Saturday, March 31, 2007

Birthday, Sushi and Vacation, and the Effects of sleep deprivation

Time for a personal post :p

My birthday happened this week, March 27th, I turned 20. Birthdays are not that big of a deal to me, but they are for some people. I have never realized what the big deal is all about. I mean, I did get a cake from my classmates which was yummy (and I don't really like cake, but this one was gooood :D), I also got some money for my Wii (that is, if they ever are available), and the chance of hosting a birthday party with a lot of old friends and some drinks (which could've been pleasant, if I hadn't canceled it). This is all good, but it didn't have to be my birthday for me to get all of this. I'll appreciate gifts all year long, no need for special stuff in this one day I celebrate the anniversary of me coming out of the womb :p. Guess it's a day to enjoy, anyway...

And in that mood, I went to eat some sushi with my three best friends. There's this place where I can eat all the sushi I want for around $19(in dollars) which isn't that bad. My favorites (nigiri) are anago (sea eel) and unagui (sweet water eel), which are simply delicious. Which are yours? :p

Spring Break vacation is now happening, with a full 1 (one) week of rest. Time to evaluate my future. I am now in doubt of where and what I'm going to major in. Psychology has been working, it's fun most of the time, but the way it approaches most of the topics is simply not believable. I'm going to try studying medicine, since most of the classes seem enjoyable to me, and follow the path towards Psychiatry. My arguments for this are strange and complicated, but it's a decision I have to make.

About the effects of sleep deprivation. If you came here looking for scientific facts you will be mildly displeased, because I'll post those later, not now :P. The thing is, I gathered with my classmates to test the effects of sleep deprivation, applying mental skill tests before and after. I still have to interpret the results but it was a hell of a lot of fun. I wasn't a test subject, I was an observer, so I got to sleep in the afternoon. We gathered in an apartment and just played DOA and Smash Bros. Melee for hours, saw a couple of movies, listened to some music and even played Pictionary. After 24 hours of no sleep I applied some tests. I'll post the results later. It's pretty fun learning stuff like this, actually :p

Oh, I'm flying to cancun, I'll get another stepmania song done when I come back, and I'll try to post a song of the week before I leave. Have a fun Spring Break*.

*Only where available :p

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

(Stepmania) Song of the Week 24/03/2007 Message - Yoko

Catchy technostyle jpop song (kinda like Zankoku na Tenshi no Teize, from Evangelion), I decided to make it into a Stepmania file. The reasons why are contained in my previous Stepmania songs... post.

It's just catchy, nothing supremely artistic about this one. Also, I like making songs no one else is going to do :P. This anime is not very well known, so this song was going to suffer the same destiny, but I hope this fun file gives you some minutes of enjoyment.

As I said previously, I took on this song with a different approach. It comes in a 3-5-7 difficulty flavor, to please most of the people. Most of the people who play on pad anyway, which is the real way of playing Stepmania. If you want to add challenge difficulty "steps" for keyboard be my guest. Light and Medium steps are more "rhythmic" and have a fun feeling, and the Heavy ones are sync'd to the melody (voice&keyboard mainly).

The song isn't available in most places as a tv size (and after noticing the tv recording in mono was a piece of crap) so I used audacity to cut my own again, just like I did in Kimi ga Sora Datta, so this wasn't a problem. Video encoding made easy by Virtualdub too. For some reason the Stepmania player crops the video file left and right borders but this isn't my fault, I also used this ratio so the karaoke was viewable (this is NOT my karaoke, it's from WinD fansubs) no matter what skin you use. Also for some reason Stepmania readjusts the BG image I cut (which is from the ED btw). Well, all in all it wasn't too hard, a couple of mistakes took a lot of time, but it ended up in a fun song. I got AA in level 7 with pad, so it's possible :P.

Uploaded to bemanistyle (had to edit audio bitrate to reduce file size to 9.99 mb :P). Reg. required, but it's a great database for Stepmania files, especially anime. For non anime files you can try flashflashrevolution.

