Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nothing in Particular - Christmas

I hate Christmas.

I grew up in an underprivledged family with less than stellar parents, and while I like to think they tried their best to give my brother and I a better life, I know in reality that they could have tried a lot better. That said, and that being the case, I always hated Christmas because I never fit into the mold of the perfect American dream.

We never did the presents thing. No caroling. No dinner with family and friends, while in later years I would try those things, they never took with me and I always saw them as a bother. Maybe I just get overly negative around this time of the year, or maybe I'm just some kind of a hater, but even as I grew older and more mature, began to worry about myself less and start working towards the better of others, I found it hard to put much effort out this past month.

That said, this year has been particularly bad.

I say I'm an athiest, and while logically, I don't think there's a God, I find it really hard to simply accept the fact that within a 24 hour period, things go from great, to horrible, especially when I finally face the music, accept responsibility for something I had been putting off, and for all intents and purposes, finally show some balls and take my due.

Why is it that when I finally move towards being the bigger man, so many things around me come crashing down? I need to know, if there is a God, I need to know what his logic is because I simply don't understand it.

If there is any kind of a lesson to be learned, it's that the bad guys win, and the good guys eat shit sandwiches, I can't let myself believe that that's true, and thus why I don't believe there is a God.

With that, I come back to Christmas. While many see Christmas as the season of giving, now that it's soon to be yesterday, all that good will is about to vanish with the course of time, to arise next year, but only until the clock strikes midnight and December 25th becomes the 26th.

People act in good will because they seek a self-gratification, and Christmas does nothing but give them a timeline for that. I don't care what you do, if you lift someone up with a show of helpfulness, only to drop them at the stroke of midnight, then that doesn't make you a good person.

...I guess I don't believe in the goodness in people anymore. I know I'm a good person. Yes, I like to troll people and make them angry, that's fun to me, but I don't think I'm capable of being truly cold and heartless to someone, no, I do far too much inner observation to be capable of such blind cruelty.

I'm a good person, I work towards the better of others in the grand scale of things, and under any circumstance I can be relied upon. These are truths I strive to keep even in the most dire of circumstances, but I don't think there are any people worth being good to.

With that said, I come to the ultimate conclusion of this Christmas day rant.

Throughout my life, I have observed others from a distance, even if I was standing next to them as they enjoyed my company, I stood in the distance, floating above, watching the scene with distanced eyes and a distanced heart. Someone will read this that knows me personally and as they do I want you to ask yourself this. Have you ever asked yourself why I never take pictures? Why I never invite others to my home, and why most people don't even know where I live? Why I only recently reactivated my cell phone and why when others would go out and have fun in social galas, I often chose to stay home or at the very least, was always quick to go home once the festivities were over?

I have spent my entire life observing others, and it is this very methodology and psychological status that has allowed me to grace by the perils and madness of the real world.

I've often thought of myself as being two separate people sharing the same body, but I realize it's more of a puppeteer and a doll, but with 2010 coming to a quick close, I felt it important to gather myself in at least some medium, to express to the world in some way the chaos that swirls in my own head as two very different people fight over the path leading towards my future.

I...honestly don't know where I'll be tomorrow, or next year, at this point I feel like I'm waiting for something just on the horizon, what that may be I have yet to find out but if it doesn't come soon then I fear I may fall to the demons that are chewing away at what little sanity I may have left.


Moe Life, No Life Feature Presentation - The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Nagato's first appearance in the film.
Every so often, a film comes out at the right time to really rally the spirits.

This year, that film was The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
I'll spare you all the saying that the film held in it some kind of a message or meaning that one could take into real life, because for all intents and purposes the only real message I could gather was "Once a yandere, always a yandere"
 But The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya is special for an entirely different reason. That is that it's Christmas, the film takes place within the same time frame, and it's a memory contained in modern cinema that I hold very dear.
 A memory of my youth.
 That isn't to say that I hung around a time traveler, alien, esper, and tsundere. No, I wasn't that lucky, but instead I was able to reflect back on a time in which I was younger, more naive, but also more energetic and optimistic, the time when I first laid eyes on The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya via recommendation of a friend, and saw the anime that would change my life forever.
 The film itself is really only marginally better than the anime that spawned it, to be honest, it's a sign that Lucky Star and K-ON! have corrupted the Kyoto Animation framework to the point that even their most prolific works are stained with an almost fat roundness. Yes, some of the moments in the movie are amazingly well done, but compared to the original Haruhi, it only meets expectations and doesn't pass by them.
 That isn't to say that the film isn't beautiful, but if you spend your life in a rose garden, then even the most beautiful rose in the desert will look standard at best.
 But still, in a season where we all get a little lonely, the characters of Haruhi are the best companions I could hope for.
 For the diehard fans of the title, you'll feel far more at home than anyone else, myself included, it's almost as if the anime never ended, as if the second season was just an extension, and we were back five or so years ago when Haruhi was all the rage.
 The fan service and appeal of the movie is all in the details. The different faces of the characters, the way they say things and the reactions they give beat all forms of visual fan service, a more sophisticated and colorful eye candy is presented in addition to an amazing music score and vocal performance.
 Minori Chihara has rarely been better.
 Kyon is obviously the main focus of the movie, and the monologue presented delivers the overwhelming sense of helplessness present in the character better than many works that have tried before.
 For those who know the character well, his passion and depression are almost your own, and as the story unfolds, even for those who have read the novels, it's hard not to get sucked in.
 I had seen the movie twice before the blu-ray came out. Once in the camrip Mazui put out last year, and once in the live showing in Los Angeles, still, watching it in stunning blu-ray was like watching it all over again.
 There are actually a lot of liberties taken to translate the story into a visual format, details are changed, but it still fits together perfectly.
 And when the plot moves, it feels like a shock surging through the viewer.
 Even still frames from animated sequences look good.
 Making the overall film completely worth the wait.
I just love this scene.
 Those familiar with the film and the novels know full well the weight of many of these scenes, and that's when Kyon's character really shines through.

 For being the most bland character in the cast, Kyon has the most depth. His mental dialogue is one of well-constructed verbal warfare, dealing with harsh mental observation and grueling examination of his own choices and opinions.

 "Of course!"

 The ending is as one would expect, highly predictable and at the same time, completely captivating.

 Haruhi is also in full display towards the end, as her feelings for Kyon, as obvious as they are, are played with an expert's precision.

 The ultimate ending is a show of Kyon's loyalty towards his friends, which is standard, but at the same time riveting.

Only time will tell what the future holds for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

But all I know is that I will eagerly await it all the same.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nothing but Screenshots - Macross Frontier Music Clip Collection Nyankuri

Those familiar with Macross know that it's about as much music as it is super fast mecha/jet fighting.

That said, Macross Frontier Music Clip Collection Nyankuri is less on the super fast jet fighting and more on the music. In fact, it's really just a bunch of music videos featuring new and old footage strung together by bits of questionnaire monologues.

Now, I've actually seen May'n and Megumi Nakajima in concert before, so hearing the official recordings won't ever be as exciting as that, but even then this little blu-ray that just so happened to come my way is fairly entertaining, even if you could not watch it and lose nothing in terms of the story of character development.

Unfortunately, I'll be skipping through the monologues and commercial bits, as there's a -lot- to cover.

Universal Bunny

Iteza Gogo Kuji Don't Be Late

Anata no Oto
Koi wa Dogfight
Seikan Hikou
Aimo~Tori no Hito

What 'bout my star? @ Formo
Diamond Crevasse
Northern Cross