This month a pre-order I placed months ago for a figurine arrived, along with a couple of others I ordered at the same time. There’s some pictures on my Twitter if you care to see them. Worth it I guess, I’ve got the money. I was surprised nobody I knew passed judgement for gay-ass anime girl figurines.
I watched Pop Team Epic (ポプテピピック） as it was airing. If you can’t appreciate some really avant-garde surrealist humor you might not like it. I thought it was pretty good. A lot of crazy meta-jokes. When I first heard about it (through physical advertisements in Akihabara!), I’ll admit I had no clue how they were going to make it into an anime. But they did somehow and it turned out pretty decent. They gave these guys 24 minutes to make whatever they wanted, and it turns out it’s 12 minutes of whatever they wanted but twice. Go give it a shot, you might like it.
Apart from that I’ve just been up to the usual stuff: work and counterstrike. Follow my Twitch channel if you like to watch people play video games instead of playing them yourself. I’ve also got a vacation planned in a couple of weeks to Las Vegas/Grand Canyon/the Southwest, so maybe that will be fun.
More cartoon book reviews —
I wanted to write an update on the stuff I’ve been reading so…
I finished reading the main series of Nichijou (日常）. It’s a great light-hearted comedy manga, but if you can’t appreciate the absurdist kind of humor it features you might not like it, it took me a bit to get into it. If you’re looking for something fun to read I’d totally recommend it. I was something I enjoyed reading during those isolated evenings down in the Mojave desert. The manga almost seems like it was written to be made into an anime with how animated it is. I haven’t watched it though, maybe sometime soon. Helvetica Standard (ヘルベチカスタンダード） is like the DVD bonus features for the manga, I picked it up and you should too if you liked it.
I finished all six volumes of Mysterious Girlfriend X (謎の彼女Ｘ ‘Nazo no Kanojo X’) as well. It’s a bit of a longer read but if you wanted to read a romance manga I’d absolutely recommend it. Unlike some others I’ve read I liked how it set the story up for drama but instead of things turning bad everything resolves in a nice wholesome manner, it was almost refreshing. The story was kind of slow and doesn’t make a lot of progression so if you wanted a riveting story that keeps you going for the next volume you might not like it. On the other hand, if you want a sweet, loving, fun story to read you’ll like it as much as I did. There’s an anime too but I haven’t seen it. Considering how many volumes of manga there were I would imagine they cut out quite a bit.
I’m up to volume 4 of Aho Girl (アホガール）. I’ll admit I’m only reading it because of the memes. If you want a fun 4-koma comedy manga it’s pretty good.
K-On! (けいおん!） is another series I started reading. It’s a nice fun little manga with cure girls doing cute things. It’s only four thin volumes so it’s not terribly long.
I also picked up a bunch of doujins at Comiket 93 when I was in Japan over Christmas. It was super cool but I don’t really have any reviews to write.
I got HTTPS working on all my website thanks to Let’s Encrypt! Props to them for being free and painless (except trying to figure how to get this to work with vhosts, that’s my fault).
Photo gallery —
Since I’ve been getting into photography I’ve put some of my favorites in a gallery go check it out here.
Chinese cartoon books —
I wanted to do a writeup on the mangas I’ve been reading. Since I’ve been spending most of my time in the Mojave desert (what I call the shit-ass desert), I’ve had spare time to read these. As much as I’ve been willing to carry in my backpack anyway, but I’ve got good at traveling light.
I picked up Nichijou (日常） for reasons I can’t remember. It took me a bit to get into its absurdist sense of humor but it’s pretty funny once you get past the expectation that it’s supposed to make sense. It’s something fun to read at the airport.
I picked up the first volume of Your Name (君の名は ‘Kimi no Na wa’) but I haven’t read it yet since I think I should watch the movie first. I’ve heard it’s really good so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve really liked Shinkai Makoto’s previous films. ‘Looking forward to it’ but the only reason I haven’t seen it is due to my laziness lol.
I read the manga version of 5 Centimeters Per Second (秒速5センチメートル ‘Byousoku 5 Centimeter’) . It’s quite a bit longer than the anime and expands the story a couple of chapters. Maybe it’s because I’m in a different place in my life now, or maybe because the manga expanded a lot on the anime, but it hit me a lot harder emotionally. I’d really recommend it. Watch the anime first for the beautiful visuals, but read the manga for the story. The final chapter really made it, a much more positive ending, or at least more ambiguous and not as negative.
