game was how EASY it was. As a really amateur gamer, it took me a year to beat Sonic Adventure and my friend and I spent over five to beat Sonic Adventure 2. Heck, I still haven't beaten Sonic Heroes (that's a mixed bag of turd for another day...) If a really slow, skittish gamer like myself beat this is less than a month and in the morning before I headed off to school, that shows your game is too easy. The biggest drawback from the multi-path option is not the potential inconsistent behavior Shadow will show, but how easy it is to avoid the hard levels. Yeah, I beat the game without even touching the Central City level, unlike previous games when you had to slave for hours to regather lives so you have over twenty chances to beat the level.

Might I also add that the ring system is laughable? Remember the days when you get hit once and you lose everything? In this, you get hit and lose TEN RINGS. At the end of playing, I would have all these lives to kill because it's impossible to die!

To be honest, when I look back on the game now, I see that it had more potential than the previous games. From my limited experience, Shadow was the character with an ongoing story, overlapping on each game in the main series since his debut in Adventure 2. This game could have been the chance to put more of an emphasis on telling a story and making the character very complex and developed as he has to find the answer to many questions fans had since the beginning. If it went on that route, this game might had to have been a spinoff, but I wouldn't care. Sadly, my favorite character got a more Sonic-ly generic gameplay with guns, cursing, and easy levels. Sadness...

This review is long enough, so I'll swiftly rate 3 out of 5 for a fun game with some underwhelming content. Play this for entertainment only; this would not be the first Sonic game to try out. But at least this isn't Sonic Free Riders or Sonic Unleashed... or '06. Their horrible reputations are worse...

Final July Update: I'm Backies!!!

Yep. Nothing else to say. Pictures will be up soon... hopefully... maybe...

DC was fun, and now I'll get back into my normal blogging habits.


21 July 2011

Yes, I'm Still Alive

Essay after essay with a group project to end it all. ... lovely.

My "vacation" in DC is not too bad, since the city is far more interesting than lazy rural/suburban Pennsylvania, but I sure am getting beaten by the summer program. Obviously it's a college-level course and the difficulty is amped up at high levels, but let the whiny high schooler complain a bit. Despite the long papers I have to write, I really enjoy the analytical, in-depth lectures my class gets for three hours Monday thru Friday. (Honestly, it's not as bad as it sounds... most times.) Out of every class I ever took, only AP History was almost as engaging as this.

When I was not enjoying scholarly torture, I got to buy The Sims Medieval. That game is so addictive that it has now taken over most of my time in the evenings. You could say it's easy for Fangirl to be consumed by this game series... or bluntly put, Fangirl has no life. XD

Other things I have done include... seeing the final Harry Potter movie... watching and refusing to finish Gurren Lagann... going on field trips (one of which was the Finnish Embassy *squee moment*)... and debating when to put pictures up. Maybe I should do that...

At this point, I'm going to finish my summer course and spend more time around the wonderful capital city. IF I post a new review, it might be Gurren Lagann (if I finish it)... if it's a rant... good luck predicting that one.

Back to my research paper on North Korea... *groans*

15 July 2011

It's All Over

Fangirl is predictable when it comes to this. This has saddened me so much that "The Funeral of Hearts" would tempt me into performing seppuku rather than cry in a celebratory manner.

The Harry Potter films... have been completed. Dear god... the end of an era.

While watching the midnight premier last night without my friends (T-T), I cried at least four times within three hours. It will be very hard to get over the series I followed loyally since the autumn of 2001. I'm sure almost every fan on the planet who is as sad as I are complaining on the internet or any other communicative media, but still... This is the first time I felt a huge part of me has died in the a very bittersweet way. As much as I'm dying to get a time machine and go through the experience of waiting for these films all over again, I'm still happy that Harry Potter ended and left me entertained until the end.

But now I need something else to heavily and emotionally invest in...

I won't review this movie yet, since I might watch it again so I can observe it more objectively. Sorry for the silence for the past few days; I just finished a four page essay for class. Looks like I'm gonna have to get more than three hours of sleep tonight! XD

09 July 2011

HELLO, DC!!!!!

That title is corny as sin. Wow...