You can download this song by looking into my bemanistyle profile, here.

As for my next songs, I don't know. I'm thinking of remaking songs that I think have terrible steps or are keyboard only... I'll decide when I have some more free time:P

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New Stepmania Songs...

So I figured most people come here looking for stepmania songs, among other things. So I guess it's time to please the crowds.

I had three upcoming projects, a random anime song, Love is in the Air by John Paul Young, and All Star by Smash Mouth. Not really my favorite songs, but should be fun to play in Stepmania.

After a quick 1 person poll, and a bemanistyle/flashflashrevolution checkup. I decided to go for random anime song, which quickly transformed into Yoko's Message (OP from Soukou no Strain). It's a j-pop techno style mecha anime song, so you know what to expect, should be more step friendly than my previous vocal step attempts. I'm using a different approach in this one. Expect a post when finished. Should be up tomorrow, I got free time :D

Stepping... Complete
Video... Done
Misc Images... Victory
Uploading... right now

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Kanon 2006

Well I have been busy the last couple of days, so no posts. Why? I was busy finishing Kanon 2006.

Short intro. Kanon 2006 was originally a Hentai game with a very minimal amount of Hentai (or so I've heard... that version of the game seems nonexistant now). The game was rereleased with all-family-viewable content (meaning: no nudity, etc).

There was a 13 ep. anime adaptation from the rereleased version of the game. Spanning only 13 ep. it could only include key moments from the game's plot, and not the full story.

Someone somewhere (Kyoto Animation) saw the potential in Kanon and decided to rerelease it in 2006 (so the viewers adopted it as Kanon 2006 or maybe only me), with a whole 24 eps. containing most of the game story.

Music is pretty much the same from the old Kanon games, maybe a couple of new arrangements. It's pretty fitting most of the time, but I really don't like the OP (Last Regrets). ED is fine. Also, I like how the episode titles make a musical allusion to the episode (canon, partita, fuga, serenade to mention a few). And the ep. where they talk a bit about Pachelbel's canon in D major, such a beautiful song, but anyway...

The animation is gorgeus. I rarely care about this issue. To me, good animation is a nice addition to most series, but it isn't imperative. Bad animation, however, can really harm a series by making it less enjoyable. This is all my opinion, a lot of people may differ. However, most people will agree with me that the animation here is just wonderful, excels anything I've seen.

The story is beautiful. It has crying moments, and laughing moments. It's just a matter of time before you fall in love with most of the characters. They are stereotypes after all, you are bound to like at least one of them. I'm going to have to mention that I really loved the Makoto story, by ep. 10 (and I'll remain spoilerless -for the next few words-) I had tears flowing down my neck, it was just great. Right now thinking on that part of the story, I'm getting very nostalgic, heh. The ending is just one of those bittersweet endings that fits everyone, liked it. (spoiler 1 cm away from this -> Why do they have to cut their hair?)

Whatever, that's the part I really liked, the rest of them are great. Near the ending it got wonderful again (veeery emotional), the ending ep. was full of mixed feelings. I do believe that Shiori's part was the least enjoyable, with how they handle the ending of it. Nevertheless, I still like her, along with the rest of the characters.

There is a problem with the whole story though, and it's that the feeling of the game is still there. Basically, in the game you can take the path of any girl you like. Here, you have to watch all of the paths, and this sort of harem gives a very unnatural feeling to the plot. It is a nice adaptation though, keeping these thoughts to the minimum. Too much going around to focus on that.

