Monday, May 30, 2005

Home on the Range

Yeah, new avatar. Range Murata rocks and needs to do more anime. Here's the full image:

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Found the image here:

Just got back from seeing Revenge of the Sith for the second time. It doesn't lose much in subsequent viewings, fortunately.

Batter Up

Justice League Unlimited - Episode 18: "The Balance"
And we come to the "Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl become friends again" episode. Flash was hilarious at the beginning as he always is. Hermes was also an amusing character, and it was funny to see them try to get around mentioning "hell". I found it rather hard to believe that WW would just try to steal Hawkgirl's mace. Speaking of which, Hawkgirl needs to go get a new costume. Or something. I never cared for felix as a villain, but he served his purpose this time around. It was pretty cool when Hades arrives and beats the crud out of him. What shall become of Tala I wonder? This is a real hit against Cadmus, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they'll do about it.
Rating: B

Samurai Champloo - Episode 3: "Hellhounds for Hire"
Funny start with Jin and Mugen making their escape from Fuu. Also amusing how they all end up meeting later at once. Jin and Mugen getting hired by opposite sides and ending up fighting each other was great, as was Jin's disguise. I can say this from experience; never mess with a crossdresser.
Rating: B+

Paranoia Agent - Episode 1: "Enter Lil' Slugger"
Vely intelesting.It does seem to be along the lines of FLCL and GitS:SAC. I have to wonder what the heck CN's problem with subtitles is. It could really help make the plot easier to understand. At any rate, it's very creepy and the dirty reporter is a much more interesting character to follow rather than the two police investigators. I'll keep watching this in hopes of a definitive ending.
Rating: B

Too lazy to review Gundam SEED Destiny and Trinity Blood. In short, both were good episodes.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Critics give my life 1.5 stars.

Anyone who plays the Star Wars RPg can check out two of the planets I'm using in my campaign here.

Lots of stuff on tonight. New Teen Tiatns, new JLU, premieres of Paranoia Agent, premiere of s-cry-ed and new Samurai Champloo. Too bad there's no SPD or WITCH.

Two weeks left of school. Exams are coming up and I'm going to see about exempting my Advanced Algebra and Language exams. I also have to get my Information Technology grade up to a C so I can pass well. I hate that class, we don't even do any information technology. The people in it are anooying as well. Oh well.

Got the last four paperbacks to the NJO today. Can't wait to start Force Heretic I: Remnant. the goal is to finish the series by the end of the school year. Since we'll be doing a lot of review in school for the rest of the year, I'll have plenty of reading time.

Ace out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Star Wars Literature

So yeah, in my exploration of the New Jedi Order, I just wrapped up Destiny's Way. At the moment, it's tied with Star By Star as my favorite book in the series, but that could change. Here's my ranking at the moment.

1. Star By Star/Destiny's Way
2. Traitor
3. Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
4. Balance Point
5. Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
5. Edge of Victory I: Conquest
6. Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial
7. Vector Prime
8. Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
9. Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
10. Dark Tide II: Ruin
11. Dark Journey
12. Dark Tide I: Onsalught

It's hard to rank 12 good books, so ranks 3-7 are all very close to each other.

The New Jedi Order is an excellent series, and I can't wait for the conclusion. Five books left to go.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Do YOU speak BOCCE??!!

Gundam SEED Destiny - Episode 30: The Fleeting Dream
Not much happens except for Shinn going against orders and returning Stellar. We get to see a bit more of Shinn's character, and we find that Neo seems to be genuinely a nice guy behind the mask. Also, we see the remains of the Saviour. it's safe to say that we'll be getting the new Justice soon; I imagine ZAFT will put in the order at the same time as the Destiny.
Rating: B-

Trinity Blood - Episodes 2 and 3: "Witch Hunt" & "Star of Sorrow Pt. 1"
Episode 2 was boring. We're introduced to the new droid character and there's some nutty plot involving a little girl. Yah, I don't care. Episode 3 was much better. Abel has some funny moments and we are introduced to Esther. She'll probably stick around, seeing as she's in the ending. I'm looking forward to seeing what this royal enemy guy is up to. I especially liked the part at the end where they face down the squad. Can't wait to see what happens to our hero.
Ep. 2 Rating: C+
Ep. 3 Rating: A-

Speaking of anime, Gunslinger Girl rawks.

