Saturday, April 4, 2009

No more Toradora? OH SHI...

Hold on, before I go any further...

(*insert rant on why school is causing blog not to be updated frequently + several lame excuses*)

...Now then, on to the real content.

Toradora has given my previously mundane Thursdays a new meaning, ever since I started on it around 4 months ago. It was the show that kept me refreshing YouTube on my browser every 30 seconds up to 4am in the morning. It was the show that gave me new insight as to how people really work, how they aren't transparent all the time. It was THE show. I never regretted watching anime by starting off with this epic series.

Sad to say, all good things always come to an end, and Toradora concluded with it's final Episode 25 a week ago. Now I would have loved to blog about it the split-second I finished it, but (*insert rant on why school is causing blog not to be updated frequently + several lame excuses*) so, yeah.

I'm no anime veteran, nor will I pretend to be one, so I won't be giving a full-fledged review on Toradora. Instead, let me personify my opinion about this series as a whole with just one word: 'Magical'. It wasn't the animation, nor the sound track, no, not even the storyline. What was magical was a mixture of the three, blended in with many, many well-connected symbolisms to create an experience I won't be forgetting anytime soon.

Kiss scene of the year

Thank you, JCstaff, you've made a happy camper's Thursdays a tad more tolerable, even if it was only for 4 months.

That said, I earnestly hope for a season 2, or at the very least, an OVA. The thought of a season 2 was initially out of the question since any continuation would be original, and lets just say JCstaff aren't the best when it comes to original productions. But there's an emptiness inside me which came after finishing EP25, and it can only be remedied by more Toradora, as much as it won't happen. Or, I could just mop about for another month or so until this emptiness goes away, but the former would be SO much more welcome.

So now the empty time slot for anime on my Thursdays has been given to "K-ON!", a spanking new series by Kyoani, the good people who also produced "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya". This anime is about four girls who come together to revive their school's light music (keiongaku) club, which is in the process of being disbanded. So far the first episode seems pretty much in order. The animation was great, sounds were nice, character designs are adorable and I think I'm addicted to the OP. My biggest worry would be the character development, or lack thereof. I was hoping for more depth in the characters, not glass panel people. This could be the after effects of watching Toradora, but I'm uncomfortable with shallow characters and K-ON! is showing signs. Oh well, it's the first episode, I'll see where it goes.

Till next time.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Duty calls, and college too.

What's this?

I haven't updated in like, half a month? Impossible!

But with junior college breathing down my back, I find it hard to even have time for schoolwork.

Ain't that a bitch?

Well, on to some REAL content.

The number 1 game I'm looking forward to right now is Empire: Total War, which has already appeared on torrents. Yes, TORRENTS. They are not on the shelves yet, but they are already on the TORRENTS. I fight a small battle of restraint every time I go online.

This IS the game to get for the month, if not for the rest of the year. It's something I've been waiting for since MTW. Going by that logic, it's be safe to assume that I would have jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on it.

2 things put me off:

1) Disk space required: 11Gb for downloading, another 10 or so for installing. I currently have 25Gb.

2) Game system requirements. My rig barely meets the recommended specs.

Drat, looks like I'll have to go for the retail, and get a new comp...

Now if you'll excuse this pathetic attempt at a blog post, I have an Economics assignment to do...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A new headset, and a new dilemma

Woohoo! I just bought a logitech headset from Challenger, at 29 greenbacks. Now I can scream at my useless L4D teammates instead of suffering my keyboard typing my curses.

Great stuff.

At the same time, I encountered a problem while battling the restless undead.

Here's an example. At the end of "No Mercy" part1, right before you head into the metro, four of you are strolling your way to the end, when Louis decides in would be fun to shoot the flashing car before you guys scram. While this would usually be slightly annoying but harmless, a boomer lands a lucky shot and blinds all of you. Blurred and confused, you're easy prey for the rest of the infected. 10 seconds pass before two of your friends are on the ground and another is engaged with walking corpses.

Here are two options:

1) "Leave no man behind"
This is the heroic approach, where you try to save your teammates' asses. If you succeed, you get a lot more points if all of you make it through. Risk is that some hunter or smoker just spawned and decided you would make a tasty meal. In this case, you stand to lose big, or win big.

2) "I'm a fucking coward"
Apologize to your teamies (or not) and make a run for the saferoom. Succeeding would give a confirmed win for your team, at the expense of quite some points. It still carries a risk, since you you might get bagged along the way even if it's a short distance. You stand to lose small, win small.

I've tried both approaches, but insticnt always tells me to save my own ass. For several occasions, I found it very hard to go back and fetch my teammates. Either way, you could potentially get verbally fucked by them. If you save yourself, they will be screaming at you. If you try to save them and get raped yourself, well... they will still be screaming at you.

I found 2 to be the best in pub games, since no one really cares about the points. Even if your team wins but only get a few measly points, the opposition will RAGE.

Well then, there's your problem. If you see "Wangmaster" on Garena L4D, make sure he doesn't abandon you at the last minute...


Sunday, February 8, 2009

I FUCKING hate cliques

Don't you?

Going to a new school means new beginnings right? So how come I'm seeing the same old clumps of social activity instead of a nice mixture?!? Yes, that's right, it's because of the FUCKING CLIQUES.

Before I go on ranting, here's the situation: I'm currently in my new junior college, Meridian JC. Apparently I was mistaken into thinking that in JC, your whole class becomes familiar (reasonably) with each other. Using the analogy of a cake mixture, instead of getting a nice, soft texture, I'm seeing uneven clumps. Basically, my class has fallen victim to the dreaded cliques.

