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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:33 pm 
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Happy birthday to Aaarrrgh!


Totally minor note: Given that nobody else ever makes a fuss about meat in the show, I started to think that Ginko's species might actually be obligate herbivores. I mean, she looks human but technically she's not. But maybe it's another artifact of the show having a strong message but mercifully never preaching.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:07 pm 
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With my HiDive subscription, I decided to start watching Land of the Lustrous, since the manga has so captivated me. I had previously heard it described as "the first good-looking CG anime" and... I guess? I think the world of Land of the Lustrous is a perfect fit for CGI, since the main characters are all living gemstones (I would describe it as "Steven Universe in true animé form), but there's something about it that's just a little off-putting to me. It is absolutely brilliant to see it in color and in motion, though, and there's already been a few times that I've just been blown away by the animation, but I'm not sure if it wins me over on art style alone.

QUICKEDIT: I should add that I've chosen to watch it dubbed, because the animation style already reminds me of RWBY and this way I can focus more on the animation itself and have a bit of fun making those connections.

I feel the biggest flaw (pun intended) in the adaptation is the pacing for the show is really lopsided. It seems to crawl in moments and then leaps in others, and the unmoored nature of how time feels it actually passes causes this weird temporal vertigo where things seem like they move quick, but there's no real sense of time passing.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:42 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
I feel the biggest flaw (pun intended) in the adaptation is the pacing for the show is really lopsided. It seems to crawl in moments and then leaps in others, and the unmoored nature of how time feels it actually passes causes this weird temporal vertigo where things seem like they move quick, but there's no real sense of time passing.

I'll agree with you there, but I think that's mostly a byproduct of how the manga handles time. It is implied that the gems all experience their lives rather slowly, and the frequent use of what I'm just going to call "still frames" (panels usually focused just on one character, without any dialogue) always gave me the impression that they were standing in that position for hours at a time.

Personally I think the show would have benefited from having more of that in actuality. The one time I've seen it so far didn't actually make sense in-context, as it shifted the sky from evening to night in an instant while dialogue was taking place, leading to that temporal vertigo you were talking about where you can't get a grasp on how much time is even supposed to be passing.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:55 am 
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Animal Crossing New Horizons is one heck of a drug.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:38 pm 
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My hours just got cut, supposedly for the next two weeks, but I fully expect it to be this way for several months as the local situation worsens.

To clarify: I work in an orthopedic clinic -- an outpatient clinic that mostly deals with chronic pain such as arthritis -- and the practice has already shifted into seeing "critical patients only" as long as they pass the poor "screening" (basically just a questionaire asking if the patient has any symptoms/traveled/been exposed to someone). Our patient load right now is less than a third of what it normally would be, so it makes sense that we don't need as many x-ray techs on-site at all times.

Management wants to reduce us to the bare minimum necessary, it seems, though. With only a few hours' heads-up, we'll be going to 2 on-site rad techs a day (instead of the usual 5), starting tomorrow. Because of how particular certain doctors are, I'm only going in Mondays and Fridays. They're going to pay us, technically, because we'll be using up our PTO for this. I cant recall if I told you all here before, but last week there was a meeting to discuss the situation, and they're of course "generously" letting employees go into negative PTO up to -16. Luckily for me, I have a lot of PTO saved up (some 170 hours of it), but because things are going to get worse before they get better, I expect that I'm going to be out of PTO before we get over this.

--------

I can't remember if I mentioned this, but I recently went down a bit of a nostalgia trip after discovering the first four (out of I really don't know how many; maybe there were only four) Inuyasha movies have been made free to watch on youtube (like, officially, on the YouTube Movies channel), and I just learned that the original Ghost in the Shell movies have also been made free to watch even more recently. The GITS movie is unfortunately in Japanese, with captions (not subtitles, but youtube's caption system) from the English-dubbed script, meaning there's a lot of weirdness going on between the dialogue and captions. Still, it's GITS, and if you haven't seen it, it's well worth a watch.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:17 pm 
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I guess the bright side is that you're not being pressed into emergency service out of your depth because the need is that great.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:04 pm 
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I guess the bright side is that you're not being pressed into emergency service out of your depth because the need is that great.

