Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Very Slow Scene

Chances are I will only get to do this once in our lifetime.

Once again we have come to the end of another year, almost abruptly so for me. I finished my project at last, which turned out pretty mediocre since I lost most of my motivation for it about halfway through. My supervisor was impressed with my presentation though. He actually made me chuckle a bit when he told me that I sounded more professional than usual. Personally I'm more pleased with the fact I don't have to wear my leather shoes again for quite a while. Hopefully never.

My friend sent me this Luka nendoroid as a birthday gift a couple of months ago, along with a humorous card (a cat rocking out "Happy Birthday" on a flying V). I was going to buy a Luka plushie ages ago but it was sold out every time I went to check, and after a while I just kind of forgot about it. Something just wasn't meant to be. Anyway I've actually got another present coming but like most of my preorders, won't be here till next March. It's probably worth the wait though.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Momentary Life

Enjoy your stay. I actually had the time and energy to read through Tokyo Babel, which I had been sort of anticipating since the start of the year. With an impressive voice cast and a post-apocalyptic setting involving angels and demons, the game has quite a bit of potentials but ultimately and predictably fails to deliver fully.

Pew pew beam attack!
The world suddenly came to an end. Angels were chased out of heaven, demons lost their home to a deluge, and human (parallel) worlds began to collapse. With nowhere to return to and no one to lead them, many angels and demons committed suicide. Amidst the chaos, the Archangel Michael sacrificed himself to create Tokyo Babel, a floating octahedron purgatory where the surviving angels and demons took refuge in.

"Son of Man, make pilgrimages. Only through the seven pilgrimages will the gates to heaven open once again."

That is God's message. Seven pilgrimages, that is, to ascend all seven levels of Tokyo Babel. Desperate, angels and demons took humans from different worlds to Tokyo Babel in hope of reaching the top of the purgatory, and ascending to heaven through Jacob's Ladder.

However, each level has been taken over by a Ruler, destructive individuals who went mad after hearing the Chorus. To ascend all the levels, the Rulers must be defeated. At the same time, not everyone wishes for things to return to normal; some desire for a permanent end to everything while some seek to change the course of history.

I'm in despair! My missing ahoge has left me in despair!
The story follows Setsuna Tendou (Hiroshi Kamiya), an ordinary-looking boy who is definitely not ordinary, as he battles his way through the purgatory against all odds and searches for the reason of his existence.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Haven't You Got Eyes In Your Head?

Well haven't you?

Anyways moving onto the story of NToJ. Remember Maribel got injured back in TGA when she took Renko to Torifune? Apparently she was diagnosed with delirium caused by some virus that did not exist on Earth. She was quarantined deep in the mountains since the society feared anything that was outside its control. Anyway Renko got the news that Mari had fully recovered, so she went to the sanatorium to meet Mari. Mari complains about how they wouldn't let anyone meet her even though she has no relatives in Japan. Renko asks what Mari's illness really was. Mari says that it's apparently high fever, as well as sleep walking and hallucinations of another world. To which Renko replies, "Eh? Isn't that totally normal to you?"

The two of them then went sight-seeing around Shinsyuu (now Nagano Prefecture), where the sanatorium was. The two of them came across the Zenkou temple, which was caught in the terrible Zenkoushi earthquake. Renko says that back then people thought the dislocations between the temple's main pillar and its base were caused by the earthquake. Of course now they found out it was the result of the wood decaying. However, people would rather keep on calling it the "earthquake pillar" to remind future generations the horror of earthquakes. Mari, however, could see an earthquake that can even deform the entire pillar (Tenshi?).

Heartfelt fancy. Lately not only can Mari see the gaps of boundaries, she can seemingly see the scenery of another world. Furthermore, she can actually move into that world. It was exactly the same back then on Torifune. For Renko it was probably just a dream, but that was reality for Mari. It's because of this, Mari was only one who got injured. The reason she went to the sanatorium was because the doctor thought she was insane. The truth of course is that Mari is perfectly sane, it's just the society cannot accept oddballs like her. Therefore her power must be kept a secret. Renko notices Mari doesn't look too well, Mari says she saw a little too much. When Renko asks her what she saw, Mari replies that she saw Hell (among other things).