Anywho, I'm finally down in Washington with my dad, and I'm ready to live in the city for three weeks! But know that this is not a vacation; I was invited to take a class in a local DC college to help me decide if I would want to study foreign affairs in the future. I will take pictures (not of myself. sorry, fanboys and fangirls. :P) but I will spend a lot of time more on being with dad and writing papers. Yippee.

Posts might come up more at nighttime on this western hemisphere, when I'll have the most time to myself.

So hang in there, or else there'd be blood... lol

08 July 2011

'The Open Door'

(CREDIT: to Evanescence.)
Rank: 1.8 out of 5 <-- VERY wasted potential

Ah, Evanescence, I remember like it was only yesterday when you introduced me into rock and heavy metal. Thank you for leading me to the path of enlightenment and blunt honesty. As much as I am grateful to you, you are not as important to me as you once were.

Don't ever get the impression that I despise the band because Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, and After Forever kick them in the behind and bury them in the mud. The highest praise I can give Evanescence is that they are a perfect gateway for anyone interested in gothic metal and its fellow siblings in spirit. Amy Lee can deny it for all eternity, but that is the truth. My problem with Evanescence lies more in their atmosphere and execution, both seeming artificial, overdramatic, forced, and fake. Maybe that is part of what some define as "mainstream."

At this point, I am almost completely uninterested in this band anymore for reasons already mentioned. Another sign of my growing apathy is my forcing myself to listen to an entire album, which has been more noticeable in the past several months. I sure am grateful, but I'm outgrowing my musical diapers - if I put it that way.

As for The Open Door... I cherish it because a transfer student whom I befriended years ago gave it to me for Easter. That's pretty much where my praise ends. Don't misunderstand, there are great tracks ("Lacrymosa," "Lithium," and "Snow White Queen"), but there are far more that are bland or just plain old rotten eggs. "Lose Control" and "Your Star" are the lowest points of the album, bringing down the quality so much that the last half of the album is 90% unlistenable. "Good Enough" is okay, but it's not worth playing when everything between that and "Lacrymosa" are terribly forgettable and lazy. Even when I listened to Evanescence frequently, I still never could finish beyond "Lacrymosa."

To better explain the "laziness" and "blandness" of the album, let's just say that it's like a person who is used to eating incredibly salty food has to eat plain rice with a subtle, bitter flavor. As a person who likes salt, I would have a terribly hard time liking something bitter. Sure, over time the flavor might improve, but there are other people you can run to to make the same rice, but do something to make it more likable. The second half of this album is like that. If I want a song that is seductive ("Lose Control"), I can just pop in HIM's Razorblade Romance or try out Moonspell's works. If I want a song about overcoming odds ("The Only One") I can just listen to Within Temptation's The Silent Force. If I want a song about badmouthing some jerk ("Your Star") Emilie Autumn does it better with Opheliac. Evanescence had lost their energy and will to keep you entertained at that point; although many bands can have an album with it being half good and half bad, I can't name many that are this intolerable.

I could go on and say how Amy Lee sounds more obnoxious than ever by singing so loud that you can't hear the actual music, but maybe I'm too used to less "mainstream" music. No, even Marilyn Manson knows when to tone down his loud voice in his music. As good as a voice as she has, Amy Lee needs to learn that from this album, Evanescence is not just her, but the BAND with GUITARS and DRUMS. The instrument department is rather lackluster and not worth noting at all.

To the album's credit, the imagery is very beautiful and polished, the latter being something some lesser known bands have difficulty with, maybe due to available resources. Also, a great friend gave it to me; I really miss her so much...

The worst part is that Evanescence has potential, but they sound too unnatural by trying too hard. Because of my current taste in music, I can see them as a cheap cardboard copy of better bands. Dommin, Lacuna Coil, Darling Violetta, and even I Am Ghost just do far better in melancholy, melody, emotion, and/or all the above. I'm sorry, but I don't care if you want to check this out or not. Check it out, but don't buy it because a half good album is not worth $10.00+ for.

That does it. I'm going to research some cool gothic rock and metal bands with albums I'm more willing to invest in...

05 July 2011


(CREDIT: to the makers.)
Rank: 4.9 out of 5 <-- ...

