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Jul. 30th, 2017

Anime Review - Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

Well, this is the last of the main Fate series. I believe there's a movie and a magical girl AU series, but I'm probably not going to watch those. Though, I've heard they're planning a trilogy of films to cover the third route from the VN. No idea when that'll be, though. So, for now, at least, this is it.

Spoilers, of course )

So, final verdict? I really liked it. I'd say you should just skip the original Fate/Stay Night anime and watch Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works instead. You could probably watch them in either order; no matter what, watching one will spoil some parts of the other. I watched Zero, then UBW, and I feel that worked well. But I guess you could do the opposite, if you wanted.

Jul. 27th, 2017

Anime Review: Fate/Zero

Okay, so I decided to give Fate/Zero a chance, even though I had major problems with Fate/Stay Night. Based on reviews and posts talking about watching order, it seems the fandom's opinion is overwhelmingly that the later productions (that is, Zero and UBW) are far superior to the original. So, I was hopeful that maybe Zero would be better.

Spoilers, of course )

Final verdict? I loved it. If you liked FSN, you'll really like this. If you hated FSN, watch this anyway. It's what FSN should have been. And if you haven't seen FSN...skip that, and watch this instead.

Jul. 25th, 2017

Anime Review: My Love Story!!

So, I was actually going to watch Fate/Zero next, but I had issues with the video, so I decided to watch something else until I could straighten it out. I went with My Love Story!!, which I found out about through sheer dumb luck. I don't usually watch romance or slice of life anime, as a rule, but when I read the premise of this one, I had to try it.

No spoilers, I think! )

Final verdict? I loved it. If you like shoujo/romance anime, watch this. Even if you don't, watch it anyway. Now I need to see if I can find the manga. Wikipedia says there are 13 volumes, so there's a decent chance that not all of that fit into 24 episodes. And I would love to see more of Takeo and Yamato, and Suna~!

Jul. 22nd, 2017

Anime Review: Blood: The Last Vampire

Short review, of a movie this time. I enjoyed Blood-C, so I wanted to try out the rest of the franchise, though they don't seem to have much to do with one another. I decided to start at the beginning, with the movie, Blood: The Last Vampire.

No spoilers, I think )

Final verdict? It was a fun movie, but short. So I want more. I'll definitely be looking into watching Blood+, which is the next part of the franchise.

Jul. 21st, 2017

Anime Review: Fate/Stay Night

Another anime review. I've actually had this one in my to-be-watched stack for a while, now. I was mostly deterred by the fact that there are several series in this franchise, and that, with the exception of the first series, the DVD sets for the the others are ludicrously expensive. I didn't want to get started and be unable to continue. But, when I was looking for places to stream anime recently, I thought to check and see if Netflix offered anything subtitled. They did, and among them are the other two Fate series. So, I decided to go ahead and give the first series a watch.

Spoilers, as usual )

Final verdict? I honestly didn't like it much. There were a couple of good characters, but that's about it. I will say, though, that most fans seem to think that the later series (Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works) are much better than the first one. So, I might give one of those a chance, despite how I felt about this one. I've got access to them, so I do think I'll try them at some point. But not right now. Plus, Fate/Zero has Saber but no Shirou, and UBW is supposed to be Rin's route, so maybe she'll get more focus there. And those two were about the only things I liked about this series, so. It might be worth a try.

Jul. 16th, 2017

Anime Review: Rideback

Well, I watched another short little anime this week. It's called Rideback, and I'd never heard of it until I saw it listed on RightStuf. It had a unique premise, so I decided to check it out.

Spoilers, as always )

Final verdict? I think this one's kind of middle of the road. Not terrible, by any means, but not that good, either. The main thing it has going for it is the cast, but I don't know that they're enough to carry it. I will say, though, that Wikipedia says that this was originally a 10 volume manga series, which became a 12 episode anime. So, I wonder. The manga might explain things better than the anime did. Not sure if I'm invested enough to check it out. We'll see.

Jul. 11th, 2017

Anime Review: Blood-C

This one was a bit of a quickie. Just 12 episodes, and then one movie. I watched the series itself in one sitting, and then the movie the next day. So, here are my thoughts!