I could compare Kanon quickly to Rumbling Hearts (KGNE, Kiminozo, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien): I liked Kanon more. The magical elements unearthed feelings that Rumbling Hearts couldn't, however, they are different and this comparison would require much more depth than I have time to write :p

I believe Yuuichi is a great lead, I feel identified with his kind of personality. Sarcastic and mean at times, yet helps anyone who's in need (and as Yuuichi says, that sounds like a personality that brings a lot of trouble (oh and it does :p)). Yuuichi was improved from the previous versions, his design was horrible and lacked the style this new version gave him. His voice acting is nice too, as well as the voice acting in Kanon in general, they really shine in the emotional moments. Btw, if he sounds to you like Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, you got it right. Horie Yue repeats the Ayu role and if she sounds to you like Honda Tohru from Fruits Basket, you got it right, AND a sharp ear :).

I do recommend Kanon if you want to see a slice of life, supernatural, and revive a bit of your feelings and ideas towards love; or if you like crying or strong emotions (and anime can take you there) then you probably will fall for this one :p. Life's a canon, bound to infinitely repeat itself with small changes.

Favorite Episode: 10 (Umm. Makoto's story climax)
Overall: 9.3
Closing comments: uguu~
More closing comments: auuu~
Even more closing comments: No need for more, I think I said everything. :D Comment otherwise.
neop's additional closing comments: nyuu~

note: I'll put pictures up in a while.
note2: Done. Not very representative, but nice 10 min. finds.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Song of the Week 15/03/2007 The Seatbelts - Wo Qui Non Coin

Hey, time for another song of the week, before I lose myself in the world of psychology journal articles.

The Seatbelts is the name of the band that performed the music for Cowboy Bebop. Both their music and Cowboy Bebop (ranking around #3 in my personal favorites) are a beauty, but in this occasion let's focus on the music.

Names that shine within the Seatbelts are Yoko Kanno, composer of many many anime music tracks. Tsuneo Imahori on the guitar (composer of Trigun's OST), Mai Yamane as singer on some songs, and a guest musician spam (who do a great job on most of the songs). Highly Jazzy, with incredible style, the music just helps Cowboy Bebop flow nicely. There's a great number of tracks that shine, and will probably be up for future songs of the week, but for now I'll just take a personal favorite: Wo Qui Non Coin.

Do not expect to find the most artistically beautiful song from Bebop in this track, it's just a personal favorite. It's playful, the rhythm just flows (it sticks into your head :P), and it helps the scene in Cowboy Bebop in a great way; you could say it's Ed's Theme ;) . I'd post a picture of that moment, but *someone* has my Bebop DVD.

Oh btw, the Seatbelts (or Gabriela Robin, the lyricist in this case), in this playful "we are a band from 2071, the Seatbelts" concept, went as far as creating languages for the songs of this Anime, or maybe just messing up existing languages. In this case, around half of the song is sung in japanese, and the other half in some sort of meaningless french, very amusing, actually; put is up as my MSN nick, got some people telling me that my french was... mediocre haha.

Oh, the singer from this song is Ed's voice actress, Aoi Tada, I believe ^^.

The Seatbelts - Wo Qui Non Coin
Source (whom I deliberately borrow their lyrics :P):

Hanamogeraed by: Aoi Tada (Yes, that's what the booklet says. ^^;;)

Lyrics by: Gabriela Robin

Romanized by: Priya Monrad/Tommy Pedrini

boku no koinu ga
inaku natta
shiroi ashi shiroi shippo
zutto issho datta no ni

boku no koinu ga
inaku natta
shiroi mimi shiroi senaka
itsumo issho datta no ni

boku wa kawaita namida de
mainichi kurashite'ru
hayaku kaette kite

ame no hi mo kaze no hi mo
mainichi sanpo shite ageru

dakara hayaku
hayaku kaette kite

*Translatable up to here

j'eu suis sa mosokona
wichet de bous sobleu
que se apusizi lepou zi ne
j'eu mi si tu lamour, tu lamour chet moi
j'eu suis sa mosokona
ruchet de bous sobleu
que se apusizi lepou zi ne
j'eu mi si tu lamour, tu lamour chet moi
adetu la mien ka fe tu notra
abelru hii ri soa
a lamour
andetu la rien ka fe tu notra
abelru hii ri sora
a lamour
j'eu me tu lire ti la me tushe kyuela
j'eu suis sa mosokona
wichet de bous sobleu
que se apusizi lepou zi ne
j'eu mi si tu lamour, tu lamour chet moi
j'eu suis la mo saa (ahh ahh...)