Okazaki Tomoya is a delinquent who finds life dull and believes he'll never amount to anything. Along with his friend Sunohara, he skips school and plans to waste his high school days away. One day while walking to school, Tomoya passes Nagisa Furukawa muttering quietly to herself. Without warning she exclaims "Anpan!" (a popular Japanese food) in self-motivation which catches Tomoya's attention. Soon after, they become friends at school. Tomoya learns Nagisa has been held back a year due to a severe illness and that her dream is to revive the school's drama club. Claiming he has nothing better to do, he decides to help her achieve this goal along with the help of four other girls.
As Tomoya spends more time with the girls, he learns more about them and their problems. As he attempts to help each girl overcome her respective obstacle, he begins to realize life isn't as dull as he once thought.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]

This show was far more brutal than Ef - A Tale of Memories. Clannad is such an emotionally stimulating clusterfuck that I have died of dehydration. I have lost the ability to cry...


So yeah. Here it goes. I might as well break everything down into categories for the sake of covering a two-season anime.

CHARACTERS: Clannad does have a lot of characters in stereotypical roles (a punching bag, a lolita, a shy girl, a sweet girl, etc), yet they still come off as endearing. Each character has at least some development and relevance despite the large cast. Each arc focuses on one of the friends Tomoya makes through the end of his high school life; however, the delivery is a hit or miss. One of the biggest offenders is Fuko's arc which took up nearly half of the first season. Although it was the only time when I considered dropping the show, the slow pacing was not easy to sit through. Otherwise, the stories are taken care of very well, although some characters have not much screen time ever again.

Hands down, I liked Tomoya the most. He's blunt, cynical, and loves to pull pranks every now and then (wait... that's like me kinda... o_O.) He is a love or hate sort of guy and many don't like him for his distance from his dad and how Tomoya is willing to help his friends but not his dad. As someone who is going through family difficulty, I can understand his unwillingness to deal with his issues. I loved him the most in Clannad: After Story, where he matures so much and becomes a very strong protagonist despite his double whammy downfall near the end...

Nagisa, on the other hand, is Tohru Honda... minus the strength and the "fixing up" duty: they are placed all on Tomoya. Nagisa is a decent character, but she is significantly weaker and is quite needy. Sometimes I felt that Tomoya should have stopped taking care of her like a lost puppy. Though she gets stronger and more confident, she still feels like a passive Tohru Honda for no reason. In fact, all the characters - except Tomoya a good chunk of the time - is passive. I forgot how many times an "'I'm sorry!' 'It's okay!'" moment occurred in 50 episodes!

PLOT: Have a box of tissues with you. Clannad is very emotional roller coaster ride, even to the point that you become numb in a time when you should be bawling your eyes out. It's very annoying, especially near the end of Clannad: After Story, when Tomoya is in the darkest moment in his life. To sum it up, I was so stuffed from the appetizers that I had little room to enjoy the main meal. At least I threw a teary-eyed hissy fit at episode 21; oh, the foul language that the neighbor's heard at 3 in the morning... But since Arkada marked that scene as the 2nd saddest moment in anime... I should have been better prepared.

Despite the fact that some arcs are not well paced, and some characters have a far better story than others, Clannad does well in delivery on an emotional level. So much so that I can't really critique it to the fullest; I can agree that this show is manipulative with emotions, but I still gave a crap anyway. Just like me with Naruto.

ART: Fluid and beautiful! Despite the "moe" character designs of the females, everyone moves naturally. In After Story, we get to see Tomoya fight a gang member, and hands down that scene was executed far better than one in any action anime I have seen. Even in the "parallel world" where there is a young girl and a robot, everything felt so real and not stiff and choppy. Otherwise, not much can be said here. It's not groundbreaking, but it was truly a new experience for me.

SOUND: The opening songs of both seasons are wonderful; I have "Megumeru" on my iPod and "Toki wo Kizamu Uta" fits season two in a bittersweet way. The ending songs are okay, with "Dango Daikazoku" as a strong highlight. That song appears many times as an instrumental in some sweet scenes and is sung a few times by some characters in After Story. Background music was fitting and noticeable, but nothing award-winning.

As for voice acting... I stuck with the English dub, which was done well. You could go with Japanese subtitles or English dub depending on what you stick with because you can't go wrong. But be warned that the dub started off pretty shaky at first, but things settled down relatively and quickly.