Massive spoilers withiin )

So, final verdict? Honestly, I liked it. It's not perfect, and I do wish we got some more backstory on Saya, in particular. But it was fun to watch. If you're a fan of other Blood titles, you might feel differently, I don't know. But if you're a first-time fan, like me, I'd say give it a shot. Provided you can handle the gore, of course.

Jul. 8th, 2017

Anime Review: Yuugiou: Dark Side of Dimensions

Well, I finally found a fansub with English subtitles, so I got to watch this movie!

Spoilers~! )

So, final verdict! This was actually really good. Like, really. It was better than I expected it would be. I mean, it's Yuugiou, so I kinda figured I'd like it at least a little bit, no matter what. But I didn't expect a lot. (I remember Pyramid of Light) But it was honestly really fun, and I liked it a lot. So, if you're a YGO fan at all, go watch it. If you're not, then watch/read the series first. This'll be a little confusing if you don't.

Jul. 6th, 2017

Good Grief...

Remember how I was excited about finding that new Yuugiou movie? Well, they fucked it up.

According to this article, they somehow managed to have the entire first batch of disks be defective. The Japanese language track is there, but the subs are the dialogue for the shitty English dub, rather than an actual translation of the Japanese dialogue. =/

Yeah, seriously. So, of course I pulled out my disk to check, and sure enough. I watched the first couple of minutes and spotted dub names as well as additional lines in the subs. My Japanese was never near fluent, and I'm super rusty now, but I can understand some really basic lines. So I can see a couple of places where the subs are adding stuff that the character didn't actually say.

Fucking hell. Can't this idiotic company do anything right?

So now, I have to write to the people who produced the disks and see if they'll exchange my defective one for one that's right. That article I mentioned gives contact info, so I'll try to do that soon. No idea if they'll actually do an exchange, and if so, how long or difficult the process will be. Ugh.


Oh, you have got to be kidding me. Okay, so I was annoyed that I couldn't watch the disk I bought. So, I went looking for a fansub to tide me over. (Because I'm betting that, even if I can get my disk exchanged, it'll probably take a while.) I found one, spent a while downloading it, then fired it up, and...the subs were in fucking Greek. Or I assume it's Greek, based on how the lettering looks. No mention on the torrent site, nothing in the filename, absolutely nothing to indicate that this wasn't in English. Bloody hell...that was a complete waste of my time and bandwidth. And now, I have to go see if I can find any other copies. And hope that those are actually in English. =/ Kat is not amused, seriously.

Jul. 5th, 2017

My Inner Fangirl Is Squeeing So Hard Right Now...

I feel like I'm a teenager again, in the best possible way. =D

From early on, two fandoms that were really important to me were DragonBall Z and Yuugiou. They were some of my earlier ones, and I was super into them, for a long time. Hell, I still am. *Gestures to journal theme* And the source material for both have been wrapped up for a long time, as well.

Or, they were.

When I was out shopping on Sunday, I stopped to look at the new releases in the movie section at Wal-Mart. I wasn't really looking for anything particular. I'd gone to the electronics department to pick up a new thumb drive, and I decided to browse a little. And there, on the rack in the front, was a new Yuugiou movie. I picked it up, not really expecting much. Yuugiou's gotten such a rotten treatment locally, I figured it'd be some poorly handled, dub-only thing. But, no. The box lists both Japanese and English as spoken languages. So I whip out my phone and Google it, and see that it's a legit new movie from Japan. Featuring the original cast (or, at least Yugi and Kaiba), not people from any of the many spin-offs. It's set after the manga, and the story was done by Kazuki Takahashi himself!

So, yeah. I had to buy it. I also tracked down the two chapter manga prologue that leads into the movie. Done by Takahashi-sensei, of course. <3 I haven't watched it yet, but I hope to have time soon. That'll likely be my next post, actually!