For now, though that is a possibility I was made aware of during that same meeting I mentioned. I can't recall the wording off-hand, but from what I remember, they were allowing volunteers to be sent to specific testing sites for now, but that management may end up ordering us to these sites in the future.

So that's a helluva bridge that I'm not going to worry about until I come to it. I was already told by a survey to limit my pandemic-related news and discussion.

Oh, yeah, speaking of, UT Austin (AFAIK, that means University of Texas's Austin campus) psychiatrists put together a survey that gives personalized scores and advice based on how much this whole thing is affecting your life. I can go find a link to post if anyone is interested.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:11 pm 
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I'm mildly interested, but realistically doubt I'd take it due to technical limitations on my platforms, but I say go ahead and post it.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:04 pm 
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I'm not sure why I said "psychiatrists" when it's "psychologists," but here's the link to The Pandemic Project homepage. There are two buttons for the survey I mentioned, plus an additional button for resources (mostly filled with helpful hints and links to help manage stress) as well as a link to assorted other personality tests (it says "experimental," so I'm assuming they aren't the typical personality tests everyone knows).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:37 am 
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First, thank you so for the birthday wishes! It was a very chill and low-key birthday without any kind of party (for obvious reasons), my wife made carrot cake and basically let me play video games all day. So it was good.

I'm nowhere near any virus hotspots, I'm on an island with a population of 60,000 with only 5 confirmed cases, but people are still being very cautious. My wife works at a restaurant which has seen a significant drop in customers (made even worse by the fact that most of their regulars are University students who now are getting their teaching online). Fortunately, Sweden has a great system of government-sponsored paid leave for parents, and we hadn't used all of ours up (and you are required to use most of it before the children turn for, which will be in August). So because she's basically redundant right now, she's temporarily a stay-at-home mom while I'm also doing my school work from home. It's definitely a major shakeup, but we know it could be so much worse.

I hope all of you will also find solutions that work to get you through this time.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 3:33 pm 
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I've been at a loss as to what to do with myself today. It still doesn't "feel" like I'm off of work, even though I know I'm not going in until Friday. I guess it might be because we're currently only scheduling out this week and the next.

--------

I watched to the end of Land of the Lustrous, though. There are still a lot of little places where the CGI just makes me go "oof" -- the asura-dog-thing in particular, considering the design is obviously supposed to be fluffy and cloudlike -- but I still think it's the perfect style for the world of Land of the Lustrous, plus I took notice of several scenes which could be done so easily in CG (such as re-using "footage" but from a completely different camera angle so that it doesn't look like the same scene) that would be tons of extra work in traditional media, that made me appreciate the style all the more. I hope in a few years (as I understand it, the animation company is currently doing the very-popular Beastars for at least one more season) it gets another season, because I really like the manga and am keeping up with it.

Something I also took notice of was the background music. I liked a lot of the background music used for the show, and may look into whomever was behind that so I can hear more of their work. I just don't feel at all qualified to really talk about music in a critical sense, even for how it fits in another medium such as animation, so I don't know whether "noticing" the background music should even be considered a good or bad thing.

--------

Incidentally, as I discovered that Land of the Lustrous is apparently seinen, that's been the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I have no idea what qualifies as seinen anymore. My introduction to the concept was the series Monster, which has such a mature and grounded concept (a doctor chooses to save a young kid dying of a brain tumor over the son of an influential politician, and kid grows up to be a serial killer) that I basically dismissed anything that didn't measure up as "not seinen." Goblin Slayer is even labeled seinen, and from the outside looking in, that series just looks like the most hardboiled, blood-and-gore-for-the-sake-of-it immature drek that characterized the 90s "dark ages" of American comic books.

--------

Also I watched the Escaflowne movie that I bought for like three dollars a while back. It was... something, I guess. Looking up a review after the fact, apparently the movie was a lackluster alternative-reality story using the same characters as the show Visions of Escaflowne. I certainly didn't get it.