Overall, Clannad has some rehashed story elements, but is delivered in a very emotional fashion to make you love it or hate it. I'm tempted to call it a masterpiece in its own way, but at the end of the day, I felt it was realistic at first with cynical Tomoya, but the show progressed into an idealistic fashion. Honestly, that was why I loved Ef - A Tale of Memories so much; it was surreal and trippy at times, but the events and interactions were realistic. Despite that, on a subjective level, I want give Clannad a 6 out of 5 for my expectations being blown out of the water. But my objective side would probably rate this as a 3.8. So I'll compromise the two by giving Clannad... a 4.9 out of 5.

Geez, this show makes Titanic look like a comedy... I gotta stop giving these romance stories high praise. Dammit...

04 July 2011

Amping Up the Creepy

Are those falling things human corpses or dead, wingless higurashi cicadas? o_O

"Rolling in the Deep"

(CREDITS: Adele. Thank god it's not me...)
Rank: 1 out of 5 <-- get me some doom metal...

Sometimes I wonder why I subject myself to such torture... NO. I wonder why I have to be around things that I want dead. I'd honestly love to pull a MCR "Thank You for the Venom" on this song so badly.

On the surface, "Rolling in the Deep" is a bland bluesy song with a woman with good, yet painful vocal skills. Right there, I am at my neck in problems. Maybe I'm very biased and closed-minded at times, but I'll admit this now. Pop can be annoying, but catchy. Rap and hip hop may be shallow, but there are a few decent artists I might respect. But jazz and blues... I HATE THEM WITH A PASSION.

Doom metal makes me dance for joy in comparison: jazz and blues are that mellow and boring as heck. Not one song in that genre has ever caught my ear and consider a new door of opportunities. At least with rap, there was Rage Against the Machine, Linkin Park, and many other acts with rap rock, which was a fun genre while it lasted! But anything bluesy or jazzy in nature has always made me want to leave the room or shut down.

Okay, fine. It's not my cup of tea, but is "Rolling in the Deep" that awful? Oh yes, dear friends, it is.

A few months back, my art teacher played 21 for my class one day, and I didn't think Adele could be an awful musician. But one thing that bothered me was how my teacher claimed she was one of the better singers out right now [... in the mainstream of course]. Honestly, Adele has a range, but her voice is so powerful that it's like a half-god lifting up a boulder and struggling to carry it for thirty feet. The power if there, but it's just awkward. In this song in particular, she cannot hold a note, have power, have emotion, and hold it all together in more than two seconds. Maybe it's all about style, but Lady GaGa can deliver her voice far better if we get rid of that auto tune. Wait...

Adele is not alone in the category of females with powerful, confident, and emotional vocals, albeit their genres are different. Amy Lee is such an example, although she can hold a note better, there are times when I want to saw my ears off. Tarja Turunen is another and far more versatile and controlled than the aforementioned; she can be soft and gentle one moment and booming and epic in another. I could drop Emilie Autumn here too, but her voice doesn't quite have much of a punch as these women. Hell, I could also add Beyonce, but let's not go on.

Subjectively speaking, the style in music and vocals make Fangirl want to sit through Ergo Proxy in a straightjacket than to hear this song again. As for the objective problems, let's see... The song is just plain average in every way. The lyrics are your typical "I'm mad at this dishonest SOB" and it's pretty simple and cheesy despite the failed attempts to sound poetic. They paint no interesting image, even with a "good voice." Maybe my standards are too high for a simple catchy pop song.

Then again, "Rolling in the Deep" is so average, even in catchiness, that I'm shocked that it still is so damn popular. [**WARNING: terms used VERY loosely!**] It's nowhere near as fun**, interesting**, or catchy as "Bad Romance," "Tick Tock," or "Fire Burning," which is also mediocre! Even "Hey Soul Sister," another song I loathe, is far more fascinating** at the least in stupidity! "Rolling in the Deep" might not be like some of the more popular party hits, but it still fits the other bland categories of pop music while bringing nothing groundbreaking to the table.

Overconfident, bland, dull, and annoying as hell. That is "Rolling in the Deep." And the fact that it's not my cup of tea makes it worse. Looks like at this rate I will forever dislike bluesy and jazzy music. At least I don't hate this enough to call it shit...

03 July 2011

'Dead Again'

(CREDIT: to the late band Type O Negative. *sobs*)
Rank: 3.5 out of 5 -- dead for the last time...