And I also mentioned DragonBall Z earlier. Well, you may or may not have heard, but apparently they began doing a new DB series a little while back, called DragonBall Super. I'd heard about it, vaguely, but I didn't pay it much attention at the time. I knew they'd done Kai as well, but that was really just a remake of the original, with the filler removed. I might like to see it at some point...but I seem to remember hearing that it hadn't been reanimated, except for certain key scenes. So, if it's just the old footage cobbled together, that's not very exciting. I'll probably watch it eventually, as I am a completionist, and DragonBall was either my first or second anime series ever.

But, Kai aside. They're doing a new series called Super, and I finally decided to look into it. Apparently, it's retconning GT, which is very interesting. I actually haven't gotten around to watching GT yet, largely because the fandom at large seems to hate it. I planned to watch it at least once, just so I could say I did. And I still plan to do that...but now, that's been pushed back that much more. I'm going to watch Super first. I just downloaded the first 97 episodes, which is all of what's out, so far. I'm thinking I might watch this after I watch the new Yuugiou movie, but I haven't decided yet.

So, two of my oldest and dearest fandoms, of which I thought the source material to be complete, are getting new material. I am so excited, I almost don't know what to do with myself. I just hope the new material is good.

Jul. 4th, 2017

Pet Peeve

So I've been browsing RightStuf's birthday sale, and I've got something I need to gripe about. I've noticed this before, but it's getting on my nerves just now, so here I am.

It really bugs me when anime companies release a box set labeled as a 'Complete Collection' or similar when it actually isn't. For example, I was looking at the box set for The Galaxy Railways. Item listing says 'Complete Collection', so I'm inclined to think that this is, in fact, the entire series. But, no. I'm reading a review of the show, and it mentions several related items, such as a second season and an OVA. So, after a quick trip to Wikipedia, I find that this show does in fact have two seasons, for a total of 52 episodes, plus an OVA. That 'Complete Collection' box set? Has only the first 26 episodes. =/

Argh. If you've released a whole season in a box, then label it as that. 'The Complete First Season', or something. But don't claim it's a 'Complete Collection', when it's missing a big chunk of the series.

I think sometimes they do it because some studios will release the second season of a show with a subtitle, so the companies want to think it's a whole other title. (Think Slayers, each season has an add-on. NEXT, TRY, etc.) The thing is, though? I've seen some companies that still get it right. They'll release a 'Complete Collection' and in the blurb it'll say something like 'contains all episodes of Code Geass and Code Geass R2'. It'll list both seasons by name, but they'll still be bundled into a 'Complete Collection'. This is how they should all do it! Release each season at a time, if you want. But make it clear that the box set contains that particular season. Don't claim to be a complete series set.

It just irritates me, because it means I can't trust the packaging. I have to do extra research before I buy something. If only part of a series was released, then it was abandoned, I'd like to know that before I buy. (I'm looking at you, xxxHolic. Another so-called 'Complete Collection' that was actually only the first season.) It means I have to go and see if I can track down the rest of the series somewhere else. (Torrents, HK disks, Youtube, etc.) Because I probably don't want to start a series if I know I'll never be able to see how it ends. And honestly, having to go to that extra trouble is a bit of a turn-off, anyway.
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Jun. 30th, 2017

Anime Review: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

And the anime watching continues! Here's another series from my to-be-watched stack: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040!

Spoilers for the whole series )

Final verdict? It's a big, fat stinker. If you've already seen the OVA, there's nothing for you here. And if you haven't seen the OVA, go watch that, instead!

Jun. 28th, 2017

Possible Solution?

Okay, so you may remember that I posted a while back, complaining about losing my old software when I upgraded to Windows 10, and the difficulties I was having in replacing them. Well, I might have worked out a solution to one of those issues. Maybe.

I've been watching anime lately, and I really wanted to work out a way for me to keep screencapping it. I was able to find places to download screencaps that other people had posted for a couple of series on my to-be-watched list, but not for most of them. So I needed to figure something out. Well, I might just have it. It's not a perfect solution, but it might work.