On the recommendation of PaperChazz I’ve been reading Mysterious Girlfriend X (謎の彼女Ｘ ‘Nazo no Kanojo X’). I’d agree with him that it’s a really great romance manga. If you just read the synopsis of the story it might seem like this weird drool-centric story, but it’s really great. I’m on volume 4 right now. If it seems interesting to you go check it out.
That’s all I can think of for now.
I have a new domain name: chihaya.moe. Something coming there soon.
I’ve been down in the Mojave desert most of the time.
I have moved my server over to a Linux box (running Debian). The most important thing is that this means NO MORE CRASHERINO. Server 2003 is getting a little old anyway.
This site hit one hundred thousand hits a while ago, so that’s cool. It’s almost 10 years old too. Thanks to everyone who has visited my site, I think there might actually be one or two human beings.
I’ve been meaning to write a news post on what’s going on over the last half a year, but I haven’t found the time or motivation to do so. I’ve been trying to keep myself as busy as possible so I don’t have time to think or work on this site. There’s a lot of things I’d like to write.
I upgraded my computer, GeForce 1080 FTW and a new monitor, I should do the CPU soon.
I bought and beat The Witness, it was a pretty decent puzzle game. It also head beautiful visuals.
Work has been busy and it sucks anyway, I hate waking up so early in the morning. At least I’ve got all this money, and nothing to spend it on.
If you’re more interested in frequent updates (you’re not) you can check out my Twitter and Twitch, links are on the left.
Boku wa Mari no Naka —
So for the last year or two I’ve been reading a manga called Inside Mari (ぼくは麻理のなか ‘Boku wa Mari no Naka’). It was really good and I’d recommend it, but the ending wasn’t so good. It ended just a few weeks ago and I feel kind of disappointed. It’s a gender bender but also some sort of drama/mystery, and it kept pulling the cocktease chapter after chapter and after so long of wondering what the mystery is it just pulls a ‘it was all in ure head :^)’. So I dunno, it could have a better ending I guess. Too bad they didn’t make a physical English version, I’d totally buy it.
Also I made a small update to the reverse image searcher to fix a small issue with ExHentai.
Halo 1+2 Review and other things —
If you watch my stream, I recently played though the campaigns of Halo and Halo 2, on the original Xbox. This started because my computer was doing it’s CS:GO crashing issue (which I solved with a 50% GPU underclock), but once I started I felt like I should keep going. Playing them now, over a decade after they came out, and casually, feels like it gave me a more objective look at how good they are, without any nostalgia effects.
I think that Halo probably edged out Halo 2, which was the opposite of my previous opinion. They were both good, and suffered from the same flaws, but I think the first one was a little better. It’s hard to place my finger on it, but it had a better ‘feel’ to it, like it wasn’t quite so serious, and focused more on good game play and experiences than a good story. One think I noticed in both of them (but maybe more in Halo) was that the level design was very repetitive. so many levels were repeats of earlier ones, or ‘do the level then go backwards through the whole thing’. It wasn’t too bad, but it feels like they did it just to stretch the game out longer. Even on a smaller scale, especially in Halo, the same encounter in the same type of room, over and over again.
Still, there were a few levels that hit it out of the park. ‘Sacred Icon’, in Halo 2, really had amazing level design. So many of the other levels felt bland and empty (probably due to hardware limitations), but this level looked amazing. Maybe it was just because the lack of open areas meant they could pack a lot of detail into the level geometry, but it really came close to the level of the concept art and the design and feel of the level really tickled my pickle.
‘Truth and Reconciliation’ was another great level (from Halo). But, this might be my bias speaking since this was the first level I ever played. The first time I played Halo, or any Xbox game for that matter, I played on this level, at a friend’s house maybe 2003-ish. I remember being blown away by the graphics, especially the flashlights. It also didn’t suffer from the repetitiveness that I mentioned. I might also be biased because I’ve read the books (and know the backstory), and because Halo was ‘the original’.
Apart from that, I’ve been streaming some other games (mostly CS:GO). 4th of July celebrations went well, similar to last year. Work has also been keeping me busy (unfortunately). I’ve got money now from that but I can’t bring myself to spend it on anything.
Apart from those, I ain’t been doing nothing interesting.