It kinda spooky how the last Type O Negative album is titled Dead Again. At least for me it is...

I only bought this album originally because I heard that Pete hated just about every TON best of compilation, one of which was my first purchase. Sure, buying an album out of guilt is a really bad reason, but what happened happened. At least I cared about the band enough to pick up two studio albums, Dead Again and Bloody Kisses. Both of them I loved even more than the compilations, but let's discuss this one.

The one genre of heavy metal that beats my brain to death with a spiky stick in all the wrong places is doom metal. The growls, the slow tempo and pace, and the droning and moaning wails of endless agony for OVER TEN MINUTES threaten to put me in a depression. Sorry, guys, that means no My Dying Bride for me. It's not that I dislike darker music, I simply don't like the style of doom metal. But thankfully some of Type O Negative's songs send their sarcastic and dark humored thanks to that influence without going overboard. The song with the strongest influence is "September Sun," where the slow tempo and depressing tone actually sound very beautiful and haunting in a moderate sense. (In other words, it's sad to listen to, but not suicidal.)

But the best thing about this album is that the songs are long, but never boring. Typically songs that last for about or over ten minutes can overwhelm me, especially if there is no melodic, lyrical, or vocal variation. No matter how long and drawn out TON may get on this album, it's a phase that never lasts longer than three minutes. It's good for anyone suffering from the fake disease of ADHD or those who are scared of long songs. "These Three Things" is 15 minutes long and, though it's not my favorite song, it has not bored me every time I listened to it.

With other great tracks like the fast and badass "Some Stupid Tomorrow," the gothic and atmospheric "Dead Again," and the dark and humorous "Halloween in Heaven" and "The Prophet of Doom," it is a shame that this was Type O Negative's last album. Compared to the previous works (especially October Rust), Dead Again is one of TON's darkest, heaviest records (the other is the humorless World Coming Down.) Honestly, the album was fleshed out beautifully and had a solid backbone, showing us that the band is on the right track (not that they weren't before.) I can't stress enough my frustration when I heard Pete Steele died last April, but I can't imagine how the rest of the fanbase felt and still feels.

HOWEVER. Although I am pleased that Type O Negative made a great record with doom metal influences, it still does not make this album perfect. These songs are well done and aren't really skippable, but I couldn't help but be apathetic to a handful of tracks at some points. Like some cases, this trend occurs at the end of records like this; "She Burned Me Down" and "An Ode to Locksmiths" are adequate on their own, but next to the rest of the album they are downright forgettable. Nothing, like a lyric or a riff, in those two songs made them stand out.

These two weaker tracks out of ten really kills the satisfying album. It's almost like ordering crab cakes, only to have yours burnt a bit at the bottom and the tartar sauce is stale. You can eat the cake as it is, but some things that make it perfect are subpar in comparison to the rare abundance of crab meat. Hmm... I'm hungry.

But at the very least, these guys went out with a great final album. All hail and farewell, Type O Negative. :'(

I Should Have Stayed Sheltered...

... dammit. Looks like my hopes for Higurashi have been blown in my face. Stupid Funimation... >.<

Just when I mentioned it in a previous post, I found this old post from ANN. Maybe this happened because the company NEVER RESTOCKED the DVDs for release. Morons.

Geez, I hate liking unpopular and rare stuff...

02 July 2011

Random Is My Middle Name

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4 and write the sentence here: "Alek still struggled, holding his breath for what felt like minutes, but his lungs finally rebelled." (from Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld))
2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What’s there? a bar stool
3. What is the last thing you watched on TV? The Colbert Report
4. Without looking, guess what time it is: around 5 or so
5. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time? 5. I win 
6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? kids playing outside
7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing? walking my dog and getting the mail
8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at? my blog. duh
9. What are you wearing? University of Pennsylvania shirt, denim capris, bracelets
10. Did you dream last night? can't remember
11. When did you last laugh? my memory sucks
12. What is on the walls of the room you are in? my posters of various things: London, St. Scream, Ville Valo, Sasuke from Naruto, etc...
13. Seen anything weird lately? my shorter hair... o_O
14. What is the last film you saw? The Italian Job (2003)
15. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? I would save a big bit for college and the rest to a personal travel fund.
16. Tell me something about you that I don’t know. I'm scared of spiders.
17. If you could change one thing about the world, what would you change? the list goes on and on...
18. Do you like to dance? hell no
19. What do you think of the president? he's the president
20. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her? ... idk
21. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?  ... idk
22. Would you ever consider living abroad? of course! I just need a job and money...
23. What do you want to say to God when you reach the pearly gates? if there are any religious psychos in there, forget heaven and hell, please erase my existence

Oh, to Be Sheltered Again...