I bought the Vol. 1 + box set last week. Nifty wallscroll that I might put up somewhere, though I think I'd be rather uncomfortable with a poster featuring adolescent girls in my bedroom. >_>;;

It's indeed a thinking man's anime and I can't help but be interested in all the various relationships. The first five episodes do a nice job of setting up the characters and I'm looking forward to seeing more of them. As with any job involving a shadowy organization, I'm betting that the Italian Welfare Agency has something to hide. And of course, a healthy dose of gunfights and explosions. All set to some lovely music. Volume 2 can't get here soon enough.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

clock king? OLOL moer liek cock king! m i rite?

Justice League Unlimited - Episode 17: "Task Force X"
Great to see JLU back. It was cool to see that the opponent of the League were pretty close to regular humans this time. I expected Captain Boomerang and Plastique to be on Task Force X, but Clock King was a huge surprise. It was cool seeing a villain like him back again. Action was good, not quite up to Teen Titans level though. This Cadmus plot continues to get more and more interesting.
Rating: B+

Power Rangers SPD - Episode 16: "Boom"
Yay, filler. Boom's fantasy at the beginning was amusing as was the arrival of his parents. I liked how Boom got to be an actual ranger for a brief time, helping out with the capture of the device. It is his specialty after all. I was hoping they'd give him a real morpher for the mission though. I'm very interested in this Morgana character, though I have a feeling the accent's going to get on my nerves.
Rating: B+

W.I.T.C.H. - Episode 16: "Ghosts of Elyon"
Worth the two-week wait. Will's side-story with the mother was pretty typical stuff. The story is a staple of any series involving teenagers. The main plot was much more interesting. The Guardians used some creative ways to figure out which of the Elyons was the real one. The storming of Phobos's castle was also very cool. The second attempt in the bunker was also fun to watch. Caleb was cool in this episode and they continue to throw Cornelia and Caleb's relationship in our faces. I'm looking forward to what Elyon will do in the next couple of episodes.
Rating: B+

Samurai Champloo - Episode 2: "Redeye Reprisal"
Not quite as good as the previous episode. Mugen and Jin going on their own plots was a nice way to showcase their individual skills. Nice samurai action as in the first one. Dub continues to be nice, as far as I can tell. I was a bit dissapointed by the lack of all the rap scratches from the first episode. Why did Mugen just kill the deformed guy when he stopped?
Rating: B

Gundam SEED Destiny 30, Trinity Blood 2+3 and Gunslinger Girl 1-5 to come later.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Force Is Strong With This One.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

I take back everything I said about the Flanneled One. Throughout the entire film, I was grinning like an idiot. (Well except that part after the rescue of Palpatine)

The drama in the movie caught me very much off guard. Tears were on their way as Anakin ignited his lightsaber in front of the children, again during the Jedi Purge, again as Obi-Wan learns of Anakin's actions, and once more during the landing pad scene with Padme, Obi and Anakin.

Battle scenes were awesome of course. Dooku's scenes were fun to watch, and any lightsaber battle involving Palpatine was great. My jaw was on the floor as Yoda took on Palps. I couldn't get rid of the smile on my face as master and apprentice fought to the near-death.


R2 got his fair share of laughs and applause from the crowd. Yoda as well; everybody cheered when he pushed away the Royal Guards. The humor in here was much more controlled and appropriate than in the other prequels.

The Duel was great. I can't stress this enough.

Music = awesome. John Williams is amazing. I've been humming "Fall of the Hero" all night.

Hayden seems to have improved somewhat, though Natalie Portman could have been CGI for all I knew. Ian McDiamard steals the show, and most of the actors do all right.Writing was alright. Better than AOTC at any rate.