I hate it. I FUCKING hate it.

I apologize for the profanity, but it's ridiculous that my class can be so divided. The "cool guys" come into one clique, the girls are in one separate clique, and the "not so hot" guys are in another clique.

The class beside ours was like a seasoned orchestra, prepared within less than 5 days of meeting each other for the first time. They do stuff as a whole class. They joke around as a class, work as a class, and cheer as a class.

Teamwork, camaraderie and openness; you'll find none of that bullshit in mine. Yes folks, instead you'll discover that we lovely caste system in place over here. Not so talkative or sociable? Sorry, no exclusive membership for you to the "cool guy" clique. I've made a futile effort to go "clique hopping", socializing from social group to social group. Every group has their own business, nothing to do with other cliques, no need to interact with them either. Let the situation grow for 4 days, and voila, you now have a class reduced to 3 factions. I hope for a well-bonded class, but that's beyond impossible for mine.

I remember mentioning this to one of my friends. His reply didn't surprise me: "Welcome to the club." It's practically the same everywhere you look. Cliques are everywhere, in every (save for previously mentioned example) class.

There's a social discrimination going on, and I'm not liking it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Toradora! EP17. The beginning of the end.

I haven't been posting much about Toradora (if at all) during the past month. Don't get me wrong, its not because I dislike the show, quite the opposite. I just simply don't have the energy to post comments for every single episode, since most of the time people don't care, or have their own opinions. Rather, a forum would be the perfect place to talk about this.

The latest episode, EP17 is the beginning of an arc which will eventually end the series. Taiga starts to like Ryuji, Minori is getting confused who she really wants happiness to go to and becomes all yandere in the process, and Ami has gone back to becoming the insulting witch she was. Makes you wonder how a situation so FUBAR can be fixed. While the previous episodes have incorporated a good deal of humor and laughs, from EP17 onwards, the series will shift to a more serious note, as can be observed from their new OP and ED...

Great group photo I could get from the new OP (Thank goodness for photoshop)... Feel free to use this image, but please give kudos to Thehappycamper when you do...

A lot of viewers have complained that the new opening and ending is inferior to the previous ones, but that could not be further from the truth. People just don't like drama in their comedy. When you add a bit of spice and take away some laughs, people start ranting on how serious the series has become. Face it people, its not everyday that comedy dominates the scene.

I myself think all four OPs and EDs have been equally magnificent, but since a change of mood requires a change of scene, a more emotionally-charged opening and ending is required. I must admit, i will miss the upbeat tunes of the old opening, but I'm sure the new one will grow on me just as well.

There is a nagging problem I have with the series, and that is, there will likely be no second season for Toradora. Lord knows how I will survive after march, which is when the final 25th episode will air. But that may be a good thing, since a good finale to wrap up everything may be better than a continuation to make things so much more confusing and draggy. As far as the anime is concerned, a sound conclusion will be in its best interests. Oh well, I guess there's still the forums to dwell in after all is over...

On a completely unrelated note, the Camper's Hideout has reach a milestone of more than 50 readers in a single day! Hooray! Thank you for viewing this relatively insignificant blog, and rest assured, more interesting articles will be coming your way very soon!

Again, thanks for your viewership!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The real "I am Legend"

If you watched the movie "I am Legend" (If you didn't, don't bother with the DVD, the movie is shit), you might be interested to know it was an adaptation of a 1954 modern horror novel of the same name.

The book is about a man in Los Angeles who is the only immune person in a world where everyone has been turned by a strain of bacteria into "zombies", or more accurately, mutated humans who exhibit vampire-like characteristics, such as vulnerability to light. While he fights for his own survival and the hope that he can one day find a cure for the disease, he is oblivious to the fact that the so-called "zombies" are still inherently human. As the story progresses, he realizes that he is the final being of an old and obsolete species of human civilization in a world where everyone has changed, and finally ends himself to allow the new society of new "humans" to go ahead. Being like the olden day vampires who were feared and outcasted, he has become one of them, a legend.

I really recommend this book to any avid reader out there. Apart from the fantastic meaning of the book, the setting and tone of writing really gives the reader a sense of dread as he/she reads on. It's been a real joy to finish the novel, from the first attention-absorbing page all the way to the last.

Not sure if the bookstores still stock this classic, but if not the internet contains everything, repeat, EVERYTHING.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates

Been busy with a few things lately, namely:

1) Starting on preliminary planning for a second story. This time, it's a "light novel", a novel for teenagers and young adults. I was heavily inspired by the light novel and anime adaptation of "Toradora!", and it's ability to portray the mixed emotions of teenagers in a sincere and refreshing way. Originality is a problem, and I need to change my story so it will not be complete copypasta from the source material. Rest assured, work on my original post-apocalyptic story would not be on hiatus. Effort will be divided equally between the two.

2) Trying out Audiosurf. This little baby has probably taken up a quarter of the time I spend on the computer. Find it and buy it, you're spending only $15 or so for a hell load of fun.

3) Sorting out my life. It's been four years since I stepped into TKSS (the school I recently graduated from), and now, I step out from it, with a brain juiced up with knowlege, but without direction. I don't want to be sitting in front of a desk with paperwork piled up in front of me 20 years down the road and asking myself, "Is this really what I wanted to do?" Sure, it's nice to have an iron rice bowl, but I also want to enjoy what I do, not just working for the sake of working. So, I spend quite some time actually sitting down and brainstorming at what i'm good at and what I like to do. Trust me, the two don't always intersect.

Will try to get some REAL content out soon. Wish me luck.