Translated part:

My puppy
isn't here
he has white feet and a white tail
we were together all the time

my puppy
isn't here
he has white ears and a white back
even though we were always together

My tears have dried up
everyday I hope
come back

rainy days and windy days
but everyday I know
I want you

so hurry, come back


This song is used in Cowboy Bebop Session 24, Hard Luck Woman.

Full credits if you check
There may be mistakes in the aberrated french part, that would be because it's a phonetic attempt at capturing the lyrics, be nice :P

edit: fixed some errata and CSS column gimping, by removing the columns ;)

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Song of the Week 10/03/2007 Calipso/Fine de un Viaggio - Le Orme

Oh a morning update, well almost.

This week's song is Le Orme's Fine de un Viaggio, in English, The End of the Trip or something like that (I don't really know any Italian). It's the second-to-last song in the album, and is sort of a closing song.

Le Orme is a band belonging to the Italian Progressive Rock genre. Again, this song is not really a faithful representation of all the bands' music. Prog. Rock tends to get crazy and keyboard-y, however, most of these bands write wonderful ballads as well. This song is one of the latter.

My favorite part is the last instrumental minute. Very nice. I can't really say much about the lyrics, since most of them I'm just guessing their meaning (I would appreciate some translations, they seem to be hard to find :().

Another prize goes to the previous track from the same album (Le Orme's Florian). Calipso is a very sweet ballad, and I think it connects perfectly to the next song (Fine de un Viaggio, described above), that's why I think they should go together in the song of the week category; also, it used to be my most played song. BTW, most of the album seems to have references from the Odyssey, so this song is inspired by the goddess Calypso, interesting eh?

I'll be including the lyrics from now on. These need an almost good & almost impossible to find translation though, at least for my degree of laziness.

Le Orme - Calipso

Poiché riconosco la tua canzone e il disegno sul tuo telaio
a te rivolgo, dolce Calipso, questo mio pensiero,
non sono un'austera divinità, ma solo un uomo che sta seguendo la via
illuminata dalla tua immensa statua.
Dona libertà per il tuo amato eroe accolto e poi nutrito
ora è molto triste, sai, rivuole la sua terra
anche se la notte era tanto calda sotto la bandiera di stelle.
Ora una barca ha costruito sotto il sole rosso e spietato
ha innalzato la bianca vela e aspetta sereno
il tuo soffio di vento.
Dona libertà per il tuo amato eroe, amico dei tuoi sogni,
ora si è svegliato, sai, non può aspettare il giorno,
anche se la notte era tanto calda sotto la bandiera di stelle.

Le Orme - Fine de un Viaggio

Il lungo viaggio che hai fatto è terminato qui
dal tuo sonno ora ti dovrai svegliare.
Io ti lascio al tuo destino, non ti servo più,
la mia nave ha invertito la sua rotta.
Smetti di sognare, amico,
e ricorda che domani è già oggi, per questo io ti dico:
Cambia, Mister Tambourine Man, a me non servi più,
la tua nave magica è un relitto ormai.
Lascia il tuo tamburo e vai in cerca di altri suoni
le tue ombre inutili nessuno segue più.
La nuova strada è già tracciata e la percorrerò
più sicuri sono ora i passi miei.
Le risate verso il sole
ora fanno solamente paura, per questo io ti dico:
Cambia, Mister Tambourine Man, a me non servi più,
la tua nave magica è un relitto ormai.
Lascia il tuo tamburo e vai in cerca di altri suoni
le tue ombre inutili nessuno segue più.

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

About the importance of webcomics...