--------

As Interspecies Reviewers is close to wrapping up, I've come to realize why it's making such a big splash, even aside from the obvious (she's got huge... tracts of land). The world that it builds is really consistent in ways that almost no other high-fantasy setting with a dozen different races is. Like, in one of the first few episodes the main characters go to a faerie (fairy?) brothel, so they have to be measured because of the physiological limitations of the fairies (faeries?) themselves. Much later, they spend a day with basically the plot of A Spell Called Catherine, where an really powerful archmage is, for a pittance of a fee, allowing you to fulfill pretty much any fantasy with copies of herself, and it's also revealed that said archmage is basically collecting data (and, uhm... "samples") from her clients without their permission, furthering her own magical research. It's still a raunchy as hell series, but it has some legitimate worldbuilding that's frequently overlooked in other fantasy series.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:01 pm 
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I think it's best to remember that Seinen describes, more than anything, a target demographic and not a genre. To say a show is Seinen means it's written primarily for adult audiences, which could mean a compelling, mature drama or could mean a hard-R gorefest or a raunchy comedy that's considered too much for the teen bracket. Similarly, Shounen means targeted primarily at teen boys, which is often an action punchfest with heavy fanservice, but not always. And so on with Josei, Shoujo, and Kodomo. I had serious trouble with those designations until I got through my head that while they might bring different baggage with them than demographics do in the west, they weren't genres either.

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I'm a (self) published author now! You can find my first book, The Accursed, on Amazon as an ebook or a paperback!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:03 pm 
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Something I also took notice of was the background music. I liked a lot of the background music used for the show, and may look into whomever was behind that so I can hear more of their work. I just don't feel at all qualified to really talk about music in a critical sense, even for how it fits in another medium such as animation, so I don't know whether "noticing" the background music should even be considered a good or bad thing.

I think noticing it would be judged entirely on how you felt it contributed to the scene. Personally, I felt it established a tone and fed into a lot of the visual motifs to create an thematic aesthetic throughline.
It contributed to the feel of a series that is more sparse with its visual inspirations.

Quote:
Also I watched the Escaflowne movie that I bought for like three dollars a while back. It was... something, I guess. Looking up a review after the fact, apparently the movie was a lackluster alternative-reality story using the same characters as the show Visions of Escaflowne. I certainly didn't get it.

What a lot of people don't get is that Escaflowne was actually a multi media project with several teams operating independently. The show, manga, and movie are all alternate universe tellings of the same core story, but every team brought vastly different elements to the table. There was a broad outline and some key design sheets, but otherwise, the teams had autonomous independence to interpret their story as they liked.

Quote:
As Interspecies Reviewers is close to wrapping up, I've come to realize why it's making such a big splash, even aside from the obvious (she's got huge... tracts of land). The world that it builds is really consistent in ways that almost no other high-fantasy setting with a dozen different races is. Like, in one of the first few episodes the main characters go to a faerie (fairy?) brothel, so they have to be measured because of the physiological limitations of the fairies (faeries?) themselves. Much later, they spend a day with basically the plot of A Spell Called Catherine, where an really powerful archmage is, for a pittance of a fee, allowing you to fulfill pretty much any fantasy with copies of herself, and it's also revealed that said archmage is basically collecting data (and, uhm... "samples") from her clients without their permission, furthering her own magical research. It's still a raunchy as hell series, but it has some legitimate worldbuilding that's frequently overlooked in other fantasy series.

I just started watching it since I found somewhere I could.
While I do feel some aspects maybe got a bit spicy, the comparison to OTHER series I know companies were involved in makes their 'standards' argument bull-****.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:56 pm 
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Eh, I'm generally not a fan of "multimedia projects," especially when they're scattered projects like you say. The results tend to be so scattershot that they're less enjoyable than a highly-directed piece, in my opinion.

Barinellos wrote:
I just started watching it since I found somewhere I could.
While I do feel some aspects maybe got a bit spicy, the comparison to OTHER series I know companies were involved in makes their 'standards' argument bull-****.

It took me a long time to parse this, as I tend to let most corporate-speak go in one ear and out the other. I never bought the "standards" argument for a single second, but I've not been able to figure out the real reason because of the storm of events surrounding it.