Saturday, 11 August 2012

My Title Can't Be This Generic

An everlasting instant. That is to say, I've finally had the chance to read 神咒神威神楽 and it was quite an entertaining journey despite being less adrenaline-inducing and refined than Dies Irae. Although to be fair, Dies Irae had a lot of time to grow into what it is today.

The art is downright gorgeous and fits the game perfectly. The style really gives Kajiri Kamui Kagura an air of uniqueness not seen in many other games. Although having played Dies Irae, it is quite strange to see familiar characters in traditional Japanese clothing sometimes. The character and costume designs are more elaborate and colourful than those in Dies Irae, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm more of a sucker for military uniforms than kimonos. It was a real shame that the Yatsukahagi wasn't the least bit menacing, but of course it was understandable given their origins and roles in the story.

I can't be the only one who thought Tokoyo was cuter than Rea
When bad guys aren't really bad guys. I had trouble taking Kei seriously thanks to Kamidori and Arterial, where her voice actress did Serawi and Narumi-senpai respectively...with exactly the same voice. I know it's pretty silly but now every time I hear Kei's voice, someone else pops up in my head. At least my mental image of Beatrice hasn't been ruined yet. Other than that though, the voice acting is very solid and I have always enjoyed Wilhelm/Keishirou's trash talk (can't say his VA did all that good as Gilbert in Baldr Sky though). Speaking of which, trash talk was all over the place back in Dies Irae, and though I enjoyed it I was glad that Masada decided to tone it down in Kajiri Kamui Kagura.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Rust In Peace

Woke up to find my laptop has finally given up on me and stopped working. Not a good start. I lost a good portion of my work and other things as a result. Now I have nothing to show my supervisor. Not that I'm too enthusiastic about my project anyway. I guess it's good that at least the desktop is still running...

Oh well looking on the bright side, that means I might get around to do a few more summaries tonight. Maybe. I have uploaded the scans (this is just the scans) of Trojan Green Asteroid (this includes both the mp3 and scans). Or if you just want to view the images, they are here. I have replaced the link in the previous post as well.

There is indeed a story following Renko and Maribel. The titular Torifune refers to a Japanese space station that had an accident and vanished. Torifune carried many different plants and animals as a experiment to see if they could adapt to the living conditions in space. The station had an ecosystem on board and the ultimate goal was apparently to achieve terraforming? Renko says no matter how many mini ecosystems there are, it's impossible to maintain a space station without humans. Maribel says that she recently saw what's "inside" the space station (in her dream). Even though the station is said to have disappeared, there's a good chance that it's in the Lagrange point in the Earth-Moon system.

Monday, 30 April 2012

And Then There Were No Cakes

I will be quite busy the next few days so I probably won't be able to post any more updates till the weekend. Sorry about that. I'd think that proper translations will be steadily rolling out now that the scans are up, so please be patient. Oh yeah, I managed to get a copy of ZUN's new album, 鳥船遺跡 ~ Trojan Green Asteroid (credits go to the Chinese again).
Anyways, let's move on to talk about the book. I will start with Kanako and Suwako's profiles. They are quite long so bear with me.

Akyuu says that Kanako moved her base to Gensokyo probably because she thought that she could get more faith if she had both humans and youkai as followers. Her species is very suitable for being gods. Akyuu says though she'd like to know if Kanako were a human or something else before (becoming a god), it's impossible to determine that now.

She was apparently a god of wind and rain in the past, but now she is the god of the mountain. Although she and the mountain youkai seem to be keeping a mutually beneficial relationship, the truth is that no one knows if that is really the case. It could even be that they are just using each other for their own interests. Unlike the Hakurei shrine, Kanako has all kinds of business activities at her shrine. It seems that faith makes everything better, so she does whatever she can to keep it. She loves technological innovations, and seems to have little regard about traditions. Giving up the outside world and coming to Gensokyo is a very good example of this (probably implying that technological innovation has come to a halt in the outside world).

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Break Is Over, The Wait Is Over

And here I thought the day couldn't get any better after a short but sweet morning jam session. Hold your breath, because it's here. Check 'em (credits go to some Chinese guy who scanned the book).

Incoming wall of text.

The book is basically a meeting (symposium) between Kanako, Byakuren and Miko, with Akyuu as the auditor and Marisa as the MC. Marisa is chosen to be the MC because she knows a looooot of youkai. Reimu doesn't show up (more like suddenly barging in) until the very end of Part 5. Character profiles are placed in between each discussion, and newspaper articles are all in Part 6.

The first part is about what the new factions bring to Gensokyo. Marisa tries to sound polite but Akyuu says it's disgusting and asks Marisa to talk normally. Marisa calls Kanako, Byakuren and Miko newcomers. Kanako complains as she has already been in Gensokyo for 4 years. Miko says in that case she will start, as she is the real newcomer. Miko thinks the negligence of youkai is causing people to become careless. She says that the humans in the village are too complacent, it's a miracle that the (power) balance of Gensokyo hasn't collapsed yet.

Miko questions why Gensokyo has no politician, and that humans need someone to guide them to a hopeful future. She says that she is qualified for the job. Kanako cuts Miko off by saying that she wonders what kind of future the humans would have if they were to be ruled by Miko, who is not a human. Byakuren says that it's fine there are no politicians in Gensokyo. She continues on saying that the power of youkai is necessary to maintain Gensokyo. Akyuu thinks that Byakuren's use of youkai in her argument is misleading (I really don't think Akyuu likes Byakuren). Byakuren says that the humans in Gensokyo exist to ensure the survival of youkai, and the people are dominated by youkai in Gensokyo. Kanako agrees and says it's for Gensokyo's good that no human ruler arises.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Make Myself

The true administrator. I wonder if it's just me but I don't seem to see a lot of (if any) discussions on Miko, who should be of considerable importance given her role. I've finished the first part of Miko's profile as the remaining pages are still missing, but I think this should give some insight into her character and abilities.

The first thing that caught my attention was that Miko doesn't have a main place of activity, but rather she is elusive, appearing (and disappearing) in unexpected places at unexpected times. I'm guessing you could take that as Miko only shows herself when she feels the need to.

A saint who has woken from a long slumber, Miko was born with extraordinary talents, she is more transcendent than those who are already transcendent. She can listen to and understand ten people simultaneously, as well as giving them the correct responses. When she was a kid, she built statues of the Four Heavenly Kings using Chinese nutgall trees, and said that she would build the Shitennou-ji. Incidentally the story about her being born in a stable is apparently just a silly joke (Miko herself says "there is no way someone as noble as me could be born in such a smelly place"). In the footnotes, Akyuu relates this to how Jesus was also said to be born in a stable.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The Wheel Of Fate Is Turning

The announcer sure got worse in each game. Well before I move on, here's what appears to be the contents page of Symposium of Post-mysticism; looks like the book is divided into six parts which focus on,

  1. What the new faction (the Taoists?) brings to Gensokyo;
  2. The current status of the world outside Gensokyo; 
  3. Youkai before and now;
  4. The current status and future of the hated one (Byakuren?);
  5. Is religion and faith necessary in Gensokyo;
  6. Talks about youkai extermination from now on
...Respectively. It sure sounds a lot more serious than the last book, but certainly there is much tension building up in Gensokyo given the current power struggle between different factions. The Taoists will surely bring some form of changes to Gensokyo as a new faction, but will this lead to an all-out religious war or will everyone somehow resolve their differences and well, go back to taking it easy? I for one hope something BIG happens in the next game preferably with a crazy Byakuren as the final boss.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Linearity Of Life

A straight line paradise. Transcribing Seiga's profile while listening to various arranges of Desire Drive certainly makes it rather enjoyable. The fact is that I came to the sad realization that I have very few arranges of Byakuren's themes.

Questions can be asked, questions can be answered, but only after you have experienced it can you understand the nature of things. An everlasting harmony even as Nature changes; searching for the balance between Yin and Yang, thus achieving a peaceful life; or action through non-action in accordance to Nature. It's hard to say how Seiga fits into any of these exactly, as she seems to be actively seeking pleasure by coming into contact with humans.

Seiga is supposedly one of the rather few hermits who have lived over a thousand years. She lives for her own interests, and as such her actions are purely motivated by selfish desires. Although she showed up in Gensokyo along with Miko and all, Seiga isn't much of a group person and is far more interested in being with humans and youkai that she likes. Since Gensokyo has many fascinating individuals, she seems to be spending everyday playing around here and there (looking for someone interesting I guess).

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Mystica Convivii

So while I'm still waiting for my copy of Symposium of Post-mysticism to come out tomorrow and be shipped (hopefully) next week, some sections of the book have already been leaked. I have browsed through them and honestly I didn't see anything too unexpected, but it was definitely an interesting read. I'm sure there are already others working on it but I felt like transcribing a couple of the articles.

First up is Byakuren because Buddhism is where it's at...not really. Here's the transcription.

Nothing really new from her profile I guess, we all knew that Byakuren was once a human who became much more through years of training. She has a strict code of conduct (knowns as Sila in Buddhism), and at least two of the Five Percepts have been mentioned here (no alcohol and killing). Interestingly though, it does not say that Byakuren does not kill or cause to kill, but rather she "does not like killing" (also obviously she is a vegetarian). In any case, because she lives by such code of ethics, it is difficult for her to make friends with other humans.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Finishing Line

I have yet to reach one. I had already forgotten how many months it had been but the Sena nendoroid just arrived a few days ago,

The one nendoroid with a sizable chest
I actually didn't like Haganai at all; it felt like that there was way too much pandering and the cast wasn't exactly likable either. I do like this Sena nendoroid though, especially since it comes with a TV and a PS3 (not to mention it's less expensive than all the other nendoroids I've bought). It was strangely difficult to make her sit still. Too much meat.

That's that and since I originally made this blog to talk about nothing music, here is something I thought I'd share with nobody everyone,

The second full-length album by Phantasm, a fictional band fronted by FES (Ayase Kishimoto) from Chaos;Head, the first title in 5pb. and Nitroplus' science adventure series. The album contains mostly theme songs of Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate, and is a nice change for me musically since I haven't listened to this kind of music for a while. I was going to say that it is gothic rock/metal but apparently those are rather different genres of music, so I guess I will just call it symphonic metal and leave it at that. My personal favourite is 運命のファルファッラ, which has a melancholy feeling that is perfect when I'm dealing with infinite loops while pondering about the direction humanity is heading towards. A pretty solid album with some interesting musical ideas, though sometimes the arrangements can get a bit chaotic and a few songs have strong openings but become increasingly uninteresting due to a lack of catchy hooks.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

When The Angels Are Away

It's not that time of the year yet. The lack of posts on this blog is really disheartening, and I would certainly hope that this won't end up as the first and the last post of this month. In a way, the month is just beginning.

Did someone order a shinigami?
死神のテスタメント - Meunet of Epistula is one of those games that starts out rather poorly and despite some faint hints of improvements, never really gets any better. I decided to read it on a whim after seeing it among last month's releases, mostly because I didn't think I was ready for グリザイアの迷宮 yet. I can't say that I'm disappointed since I went in with no expectations, but the game still left a sour taste in my mouth.

At least I found a new wallpaper
I wanted to like it because I do have a soft spot for Vivi and Irina, too bad the latter's route was quite bad (not that Vivi's was much better). The problem was that each route is made into a chapter, or in some cases, a "broken" chapter (for heroines who don't have much impact on the main storyline) and thanks to the tired gimmick that is repeating timelines, the routes felt really anticlimactic. An uninspiring protagonist with a weak supporting cast is pretty disastrous for almost any story, and I think that is another problem with the game. The side characters really had no reason to exist other than being mere plot devices; some of their actions are also illogical and have next to no effect on the plot. I seriously wonder what the writers wanted me to feel when Himeno, who had already been established as quite indecent, called the protagonist while she was having sex with her "client". Was I supposed to hate her after that? I mean was I even supposed to like her in the first place? It's really weird because Rui just hung up and the incident was never brought up again.