I hate downloading. Whoever came up with it should be punched, kicked, and left in the middle of a battlefield at the mercy of terrorist warfare. ...Okay, that's going overboard.

Today's world is full of double-edged sword opportunities; however, that has always been true. Sure, we have the internet and we can meet people across the globe via a tiny chunk of metal. We have planes to travel to the other end of Earth in a matter of hours. Ideas spread anywhere and everywhere there are computers, phones, and people who can afford them. Yes, it's wonderful that we are more connected to each other than ever before. But it still sucks.

Another law of the universe seems to be that the majority tends to hold more power or voice than the minority. It doesn't apply to everything (EX: government), but that's beside the point. Take Pandora Internet Radio. In order for new (or old) music to be added to the library, enough people have to request the artist, song, or album. And it's a pain in the behind when an independent band from a country that no one acknowledges often is requested by a few people is competing with the latest hit wonder that'll last for two days.

Many times I have run into the issue of wanting something, but a public place does not have it offered.When I'm at FYE or Best Buy, I sulk out because the music selection is annoyingly tiny and limited to popular American acts or recent material. The best part is when I see two Children of Bodom albums for sale at the far corner while Linkin Park takes up at least seven shelves of unsold material. I browse on Amazon.com for a copy of the entire season of the dubbed When They Cry. Only one copy remains and it's nearly $150; no other site online has it in stock. I go out to find a book someone recommended, but every store in my area doesn't sell it.

But man, the music bothers me the most.

One of the greatest problems with iTunes is its separate stores by country. What if you want an album that has never been released here but is available on an international iTunes store? Guess what? You can't buy anything outside your country.

It sucks when you find something so "underground" or so foreign that you can't go to a safe place to get it. Some people resort to downloading because they are too lazy to buy the real thing in stores; however, if you're like me, you are forced to download things because you can't get them anywhere else. Since I'm still in my phase, I had run into many good songs in anime and I had the desire to buy it. But I have to resort to hours of research to find a way to get the songs and not get cheated or have a nasty computer virus.

We can share, but we cannot take. We can talk about something for sale on country A, but we can't have it. We can stare at the window for hours just for that piece of entertainment, but we can't enter the store. And the impatient one will break the windows and steal the item he/she wants. That is downloading, and I hate it.

On the bright side, I was lucky with finding the opening song from Mars on iTunes. But if only...

Thankfully I sometimes consider downloading, but I rarely ever do it. If there is a show or movie I want to watch, I hunt everywhere online just to watch it for free. If there's an album I want to try out, I'll go to Grooveshark. If I'm not happy about my research on something I want to buy, I wish upon a star and cry myself to sleep.

Sometimes I think it would have been better if I wasn't exposed to so much information. Although I love trying out new things, it has gotten to the point that they are very unreachable. But maybe the best reward is working your ass off to finally buy that thing you always wanted. If that's so, I'd hope another release of Higurashi: When They Cry will some around so I can pounce on the opportunity. After I get a job and save my money, of course.

July Update

I FINALLY MOVED!!!!!!! But the unpacking process... *groans*

Yep, my posting activity will still be out of whack for a while. I'll be spending some time in Washington DC for the next few weeks with busy work... and visiting cool places. Because of these two things, I will do my best to post stuff in the next few days. :)

As for my current material, I am still in my anime phase and I continue to check out new series. I prefer to finish a series before I rant about it on my blog, but if it's an exception (like freakin Ergo Proxy or the never-ending Naruto), I might add my few cents on it. If you are a fellow anime fan, I will accept recommendations (something with GOOD PLOT and CHARACTERS, please. ^_^)

Last month's views shocked me. It's great that people all over the world are interested in spending some time reading the ramblings of a minuscule individual in the United States. My opinions might not matter in the great scheme of things, but I'm still very thankful. :)

Enjoy my insane asylum to your heart's content!
... ... or I'll lock you up. :P
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