I use VLC Player for most of my video watching. And, since upgrading, I've also used it to watch DVDs. The only problem being that when you use VLC to screencap a subtitled video, the subs appear on the screencaps. Which makes them pretty useless. While trying to find a setting that would allow me to take sub-free caps, I stumbled on a feature that I didn't even know existed. Apparently, you can set VLC to auto-screencap. You just have to give it an image format, a location, and how often you want to cap. (Every 'x' number of frames, I think is how it goes.) So this is pretty cool, right? The only downside being that I have to essentially run through each disk twice. Once to watch it, with subtitles on. And once to run the automatic capping, with subtitles off. That's the only way to get sub-free caps in VLC, apparently.

So, yeah. I'm trying it out on the next series I plan to watch. It's a little inconvenient, having to go through each disk twice. Especially since I'm trying to not do anything else on the computer at the time, so VLC can have all the system resources it needs. But, still. I do really like being able to watch anime without having to manually cap it myself. I never really realized how much of a pain that was, until I stopped doing it. And now, I really prefer it this way. So, being able to just sit and watch makes this option very attractive. Even if I do have to go back and run the disk again later. The only other issue is how many caps it's generating. I may need to tinker with the settings a bit, I'm not sure. The way I've got it set now, I'm getting a lot of duplicates. Anytime there's a scene with people standing around talking, not moving much, I get a bunch of very similar shots. So, I may raise the number of frames between caps a bit. I'm just afraid that if I do that, I'll miss out on good caps during fast paced segments. So, I don't know. I've done two disks, so far. I'm going to go through those caps and weed out the duplicates, and any other useless ones. (Scenery, blurry shots, etc.) If that's not too big of a pain, I might just leave it as-is. If it is, then I'll consider changing it.

We'll see how it goes, but I'm hopeful that this might work out. <3

EDIT: Okay, well I learned something else. Apparently, if you try to cap any of the extras, VLC thinks it's capping something new, and it overwrites the old caps already in the folder. =P Not a huge deal, but a little annoying. So, I guess if there are any extras (like textless opening/ending sequences) that I want to cap, I'll have to remember to do just one at a time, then stop the disk and move the files. Then I can start the disk again and do the next one the same way. Repeat until all extras are covered. Then stop the disk, move the files, and restart the disk to cap the actual episodes.

Jun. 21st, 2017

Anime Review: Akame ga Kill!

Well, I had fun watching Mawaru Penguindrum, so I decided to watch another series. Ah, the joys of summer break~! =D This time, it's Akame ga Kill!

Spoilers for the whole series )

Final verdict? I liked it, though the number of character deaths was a little hard for me to handle. If you don't want to be sad, maybe skip this one. But I did like it, despite that. I may look into reading the manga; apparently it's somewhat different. And there's a prequel series that's still running, I think. That might be fun.

Jun. 15th, 2017

Anime Review: Mawaru Penguindrum

Well, I said I wanted to watch some anime, and I finally am. (And no, I didn't figure out the whole DVD screencapping thing yet. Grr.) I pulled one from my to-be-watched stack, which I've been thinking about lately: Mawaru Penguindrum!

Spoilers for the whole thing )

...Holy crap, that was long! XD

Final verdict? It depends. If you like surreal series with lots of symbolism, then go for it. If not, then it's a maybe. I'm not always a fan of the surreal (some I like, some I don't), and I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one. I liked some things, and I didn't like some things. I think I mostly liked it, but I wish I understood it better. I'll have to watch it again later, and see if that helps.

May. 27th, 2017

Software Aggravations

Alright, I've had just about enough of this crap.

This got a little long... )

Why do newer OSs have to break old software? It's not fair. And, with that being the case, why the fuck do all the good programs get abandoned or discontinued, so there are no newer version to upgrade to? Argh!

May. 17th, 2017

Anime Review: Vision of Escaflowne

Well, I said I wanted to watch some anime once I went on break, and here I am. But, surprisingly, it's an oldie! Instead of tackling my to-be-watched stack, I pulled out an older series for a rewatch. I'm going to write up a review, anyway, because it's fun. =D

Spoilers for the whole series )

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this one. I knew I liked Escaflowne the first time, and now I like it even more. Such a good series. If you haven't seen it, you totally should!