Greivous was enjoyable. The battle with him and Obi could have been longer or more climactic, but it's good to know that the crew remembered who the real villain was.

It does drag on after the Battle above Coruscant. That was the point I chose to use the bathroom.

I'm not sure what to think about Vader's final scene. On the one hand, it's a very human and realistic reaction for someone who's gone through what Anakin's gone through. On the other, Vader does a decent Frankenstein impression and the "NOOOOO!" seemed a bit off.

Oh yeah, the Battle Droid voices were annoying. I had always assumed that the Super Battle Droids would sound more masculine.

Small complaints in the end.

Rating: A

Thank you, Lucas.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Tomorrow, people. TOMORROW.

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And I'm seeing it tomorrow. With friends. Or at least, I think they're friends. I mean, I don't get them anything for Christmas. In any case, there will be much waving of lightsabers and merry-making.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What? A Video Game system is supposed to play games?

Well, all three systems have been unvieled. Let's do some reviewing.

Sony - Playstation 3
I'm digging the sleak design of the console. The Spiderman-logo style works quite nicely. The controller looks alright, but I'm hoping they'll release something more dual-shock-like. The system seems powerful enough from what they're saying. How much of this will actually come true is yet to be determined. Of course, anything that advances the Playstation is good in my book. Being a loyal Sony costumer, I'll be getting this one. Gotta go check out the games of course. That's where it really matters.

Nintendo - Revolution
It's refreshing to know that Nintendo's sticking to videogames rather than trying to sell me a new computer/cell phone/microwave/back massager. I'm really liking the compact style for this system. It looks small enough to pop it into your backpack and go. The sideways stand seems a bit unnecessary, though. Also, I really like the idea of an online handheld, especially on a Nintendo system. Looking forward to seeing the controller and the specs. It's great to know that a company like Nintendo is still going, even with the gearheads at Sony and Microsoft competing. Of course, it's all about the games.

Microsoft - X-Box 360
While I don't own an XBox myself, and I don't plan on it, I'm still going to comment on the 360. It certainly seems like the 360 is going to be the leader in terms of online action, and why not? This is Microsoft after all. I find the system itself to look a bit dull, though. I'm expecting Halo 3 to carry the system on it's shoulders, much as Halo did for the original. I'll be getting a PS3 first, as that's my first loyalty, but it'll be interesting to see what the newcomer is going to give us on it's second time through.

As may be obvious, I'm a tad biased towards Sony, but here's my preliminary ranking.

PS3 > Revolution = XBox 360

As games come out, expect my crazy opinions to change.

Oh yeah, Animation Domination

1st The Simpsons: C
2nd The Simpsons: C
Family Guy: B+
American Dad: B+

Sunday, May 15, 2005

*lays down some phat, block-rockin' beats, dawg*

Teen Titans - Episode 45: "TROQ"
Standard good action and animation. The moments where the Teens were idolizing Val-Yor were amusing. Val-Yor could be interesting if he ever shows up again. A decent episode, though a bit preachy on the racism thing. I liked the message at the end though. "Everybody has opinions. No matter how uneducated they may be, sometimes there's nothing you can do to change them."
Rating: B+

Power Rangers SPD - Episode 15: "Wired Pt. 2"
"Wired Pt. 2" was excellent. One of the best this season. Delta Command Megazord is frelling awesome. Digging the transformation sequence, with the employees and cadets running for cover. A shame to see the General get beaten, but at least it was at Shadow's hands. Sophie was much more interesting this time around and I'm willing to bet we haven't seen the last of her. Finally, Gruumm gets pised and returns Mora to her former self, Morgana.
Rating: A
Looks like Morgana's going to be the American version of Succubus. They've got the same tatoo and everything. Next week looks to be hilarious. They're actually using the DekaGold suit, but not in the way we were expecting. Can't wait.