There are times in life when you need to achieve a laugh in around 10 secs. Normally, quick jokes while interacting with people can solve this sudden urge. However, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays bring a laughter from the ideas of Randall Munroe. His webcomic, titled xkcd, that can be found here, is in many occasions a reliable source of laughter.

Thanks to the friends who introduced me to this, *cough neop.

My personal favorites:

And some more, but I can only remember these from a quick archive lookup :P Maybe I'll edit if I stumble across another one of my favorites :P

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Saturday, March 3, 2007

Air Gear

A simple review for a simple anime.

Starting with a score of 10.
-2 for Ikki being the stereotypical shonen dumbass, who always seems to win.
+1 for the Air Treck coolness factor.
+1 for the love Ringo shows towards Ikki.
-1 for censoring stuff I probably wouldn't even notice in the first place.
+.5 for Agito's "Fuck!" spam which is very amusing to me lol (FUCK-uh).
-1 for random irrational stuff (legends? kings? regalia? wtf?)
-1 for tricking me (and my friend) into believing the series would actually end at 25 eps.
+1 Did I mention AT's were cool?
-1 for the Sleeping Forest not training Ikki for no apparent reason.
-1000000 for Simca cutting her hair for no apparent reason.

Total score: -999992.5

Sadly, nothing is as simple in life:P.

Ok where to start. Well, the main character, Ikki is not really bothersome or anything (Naruto anyone) but he is just the typical shonen lead. It's not THAT bad, but seeing the same stereotype for a shonen main character is... shameful.

That aside, the supporting cast is not that bad. Not much to say there. I like Ringo, the fatsos are sometimes funny and Kazu is a smart rider, Agito... well, guess you can like him at times, and some other times he's pretty annoying. :p About the Sleeping Forest girls in particular... well, Ume is too young to be able to do anything, 11 years old seems absurd for an AT rider of a legendary team; and the other two are just there for the looks, but they're censored anyway (?).

The music doesn't seem to suit my taste.

Animation is OK I guess, not that I care much.

The Air Trecks are simply cool, period, who doesn't want a pair already?

The story... ugh. There's simply too much silly legends and stuff about riders which really seem laughable to me. I don't know in what direction this series will expand but when they get to explaining these issues (Trophaeum Tower and all that crap) it will probably be something... curiously funny:P

Well. People are free to comment this one, as I wrote a pretty lazy review:P

Favorite Episode: 20 (Agito & Ikki vs. Behemoth battle climax)
Overall: 7.5
Closing comments: Air Trecks are really cool. If a typical shonen hero doesn't bother you and you think the Air Trecks are cool, you'll probably love it:P. The censorship is pretty stupid. Let's see if this series is going to release another set of episodes, because as of now the story is...{END OF REVIEW}

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Song of the Week 01/03/2007 Therion - Siren of the Woods

HMMMMM. Long time no see, heh. Ugh I neglected the song of the week last week, let's just say a stepmania song counts as two:P (2=4, ask any real mathematician).

Well this week's winner goes to a song I hadn't heard in a while. So what is Therion umm... Wikipedia says it "is a Swedish symphonic metal band" so I guess you could say that.

About Siren of the Woods... it's possibly one of the slowest songs by them (by now you know I like the slow songs:P) but it's a great mind trip. Starts with some guitars and blends in some other instruments, and some vocals (in some strange languages btw), for a seemingly eternal song. Merit goes to this song because it can seem so repetitive yet it submerges me into it's world for the 10 min. it lasts.

Surely a musical representation of a visit to the siren of the woods. It's pretty cool.

Expect some more jokes this weekend. Maybe. If I'm not busy enough :P

NOTE: Blog got a bit of a face lift, it now includes most of the features I wanted it to have. But it's still not complete. WTF.. I wrote this note to write something important but I already forgot.. well guess that's me at my finest. Well whatever, soon some nice CSS modifying because using templates is not my thing, whatever... Have fun. Do what you want, be stupid for a while, then go to a library and compensate the stupidity with books.

NOTE2: I remembered. I forgot to add labels:P

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