May. 12th, 2017

More School Stuff

Well, I think I finally got my fall schedule squared away. After a few more emails with my internship prof, I was able to register for the classes I needed. So, as far as I can tell, my schedule is complete. Even if it's a little scary to look at! I'm technically registered for six classes, though two of them are for the internship, and so they kind of don't count. All I have to do for that is fill out paperwork and write a paper at the end of the term, I think. It's not a 'class' in the typical sense of the word. But one of the classes I'm taking is another Statistics class, which is definitely scary. And I have no idea what to expect from the others, so...

Ah, well. On to better news, I got my grade for my Econ class! I got an A; I'm so happy! I thought I might have one, but I was worried about how I'd done on the final, and this prof's grading system is confusing, so I wasn't sure of my assessment, anyway. But I did okay, so I'm relieved. I still haven't seen a letter grade posted anywhere for my Operations Mgmt. class, so I'm assuming that what's in Canvas is correct. If so, I've got an A in that one, too. Which I am super grateful for; that class was a nightmare. =P

And now, maybe I can stop stressing about school for a while. *Crosses fingers*

May. 9th, 2017

More Good and Bad

Well, here's another "Good news, bad news" post. =P

The Good

I heard back from my adviser, and she fixed whatever the issue was keeping me out of my elective classes. I picked one and got registered for it. So that's four out of five classes taken care of.

The Bad

I also heard back from the professor who oversees the internship class. He said he'd done something, and I should be able to register. But I still couldn't, when I tried. So I emailed him again, and included a screenshot of what I saw when I tried. Hopefully he'll be able to straighten it out for me, and soon.

Also! My boss is an idiot. I was supposed to take vacation next week. I scheduled this months ago. But today I get a message, saying that he'd scheduled both me and another coworker for vacation on that same week. So one of us had to switch. And honestly, this just...Ugh. I have seniority. By like, a lot. So, if either of us is going to switch, it should be him. But. I don't actually have any firm plans next week. And most importantly? I do not have the emotional spoons to fight about this. I am drained and tired and still a bit stressed over school and grades and everything. And I just do not have the energy to make a stink about this. So, I'm kind of pissed, but it doesn't feel worth it to try and fight it. So, my vacation is getting pushed like, three weeks. I am not a happy camper. =/

May. 8th, 2017

The Good and the Bad

The Good

My Operations Mgmt. prof finally posted the grades for our finals. I actually got an A, which surprised me. (It was a low A, a 92 I think, but still, that's better than I expected!) Not sure if that's curved or not, but I'm kind of thrilled right now. I'm not sure if the percentage showing in Canvas is our actual grade or not, but if it is, then I have an A. I'm not sure where to look in MyGate for our letter grades, so I don't know if that's all final or what. But I don't remember this prof having a weird grading scheme (like my Econ prof did), so I hope it's accurate. No word yet for Econ, but the deadline isn't until Tuesday, so I don't expect grades sooner than that. And honestly, not even that soon. Hopefully it won't be real long afterward, but we'll see.

I also got an email notification saying that the transcript I ordered had been sent to MSU, so yay.

The Bad

...Or not. Because when I went to register for classes, I ran into problems. Oh, it did let me register; I was able to get into both of my required classes. But a lot of the electives I was considering were already full, or some were just not offered this term, or were only offered as in-person classes. And then a few more gave me various different errors when I tried to register. >_> So, I emailed my adviser and told her which ones I'd gotten errors on, and asked her if she could help me out. I need to get into the internship class, and one more elective. I think I got errors on two or three electives, so any one of those would be okay. I did manage to find one elective that I could get into, though it wasn't one I was originally planning to take this soon. But, it was open and didn't give me errors, so I grabbed it. Now I'm just really worried about whether my adviser will be able to get me into those classes that I need. =(

One reason to be glad this is my last semester splitting my time between KCTCS and MSU, I guess. The only reason I'm so late registering is because of those stupid transcripts. After this, I won't have to do this anymore. All my grades will be from MSU, so I won't have to run around transferring things. At least, I hope. The transcript I sent just now *should* have this semester's grades from KCTCS, but with my luck, I'm half afraid they'll tell me I need to do it again next semester. =P Although, even if that happens, I'll be able to do it right away, rather than having to wait for the end of the semester. Still. I'd like to avoid that!

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