All of the normal possibilities can't be true because, as I heard, there were three entire episodes dubbed and published before it was pulled, and the amount of hands it had to go through for that process nullifies most of the standard aguments like "they didn't realize what they had bought the license for." The only two possibilities that I can come up with, is that either some executive at Sony took offense to it when they finally discovered it, or they were further trying to distance themselves from the Vic Mignogna scandal, somehow.

Like I said, I can't figure it out, even when it's usually easy to find out the REAL reason for companies to act like this *coughcoughGameStopcoughcough*


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:02 pm 
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I think I may be one of the only people not upset at Gamestop, possibly because A] Things really aren't that bad here and employees need work
and B] I know some people working there locally and they're grateful to still be working.


I mean, legitimately, I get the argument for it all in hard hit places, but in other places...

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:52 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
I think I may be one of the only people not upset at Gamestop, possibly because A] Things really aren't that bad here and employees need work
and B] I know some people working there locally and they're grateful to still be working.


I mean, legitimately, I get the argument for it all in hard hit places, but in other places...

I feel like you may not be aware of the insider news that came out last week. Things like GameStop trying to argue it was an "essential business" amid city- and state-wide shutdowns because they provide something like "emotional and mental support" for those stuck at home. That kind of **** really sticks in my craw when it was obvious to everyone and their mother that they were only staying open until Doom Crossing came out.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:15 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
I think I may be one of the only people not upset at Gamestop, possibly because A] Things really aren't that bad here and employees need work
and B] I know some people working there locally and they're grateful to still be working.


I mean, legitimately, I get the argument for it all in hard hit places, but in other places...

I feel like you may not be aware of the insider news that came out last week. Things like GameStop trying to argue it was an "essential business" amid city- and state-wide shutdowns because they provide something like "emotional and mental support" for those stuck at home. That kind of **** really sticks in my craw when it was obvious to everyone and their mother that they were only staying open until Doom Crossing came out.

No, I'm fully aware. I just can't fault a snake for being venomous.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:06 am 
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So, I managed to scream (well, more like a moan) in my sleep, become aware I was dreaming based on the sound, "wake up," get out of bed to confront someone in my living room, become aware again that I was still dreaming, sleep talk more coherently (as in, proper words), "wake up" a second time, get out of bed again, realize for the third time that I'm still dreaming, sleep talk in whole sentences complaining that I'm dreaming, give up, and go back to bed, all without actually waking up.

Needless to say, I was exhausted this morning.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:22 pm 
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So, I managed to scream (well, more like a moan) in my sleep, become aware I was dreaming based on the sound, "wake up," get out of bed to confront someone in my living room, become aware again that I was still dreaming, sleep talk more coherently (as in, proper words), "wake up" a second time, get out of bed again, realize for the third time that I'm still dreaming, sleep talk in whole sentences complaining that I'm dreaming, give up, and go back to bed, all without actually waking up.

Needless to say, I was exhausted this morning.

Oof. That sucks. I had a less than restful night myself because of strange dreams (including serving as bait to trap a serial killer for some reason...) but it doesn't sound as bad as yours.

I hope your day is restful, at least!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:55 pm 
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I feel like giving Yu Yu Hakusho another point of positive critique, after watching Genkai be given some time in the limelight. Having the trope of the old martial arts mentor be filled by an old woman is actually quite a good thing, as I recently saw someone pointing out that women just tend to not exist in anime once they're past their 20s. There are all sorts of examples of middle-aged men acting as mentors or villains or occasional helpful side-characters, but it's much, much rarer for middle-aged women to be found in those roles.

I think this is another artifact of the show's age, from before anime had really started its incestuous (by which I mean drawing inspiration from other anime rather than from outside sources) spiral down to the most marketable and shallow features, where most modern anime all share the exact same aesthetic and there are only about 4 body types among all the characters.

Or maybe I've just been too embedded in older anime to really be in-tune with the trends of modern anime. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to me it seems that the few exceptions just proves the rule due to the overwhelming majority.


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