Added to the Abyss

Welcome to my monthly backlog additions post. This post isn’t meant to list all the things I added to my various backlogs this month, because that’d be tedious and boring. Because most of the time my reason for adding stuff is just “eh, seems interesting”, but sometimes there are weirder/more interesting reasons. So here are some of the things that caught my eye this month and have now been added to the endless abyss that is my backlog collection. 😉

Fujiko Mine

So I tried to watch this way back when it first aired, but I dropped it after the first episode as I didn’t like Fujiko’s character at all. However I stumbled across this article: https://www.animefeminist.com/feature-beyond-yuri-ice-themes-motifs-sayo-yamamoto/ earlier this month and it peaked my interest in the show again. So I figure I’ll give it another shot eventually.

FujikoMine_220712_101910

Sabishisugite Lesbian Fuuzoku ni Ikimashita Report

I was initially a bit weary of this manga as it seemed like it would be depressing and angsty, but after reading all the positive reviews and some preview pages it seems like it has a sense of humour as well. So I’ve added it to my to read list after all.

180846l

Sword Art Online

Okay, this one will probably come as a shock to people who know my taste in anime and my opinion on the little I’ve seen of this show. ^^; But several of my friends are really into it and their enthusiasm is robbing off on me, so I’m going to give it another go.

tumblr_mzx5z58hxj1sfeoupo1_250

Posted in Added to the Abyss | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Around the Disc in 41 books

Imagine a montage of newsreaders. Like the one they use in films to declare that the zombie apocalypse has really started now, so could the heroes please get on with the plot. The same words spilling from the different newsreaders lips, edited into shorter and shorter sound bites. It starts with the BBC of course, just so you know that this is real and serious news.

“Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels, has died today aged 66. He had been battling Alzheimers since 2007 and become an outspoken proponent of assisted death. The …”

“Breaking news, the author of the popular Discworld novels, Sir Terry Pratchett…..”

“Sir Terry Pratchett …. ”

 

 

Fade to black.

Now turn the camera and let it slowly come into focus on the face of a young woman. Tears are rolling down her cheeks as she messages her mom and brother to break the news. They share memories. She wanders onto social media and mourns with the other fans.

The next day.

There is to be one more book! One more Discworld novel to read! A Tiffany Aching novel, The Shepherd’s Crown.

Fade to black once more. Maybe insert some footage of flowers blooming and trees blossoming to indicate time has passed. There should be some in the archives.

And now the woman has the book in her lap. She’s staring at it. Afraid to read it, afraid of the pain and sorrow she suspects are in there. But also reluctant to end it. To have read the final Discworld novel, to have no more of them to look forward to. Eventually she decides. To collect them all, all the novels in the main series, and to read them all in order. In one long marathon. From The Light Fantastic to The Shepherd’s Crown.

IMG_20170508_215036

That woman was me. And I made that decision back in August of 2015 and now the time has come to execute the plan. It’s hard for me to explain how much the Discworld means to me. I was a teenager when I first discovered the books. A lonely, depressed, nerdy teenager who wanted nothing more than to disappear and whose chosen method for this was books. My first Discworld book was The Hogfather.

“Susan says, don’t get afraid, get angry.”

Words I still try to live by, but there was so much more, Susan and Death, and the idea that justice is a lie we have to believe in, and in between this all jokes. Marvellous, side splittingly funny jokes about computers and the Oh God of Hangovers. I was confused, I was entertained, I wanted more. And so over the years I read all the Discworld novels. In no particular order, other than the one in which I could get my hands on them. And they gave me strength, they taught me to believe in myself, to do what is right and to forgive humans for being fundamentally human.

They got me through years of depression. I read them when I was down and nothing else could cheer me up. I read them when I needed strength. I read them when I just wanted to laugh. And now, for the first time in all these years, I’m going to read them in order. I don’t yet know what I’ll encounter, I plan to post again when I finish. Perhaps in between I’ll write reams on all the characters, the themes, things I’ve only just realised. Perhaps I’ll write nothing and just chuckle and cry to myself.

If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen me Tweet some comments with the hashtag #AroundTheDisc. I’ll be using this to document random thoughts. And I’ll be starting my journey before this post goes up, because I’m an impatient bugger, and frankly I could do with some laughs right now.

gnuTerry

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What’s the purpose of a backlog?

I come from a family of readers, I love books and so my shelves have always contained books that I hadn’t gotten around to reading yet. Over the years I added films, series, anime and games to the media I’d collected, but not consumed yet. For a while all I had was a wishlist, things to buy, there was no need to keep track of things I hadn’t gotten round to yet in a separate list. All I needed to do was look at my shelves.

So why did I start keeping track of these things? Well with the rise of streaming services like Crunchyroll & Netflix, not everything is on my shelves any more. And while these sites allow you to keep track of what you want to watch on each of them, that leaves it fractured. However the main reason I signed up for MyAnimeList, Backloggery and all those other sites is they allow me to share what I’m doing and plan to do with my friends. Especially those friends who can’t easily swing by and look at my shelves. They also allow me to add little notes on what I thought of them, notify me of related stuff etc. And in most cases, they give out achievements and badges for completing certain amounts or specifically themed shows/games. Yes, these badges and achievements are utterly pointless, but they’re also incredibly addictive!

