Thoughts, Words, Works

Anime Blog Secret Santa: Dennou Coil Review @

Yasako, Kyoko, and ther cyberdog Densuke look at a steaming pile of cybercrap

Dennou Coil is a 2007 anime by Madhouse, cryptically subtitled COIL A CIRCLE OF CHILDREN, which indeed follows a circle of children (and some adults) involved with mysteries related to cyberspace-viewing glasses and the strange beings reflected in them. Along the way it manages to explore themes of compassion, coming of age, and the nature of reality. The show's also known as Cyber Coil, which makes sense because attaching den- (electric- or cyber-) to the front of anything and everything is kind of a running theme.

As a quick aside, I had been kind of thinking about watching this show for a while, but receiving it as a recommendation Reverse Thieves' Anime Blog Secret Santa project was the impetus that forced me to get around to it. I also intend to watch and maybe review the two other recommendations I received, the Ghibli-sans-Miyazaki1 movie Only Yesterday and Yoshitoshi ABe's classic Haibane Renmei — but not before Christmas. As it is, with this season of anime being particularly above average in the number of enjoyable shows, and DJ Max Technika 2 also releasing around Thanksgiving and subsequently commanding a shameful amount of my time, I ended up putting off the show until the last few days and watching 23 of the 26 episodes in a whirlwind of 2 days.

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Heroman Gripe Collection @

The alien saucer fortress thing from Heroman

Heroman. It's a title that's sounds so generic and trite that the show could just be amazing. As a collaboration between the reputable Studio Bones and Spiderman-creator Stan Lee, it seemed like a show that could really deliver. I watched one episode when it aired, and decided that it didn't seem to be the case. But due to the prodding of a certain someone, I'm giving it another chance. So far, while there are things to like about it, there are many more aspects of the show that get on my nerves. I'm hoping for many of these to change, but until they do (if at all), I need to vent. The rest of this post contains spoilers for episodes 1-5 of Heroman.

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A Debt Which Can Never Be Repaid @

Nishizono Mio asleep with a book

Ah, sleep. One of the great mysteries of life. A state in which we spend a third of our time, doing seemingly nothing. A necessity and yet the first thing to get trimmed from our schedule when push comes to shove. Wild plans exist for those who want to do more with less. But nothing can do away with this essential dead spot in every day.

I think it was about 4 or 5 years ago, around my freshman year in college, that I noticed how my sleep schedule worked. No matter what time I went to bed, if left unattended, I spend about 9 hours, including the time it took to fall asleep and to get out of bed. If I cut that short with an alarm and something to do, it would come back later. I would get out of class feeling hazy and end up dozing off for just about long enough to make my total sleep time 9 hours. I read that the best way to reduce wasted time sleeping was to stick to a consistent schedule, but with the dorm experience, that was not particularly viable. There was one up-side to this, however; I discovered that when my sleep schedule is broken and insufficient is when I have the most interesting and memorable dreams, a fact that remains true today. (Last night's, or rather, this morning's humdinger involved a huge condor, nearly getting attacked by a wild tiger, $5 gas, and a prototype 17-inch iPad. Go figure.)

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Missing Cycles - 5 @

Missing Cycles starts here.

The video was a snowy mess of noise. Axalis suddenly felt himself with a splitting headache. Text began to appear unbidden in the view of his mechanical eye:

Cymanager override complete.

Firmware compatibility confirmed.

Beginning data merge.

Axalis blacked out.

* * *

Jordan Burk checked the time on his watch. 20:15. He realized he should call his wife and let her know he would be missing dinner again. He desperately did not want to do so, but he forced himself to withdraw his handheld PC and press the buttons to dial his wife's handheld. After a couple rings, her face appeared on the screen. Jordan's wife was attractive, a light blonde with big eyes and soft features. But right now those features were glaring at him.

"I suppose this isn't to let me know you're on your way?"

Jordan hesitated, then finally bit the bullet and said it. "No. We're under pressure to get the case wrapped up before the election, especially with the jumper yesterday, but there's not enough evidence to close it. I need another few hours to look into some more of these loose ends. You should eat dinner without me."

"You know, Jordan, some of us manage to finish our work within the normal eight hours and come home for dinner. Maybe you would make more progress if you took some time to relax?"

"I'm sorry, it's... just this one case. I promise when it's done I'll take a long vacation and we can spend the whole two weeks together."

"I'm not asking for that much, Jordan. I just want you to have dinner together sometimes."

"I'm sorry," he repeated.

"Look, I'll tell Mags to put your portion in the fridge. You can flashheat it when you get back. At this rate, I'll already be asleep by then."

"Thanks," he said downtroddenly, and sat there as his wife ended the call. Finally he returned to his work rig and began reviewing the facts of the Morse Biotronics case again.

To be continued...


Review: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin @

Our protagonists and their scientific cell phone of future-prediction

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, or just Occult Academy, is a recent series by Aniplex studio A-1 Pictures, part of their "Anime no Chikara" project that also includes So-Ra-No-Wo-To and Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao, with the goal of creating quality original anime series (not based on manga or other works). Set in 1999, follows Kumashiro Maya, heir to a school that specializes in the occult, and Abe Fumiaki, an ex-psychic who has been sent from 13 years in the future to search out and destroy "Nostradamus's Key", the artifact that will cause an catastrophic dimensional rift on the 21st of July. Aside: I like how the time travel in this show almost becomes 12 Monkeys and Back to the Future - two competing models for cinematic time travel - at the same time!

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K-ON!! Patch Notes @

Yui, Azusa, and Jun

The following are (more-or-less spoiler-free) patch notes for K-ON!!, the recently-finished follow-up to Kyoto Animation's wildly popular series K-ON! about high school girls who usually don't play music. Those looking for advice on the series should first ask themselves the question, "Does a series need to have a plot for me to watch it?" If the answer is no, then familiarize yourself with the first season before upgrading.

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