This comes very belated, since ソ・ラ・ノ・ヲ・ト, also known as Sora no Woto or Sound of the Skies, is a show I watched as it aired several seasons ago, but since I can't get it out of my head, I'm reviewing it now. 12 episodes long, Sora no Woto kicked off A-1 Pictures' "Anime no Chikara" project with TV Tokyo to create original anime. The show is widely dismissed as "Military K-ON!" and there are superficial similarities between the two, but at their heart the two series are worlds apart.
(Whoops... typed this review up last night and forgot to post it. Don't mind!) I've been looking forward to Literature Girl The Movie since a friend pointed me at the OVA episode and short special that had been released a little while back. Technically, the movie was released earlier, but it only recently came to DVD and got translated; both are based on a series of light novels. It's made by Production I.G. and clocks in at just over an hour and 40 minutes including the end credits. (By the way, there's a little something after the credits, so don't stop there if you watch it.)
Axalis stood on the brink of disaster. In front of him, the concrete ended and the thick summer air stretched down forty stories before coming to an abrupt end at the street. Behind him, the echoes of footsteps resounded through the stairwell, signaling his incoming pursuers. "So it has come to this," he mumbled aloud.
Jordan Burk kicked open the door to the roof with the full force of resentment. He saw the hacker standing on the ledge top, raised his gun. "Give up, Axalis. You don't have to die for this. Turn yourself in."
Axalis took one look over his shoulder, his face a complete blank. If Jordan had been asked, he would have said it looked like the last emotions had been drained out of the man. The last look was merely an instinctual reaction to being spoken at. Then Axalis took one step beyond, and even before Jordan's reflexes fired his gun, the hacker had vanished from sight. The shot echoed into the dead summer's night as two more police finally reached the top of the stairs. Huffing, and puffing, Lt. Shande asked where Axalis had gone. Jordan didn't hear him.
* * *
Axalis did not dream well. He had once enjoyed dreams of falling, flying, soaring through the endless space of uninhabited air. But he awoke in a cold sweat this time, almost certain he had just faced his own dream-death. You were supposed to wake up before it happened, he thought... but what should happen is not always what does happen. Axalis felt the phantom pain of crushed limbs and a skull leaking his life-blood into the corrupted night.
The radio was blaring out a wake-up call to Axalis when he awoke. "Look around us," it said, "at the world we've made. Look at the achievements of industry. Look at the quibbles of politics. We've spent hundreds of years advancing technology to the point where our lives are meaningless. Our greatest advances and developments have left us with a life that is easier than we can handle. We go to incredible efforts to merely perpetuate our glut of free time--"
He shut it off. Axalis wasn't interested in some pseudo-religious rambling this early in the morning, especially when his head was throbbing like this. He must have had a hell of a night to be so hungover, he thought to himself. Yet, he could not remember a single detail about the night. Where he had been, and why... they were a mystery to him.
Without stopping for breakfast, Axalis fired up his hacking rig. It hummed to life with a familiar rumble, and Axalis punched in his password as usual. It didn't work. He entered the same password again, in case he had made a typo the first time. It still didn't work.
Note: This post retreads some of the same thoughts as an earlier one in a slightly different light.
I've passingly mentioned that I'm currently playing StarCraft II. But I don't mean that in the same way I meant it when, for example, I said I was playing Metroid: Other M recently. No, I'm playing StarCraft II in a sense that perhaps more closely resembles if an athlete were playing football this fall, or a more intellectually-inclined individual might say he were playing chess. In other words, I'm not approaching it as a work to be completed, I'm approaching it as an activity to compete in and get better at. The distinction may seem academic, but there's a pretty different attitude involved and, to be honest, it's taken me by surprise that I'm interested in this sort of thing.
I built my current computer, Trace, in November of last year (2009), which means that it's now a grand old age of 10 months old. This day, as I upgrade Trace's hardware for the first time, I feel somewhat nostalgic, and I'll take this opportunity to reflect and memorialize my last computer, Arcueid -- not even because of a special letter I received today from 5 years ago. Along the way, I'll talk about my experience migrating to Linux, the odyssey of driver support leading me to the eventual concenssion and purchase of a new nVidia GTX 460, and I may as well do like all the cool kids are doing and chat a bit about StarCraft II before it becomes passe.
At work, a few developers recommended Flash Switcher, a Firefox extension for testing with different Flash versions easily. And it occurred to me: this extension is hosted on "sephiroth.it". You know what that means to me? It means that the generation of people who are out there doing web development and making games right now is the generation for whom Final Fantasy VII was a defining gaming experience.
God help us.