Samurai Champloo - Episode 1: "Tempestous Temperaments"
I must say I was worried about all of the rap and hip-hop, but it worked out nicely. Clever use of it during action and as a censor. As I would expect of anything out of Production IG, the animation is top-notch and the action scenes were very fluid and fun to watch. The music works a lot to the action's benefit. I haven't seen the sub, but it looks to be a solid dub. We have Daniel "I'm not David Lucas, I swear" Andrews as Mugen, Kari "I was Haruko" on Fuu, and Kirk "I did Gabumon AND Anavel Gato" Thornton as Jin. The only thing I'm having trouble buying is Jin and Mugen's instant dislike of each other. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
Rating: A-
Line of the night:

Jin: "He doesn't know the meaning of restraint."
Mugen: "Kiss my ass."

No new W.I.T.C.H. this weekend. "Ghosts of Elyon" is next week and that looks good.

I'm off to Best Buy now to pick up the Gunslinger Girl Vol. 1 + Box set thingy. I'll throw in my opinion of that later, along with Trinity Blood Episode 2.

My Star Wars campaign plods along awkwardly. Threw a Chrysalis Beast at them today. Came close to killing one of them. The Jedi does some nifty moves and the Soldiers kick ass. The Scoundrel learns the ways of the Force. The absent Fringer, I don't know, steals stuff.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

That last post was too long anyway.

Sunday. FOX. Animation Domination. Ratings. Now.

1st The Simpsons: didn't see this first one
2nd The Simpsons: B
Family Guy: B+
American Dad: B

Nothing really impressed me that night.

So anyway, I have a A- in my Advanced Algebra class, putting me in the top sixth of the class in terms of grades. Cool.

I introduced my nifty new Dwarven Marshall to D+D the other day and it's nice. I haven't done much with it besides attack and damage, but it seems to work out nicely in combat. Either that or my dice were just nice to me. The single dwarf in a party of dirty Elves bred a bit of hilarity as well. Here's the build, if you're into that kind of thing.

That's it.

Garcon? *snap, snap* More Cheese Whiz.

Power Rangers SPD - Episode 14: "Wired Pt. 1"
It was alright. It was obvious that the cadet had something to hide. It was cool seeing B Squad training their eventual successors. This new general is pretty cool and I'm looking forward to seeing what Gorodon is really capable of. Even though I saw it in DekaRanger. Some nice American footage as well. Delta Command Megazord is a fine name, and next week should be awesome.
Rating: B+

W.I.T.C.H. - Episode 15: "The Mudslugs"
Stupid episode name. A rather typical "member leaves the team" episode. There was little doubt that Cornelia would return at the end of the episode, and I think things were resolved a bit too nicely. Oh well. Still a decent episode, and the various reactions to her leaving were good. Phobos continues to play the part of the gracious host, but we'll see how long that lasts.
Rating: B
No new episode next week. Drat.

Fullmetal Alchemist - Episode 26: "Her Reason"
A bit of a letdown after last week. We basically meet who I'm guessing is Ed and Al's teacher, based on the next episode preview. A decent amount of filler, though nowhere near the same level as the episodes from the previous arc.
Rating: B-
Too bad we won't be seeing any more episodes for a while

Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex - Episode 26: "Stand Alone Complex"
I enjoyed the first part of the episode with Togusa. Back to his normal life, forever wondering what happened to his friends. I'm not sure what he was planning on doing with the gun and jacket, but Batou apparently stopped him. Surprising to see the male part of the group back together as if nothing happened. Ishikawa mocking Batou was funny though. The conclusion with the Laughing Man/Aoi was good enough for the time they had. I would have liked to see Aoi take them up on their offer, if only to see more and learn about him in Second Gig. The final couple of minutes were done nicely, I'm guessing it leads right into 2Gig.
Rating: B+
Bring on the Second Gig.

Gundam SEED Destiny - Episode 29: "FATES"
Blast! Suckered into another clip show. I've seen Nicol die more often than I saw him when he was alive. Yes, I know Tolle got decapitated; showing it a billion times won't help things. The parts with Rau and Dulindal were interesting though. Still, it bothers me. What nut is watching Destiny and still needs like 10 refreshers on what happened in the last series?
Rating: D+
Wait. I have it. Gundam SEED is the perfect anime for... amnesia patients.
Random Old Person: Time to watch some Destiny... What? Nicol's dead! Nooooooo!

Missed the new episode of Teen Titans last night, though I caught the last ten minutes. Seems like a decent episode, though a bit preachy on the racism thing. I liked the message at the end though.
"Everybody has opinions. No matter how uneducated they may be, sometimes there's nothing you can do to change them."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

So How About That Internet?

Gundam SEED Destiny - Episode 28: "Life Remaining and Life Scattered"
This episode rawked. Athrun vs. Kira was a great battle, something we haven't seen since the first half of SEED. Freedom trashed the Saviour. At least Athrun didn't self-destruct this time. I was a bit worried that Lunamaria was going to get the axe when her Zaku blew up, but it seems the medics know how to do their job. Rey continuing on in a one-armed Zaku was also cool, and now he's minus two limbs. Time for some replacement suits. For the first time in the series, I actually sympathised with Cagalli and, after seeing all of her troops and friends dying in battle, I understand her goal now. The Murasame pilots were some of the most interesting soldiers I've seen. We get two character deaths as well. Auel gets a beam javelin through the cockpit and Colonel Todaka heroically goes down with the ship after owning Jona.
Rating: A
Looks like the next episode will tell of the relationship between Dulindal, Rey and Rau.

Trinity Blood - Episode 1: "Flight Night"
Downloaded this one tonight. Looks to be very good. The character designs are nice and the animation is good. The best part by far is the music however. It uses some nice chorus pieces and then using symphonic or techno themes. This Abel character reminds me a lot of Vash the Stampede, except as a vampire. The rivalry between the two cardinals and the indecision of the Pope seems like it'll be an interesting side story. I'm very looking forward to learning more about the war with the vampires and stuff. I'll keep up with this one to be sure.
Rating: A-

Yeah, I'm done with Tsubasa Chronicle. Not very interesting from the three episodes I viewed.


This has been a good grading period. 89 on my Advanced Algebra test and a 95 on my huge Research Project PowerPoint presentation thingy. 100 on the World War I test in History raising up my average to a full A. To quote that nutty Martha, it's a good thing.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Blatant and Shameless Promotion

I might have mentioned my having a job. You can see the fruits of my labor here, on the fine gaming site of

In other news, FOX showed stuff last night, after crawling back to Seth Mcfarlane to make more cartoons for them. I don't feel like processing, so I'll give them nice, little rating things.

7:00 Simpsons: C
7:30 Simpsons: B+ (one of the better ones lately)
Family Guy: B+ (nice to see Seth's still got it, mysterious absense of Quagmire factor is dissapointing)
American Dad: B (better than the pilot at any rate)

Like you care. Or maybe you do. Really, it's not like I get payed to do this and I'm certianly not charging you to read it. Though maybe I should.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

We gather today to mourn the dearly departed...

Fullmetal Alchemist - Episode 25: "Words of Farewell"
I hate character death spoilers. I really do. Nonetheless, this was an incredibly moving episode. Pretty much a given that Douglas was a Sin, though Lust's appearance caught me off guard. Nice to see that Hughes can fight. I also had a hunch that Maria was really Envy. I'm just glad Gluttony wasn't the one to finish the job. The episode had quite possibly one of the saddest moments I've ever seen in an anime. Poor Eliza's protest set off the tears for me. Truly a great episode.
Rating: A+
We'll miss you, Hughes. *salutes*

Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex - Episode 25: "Barrage"
Can't believe they "killed off" the remaining three Tachikomas. Can't believe they got Ishikawa either. The ending was a big shocker, as well. I have a feeling she's not gone though. She wasn't wearing her watch. The directors look for every excuse they can find to give fanservice, I see. Great action all around and I'm eagerly awaiting the season finale next week.
Rating: A-
Dang, this has been quite a tragic evening.