PointlessAchievements

Okay, so I’m almost half way to Mystery lvl 2…

Continue reading

Posted in Blog Update | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Life/Blog Update

So this blog has been very quiet since January which has a lot of causes, but it’s mainly due to my anxiety disorder kicking up big time. I’ve started therapy to combat it and while that is working, it’s also draining my energy big time. On top of this I’m studying for my N4 JLPT test in July. Because I’m a massive masochist that way. xD

I’ve got a secondary blog Difficulty Setting Hard on which I chronicle my struggle trying to study while dealing with mental illness.

As for this blog, I have a plan for it and I’ve been doing some prep work. Once I’ve finished my JLPT on 3rd July and come back from the Japan Expo a week later I’ll get started on overhauling this place. Till then you can find me at my second blog, twitter and of course at That Game Club where I’ll be pretending that playing Norn9 is a valid way of studying…

Posted in Blog Update | Leave a comment

Project Diva Mirai DX

16282163155_9b5bfa581f If you follow me on twitter you’ve probably seen me tweet pictures from this game. I’ve been playing it for the past several weeks and have spent most of that time clearing songs to earn points so I can buy more cute clothes and stuff.

And there is a lot to buy and do. The first thing that struck me when I started the game was that the main menu was that you have to search for the rhythm section. The first options are dressing up and playing with your vocaloid partner. Besides these you also have the option to go outside to shop or create music and dances in the various studios around town. You can even play PuyoPuyo against your partner. You can access all these features from the beginning, but to get content for them you’ll need to actually play the rhythm game!

The rhythm portion itself is really well put together. I’ve played both Project Diva F games on PS3 and Vita and this game has more songs than both of those to start with. It also allows you to pick button or tap mode, which give you different play styles. The song selection is good, with some of the usual classics like The World Is Mine and Senbonzakura, mixed in with songs I hadn’t encountered yet like Animal Fortune Telling, Sweet Magic and Glow. I’m also really glad to see Happy Synthesizer in the list as it’s a favourite of mine. ^^
CYq9GzGUwAEwG9VWhile the songs are fun, it’s the dress up and, to put it frankly, the grinding for all the costumes, card designs and other bonus things that keeps me coming back to the game. I’ve long since cleared all the songs and gotten the “end credits” but so far the game is proving really, really addictive. So if you have a 3DS and you like vocaloids or rhythm games in general, check this game out.

As a side note, it is pretty rare for games like this to make it to the west, so especially on a region locked system like the 3DS (where I can’t just import the Japanese game) I’m happy to notice I get a fair amount of profile cards for it over streetpass. It’s great to see games like this selling here. Gives me hope that we’ll get more of them in the future. ^^

Posted in Games | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Book review: The secret history of MI6

This book details the first 40 years of SIS, or as it’s better known MI6, history. It was commissioned by MI6 and written by historian Keith Jeffrey, who was given full access to their archives. Well full  access by secret service standards, so only in so far as it doesn’t compromise national security or people involved. Though so long after the facts the bigger problem proves the lack of archive. Whether simply never created or destroyed at a later date, keeping the service secret means as little paperwork as possible.

Sadly this means that a lot of story can only be traced through the numbers involved. How many people were stationed where, when and especially: how much it all cost. This made the book really boring to at times and I admit to skipping over parts that were mainly this. On the plus side if you want all the details, this book certainly has them. Luckily there are plenty of fun parts in between this. Details of the duties of technical departments, anecdotes about agents in the field and extracts from letters and diaries are really fun to read.

So if you’re really into MI6, history in general or are researching the subject this is the book for you. If you just want to read some fun real life spy stories, perhaps look around for another book.

Posted in Book Reviews | Leave a comment

Mahou shoujo tai Arusu

SheilaI found this show while browsing around and started watching on a whim and I fell in love with it right from the first episode. I’m still watching the final “adventure” episodes which are basically little side stories taking place about half way through the main plot I’d guess, but everything so far has been crazy fun and enjoyable. The show centres around a young girl named Alice who lives in the our world for about half an episode before jumping off a building after a magical book her father gave her. This jump doesn’t kill her, but rather she wakes up in a magical world. There she chases after a magical fairy and gets caught by a couple of witches and meets Sheila and Eva. Two young witches with who she ends up living while she learns magic. It turns out though that there’s a crisis in the witches’ world and there aren’t enough fairies any more to allow all the witches to work magic. Alice and the other girls get caught up in the intrigue and plotting of their elders and the plot goes from there.

Dragon home

My absolute favourite part of this show though is the animation and art design. The studio behind this Studio 4C and they are well known for their quirky style and it works so well here. Each fairy is different and fun to look at, the world is gorgeous and their house is built on top of a dragon who flies them around! I’d insert more screenshots, but you really just need to see it all in motion. The character designs and colours don’t really work for me until they start to move then everything just comes alive and sucks me in. The relatively simple drawing style works to really bring out the essentials and give focus to the action. It also has some of the best integrated CG animation I’ve seen in anime. Which is really impressive considering the show is from 2004.

So in conclusion if you want a fun show about magic set in an imaginative world with gorgeous animation, give Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu a go.

Arusu

If you live in Europe you can watch the show on Viewster where the English title for this show is Tweeny Witches. Which almost made me skip over the show. Tween puts me in mind of marketeers trying to appeal to kids. Considering the original title translates to Magical Girl Squad Alice, I don’t know how they came up with it, but it sucks. But this doesn’t change the fact that the show itself is actually awesome and you should give it go.

Posted in Anime, Reviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment