Friday, October 15, 2004

Okay! Okay. So I forgot to post more of the VR story on Wednesday, and then completely forgot to update this journal yesterday. I’m a moran.

A brief aside: Some of my readers may have noticed that I regularly refer to this thing as a “journal,” not a “blog.” I do this because I’m 0ld sK00l; when I first thought about an online diary, “blog” was a contraction of “weblog” which meant a log of the web, literally a site where somebody would post links to new and cool things around the web, with minimal commentary. Plep is still like this. Sites that were primarily commentary or personal in nature weren’t blogs.

However, the term “blog” has now come to mean “any site where people post updates in a journal-like way,” so I’m thinking about relaxing my vocabulary enough to refer to this site as a blog. There’s a certain satisfactory vocabulatory eliteness in knowing that I’m using the “proper” term, but it’s kind of like grammarians who insist that you can never start a sentence with “and” or “but.” We’ve outgrown that rule.

Anyvay, back to things. I’ve been watching a fair amount of anime lately, out of a desire to get through the several dozen discs that I haven’t finished (or, in many cases, started). I watched the first disc of Chrono Crusade, which started out merely good and ended up quite impressive (as anime tends to be very good at doing). It’s a fun series set in the Roaring Twenties, but with demons and nuns that pack heat. Underneath that, though, glimmers a heartwarming story in Rosette (the protagonist) and the kind demon that she’s tamed.

I also watched the first episode of Gungrave, which is pretty much what I expected—slick and violent with a mysterious backstory, but nothing much beyond that. I don’t enjoy violence the way I once did. That said, it was nice to see that the series copies Yasuhiro (“Trigun”) Nightow’s manga style more closely than Trigun did. Nightow has an almost dreamy, intricate style to his artwork that relies on incomplete lines and an almost sketchy feel that is lost when TV character designs go for simplicity.

Another aside: When an anime is made of a manga, typically a character designer is hired. The existing manga designs are almost always far too detailed to be drawn over and over again by animators. The character designer takes the existing manga designs and simplifies them, using fewer lines but retaining the essence of the artwork. This can compromise the artistic style somewhat.

I also popped in my disk of Neo-Tokyo, a.k.a. Manie Manie. I’d seen a fansub of this awhile back, and loved it; fortunately this was an excellent production. Every frame was intact, and the English voices are pretty much perfect. I was gratified to see that it was a Carl Macek dub; he’s been redeeming himself impressively these days (especially considering his perfect dub of My Neighbor Totoro for Fox).

And now, more VR story.

He turned to her, lowering his voice to a whisper, and said, “That wasn’t an act.”

Her eyes widened. “What’s the problem?”

“I don’t know. Big guys keep coming after me. With guns. They’re trying to kill me.” He winced at himself for that, but even if Doodlehopper wasn’t willing to trust anybody, Thomas was. “I’ve managed to get away from them so far, but my luck will run out eventually.”

“Why?” she said, her voice perfectly composed but her expression intent on him.

“I don’t know.” She cocked an eyebrow and he said, “Honestly. My nose is clean.” That made him uncomfortable, too. He was pretty sure this had something to do with Client D, but what good would that do for Bright to know?

“And you want me to look into it?”

He couldn

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