31 Mar 2004 11:56 pm

Hori makes some pretty snazzy game console controllers. I’d been looking at their GameCube Digital Controller (which is shaped like that of the old SNES) for a while, and I’d recall hearing about a special Onimusha 3 controller (from either Crunk Games or Insert Credit). Apparently, said controller was supposed to be motion-sensitive and would translate your movements to movements within the game. Unsurprisingly, it was shaped like a samurai sword.

Onimusha controller, display

Ornamental display mode

Details, ’til now, were fairly sketchy, and I’m glad to see that pictures have finally surfaced. While I think the concept’s pretty cool (there’s a Dragon Warrior dedicated, set-top version, so there must be a market for this), I think the regular controller interface looks kind of clunky.

Onimusha controller, controller side

Controller buttons revealed

Still, cashflow willing, I’d love to try out one of these for myself. Preferably with nothing fragile within swinging distance.

29 Mar 2004 6:58 pm

Must… stop… posting… wallpapers… to 4chan!

Aaagh. Need to find a service provider that can give me more bandwidth to host files and images. Arrgh.

Anyway, while it’s up, here’s a Disgaea wallpaper. Or two. Might have to copy and paste the link into your browser due to 4chan’s anti-leeching script (which I fully understand and wholly endorse). Odds are good that the links will fade within two days or so, unless they’re otherwise bumped or saged.

25 Mar 2004 11:58 pm

Wow. Awstats tells me that I’ve seen 10,000 unique visitors this month, and about 12,000 visits. I’d seen the numbers climbing before (in fact, was rather surprised to see it climb even after the site’s hiatus due to incompetence over Christmas), but to see it break 10,000 was actually kinda cool, considering that it’s a a geek-heavy anime / tech / spleen-venting hobby site, originally constructed because I happened to enjoy design work and HTML.

So. Hi. Welcome aboard. Visitors (especially regulars) should feel free to introduce themselves in the comments.

23 Mar 2004 4:18 pm

As an information packrat, I’m a big fan of archiving data (moreso ever since my horrendous server crash that put this site on hiatus for nigh unto three months). Couple that with the Sony DW-U12A DVD burner I purchased last year, and my prediliction for downloading fansubbed anime, and you end up with binders and spindles of burned series.

Now, R.O.D TV just finished recently (thanks be to Anime Station for their sterling work), and given that the actual DVD releases are going to contain vastly upgraded artwork (check out these screens revealing the differences in the artwork — you’ll have to scroll a fair bit down the pages and the site’s in Japanese, but ROD TV viewers should recognize them when they see them), I’ll definately be purchasing the show when it hits these shores.

However, I’m really loathe to lose the subs because they may contain material ignored or otherwise passed over in the commercial release (compare, for example, Manga’s release of the Read or Die OVA to the fansubs, where Nenene’s name is left intact on all the notes in Yomiko’s bedroom). This is where the DVD burner comes in. However, to my annoyance, A-S versions just don’t fit on one DVD, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to split it across two DVD’s just because of a paltry 100 MB overburn issue.

I’ve done this before, to less than satisfactory results (Full Metal Panic! comes to mind), but I really prefer to keep track of individual series on multiples of complete DVD’s. I can’t really blame A-S for this, as this is their first project, but it does seem interesting that other groups seem to work pretty hard to get their series to fit in a single 4.7 GB DVD blank…

I guess I’ll just have to fire up VirtualDub and get some resizing filters going.

21 Mar 2004 2:17 pm

Twin Spica is a bright star in this season’s anime offerings. For those of you already groaning, yes, that pun was intended, but then this review isn’t for you — you’ve seen the show! Stop reading and stand poised over your .torrent streams, and wait for the next lovingly fansubbed episode to come down the pipe.

Asumi Kamogawa in a spacesuit, chasing after a harmonica

Asumi Kamogawa

For those who’ve missed it (and there seem to be quite a few who have, judging from the lack of buzz on forums and newsgroups), Twin Spica is a coming-of-age character drama, featuring young Asumi Kamogawa and her quest to become a “rocket driver”. The show begins rather inauspicously, when a spacebound rocket crashes into the heart of a city; unfortunately, Asumi’s mother is badly injured in the crash as she tries to protect her baby daughter. From the get-go, you’re aware of just how tinged with personal tradgedy the stories of the primary characters will be, and so far (eight episodes in), we’ve already seen the painful pasts of three of our five leads (or four of six if you count the ghostly Lion-san).

Lion-san, midsummer's festival


One of the great strengths of this show is that our primary leads are so very likeable. Asumi is a gentle and sweet girl with a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of all things space-related and possessed of hidden depths; Lion-san is easygoing and endlessly patient, and a perfect big-brother-figure to the young and lonely Asumi. (I’m leaving out Kei, Marika and the others because they haven’t really had time to show off more of their character, what with only eight episodes fansubbed).

Asumi, Aki, Yuko and Marika

Our main cast

Another appealing aspect is how this show seamlessly tends to blur the line between hard science fiction and Japanese philosophical mysticism — I mean, you accept without hesistation and with equal reality that Lion-san is a ghost, and that regular space launches have become common enough that they’ve opened a nation school for astronauts.

With that in mind, I’m tempted to state that this show’s theme is of travel and discovery; upcoming episodes will prove or disprove that theory.

The plot seems to unfold slowly, allowing the characters time to play off each other and let us build greater emotional investment with each of them; I’m personally glad to see that raws for episode 19 are available — a half season just wouldn’t have been enough.

On a parting note, I’m really, really fond of the opening theme “Venus Say” by Buzy. It’s fiendishly energetic and enigmatic, and only has one cringe-worthy line of Engrish in it.