Jan 27, 2011

This Is What We Believe

I'm trying to avoid pushing too much of my beliefs into this blog past the two logos on the side (mainly to avoid limiting readers), but I saw this video posted on the TheThinkingAtheist Facebook page and found it to be really good. It addresses the question of what Atheists believe in without a god. The video is comprised of numerous video clips with Future by Colony 5 playing in the background (which isn't actually that bad a song) and the uploader has even went to the trouble of attempting to get the lips of the people featured in the clips to sync.

"This is what we believe" is based on the song Future by Colony 5, and it's a response to all those who think that we who don't follow any religious faith don't believe in anything. The video is also a tribute to all women and men who advocate a secular worldview, free from religious dogma and other supernatural beliefs, and a celebration of science and reason.

Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Michael Shermer, Steve Pinker, PZ Myers, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, Carolyn Porco, Steven Weinberg, Carl Sagan, ZOMGitsCriss, thunderf00t, xxxThePeachxxx, patcondell, FactVSReligion, gogreen18

As per usual I recommend that instead of watching it embedded, click on the YouTube button to watch it in better quality on YouTube. 

Jan 23, 2011

Universe Wars

I started playing this game maybe 4 years ago, and from then it went pretty much downhill. However, this round there is a new Developer, so things are looking up!

I know this blog doesn't exactly get many visitors but I thought I'd do what I can to get the game more players and return it to it's former glory!

Jan 20, 2011

Final Fantasy XIII-2

A few minutes ago my choice YouTube game reviewer posted a video containing the trailer for the recently announced Final Fantasy XIII-2.

I quite simply adored the original, but for some reason I just don't know how to feel about this. I have heard the Final Fantasy X-2 horror stories, and I can't help but feel this is just milking it. The ending to Final Fantasy XIII was pretty conclusive, so this would seem like nothing more than making up some random crap to drag the story on for the sake of it. I'm probably going to buy this anyway because I'm just a fanboy like that but at the moment I'm not too sure about how good the game will be.

Jan 18, 2011

Originality? In My Star Driver!?!?

 It's more likely than you think. Yes, that's right! After 14 weeks of the same formulaic, repetitive pattern every episode, Star Driver finally decided to break the mould! Instead of setting up the whole episode for yet another predictable Zero Time sequence before unleashing a little bit of drama the Zero Time sequence has been abandoned entirely in favour of a good old story driven episode. The episode starts off rather upbeat with Takuto and Mizuno having a chat in the boys restroom (it's totally normal) before the rest of  the episode  focuses almost exclusively on Mizuno and Marino.


Things start off all good as the sisters have one of their chats with a pretty little moon in the background. The scene then cuts to Mizuno's daily commute on top of a bus (again, completely normal) at which point it starts raining gently, can you say pathetic fallacy (fuck yeah English class!)? Mizuno then spots Takuto and co. chatting and deciding who gets to share the umbrella with Wako. The conversation takes a turn for the worse for Mizuno, leaving her a tad upset.

Heartbreak Incoming!

Looking rather crafty here.

It's not drama unless it's raining.
After all this heartbreak, the return of the girls' mother sparks yet more for the lucky Mizuno, along with a bit of a sisterly argument. Upset, Mizuno attempts to leave the island the next day... several times (no doubt sparking painful memories for Endless Eight victims everywhere) before Wako finds her broken down and crying.

Mizuno then meets Wako's grandmother and discovers how Wako too is a maiden, before taking a walk on the beach that leads to this episodes big dramatic ending (possible spoiler images below).

Dun Dun


Jan 16, 2011

Trouble In Tunisia

What is this? Do my eyes deceive me? Nay! It would appear that after weeks of absolutely nothing happening news of a somewhat interesting nature has happened!

Tunisia is usually seen as a stable and wealthy country in comparison to others in the region but after 4 weeks of rioting things came to a head on Friday when the President Ben Ali dissolved his government and declared a state of emergency.

Protests began on 18th December when an unemployed rural graduate set himself on fire in protest to the confiscation of his vegetable cart (he died on January 4th). This sparked the beginning of a revolution against unemployment, police repression, food inflation, corruption, and poor living conditions. Protests carried on until Friday 14th January when President Ben Ali fled the country in his private jet. The Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi took over leadership of the country briefly before the constitutional council declared that the President had departed permanently and placed Fouad Mebazaa in power to form a coalition government with several opposition politicians who had been repressed, jailed and weakened under Ben Ali's rule and organise new elections for 60 days time.

Ben Ali has landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (after France rejected a request for his plane to land on its territory) and is now sheltering with the Saudi royal family as back home in Tunisia there is chaos and confusion. There are reports of knife-wielding and balaclava-clad gangs attacking flats and houses, organised groups attacking shops and factories and stolen hire cars careering around the city and suburbs, stopping only to smash and burn.

An immediate result of these events has been an increase in internet freedoms, with the Tor anonymity network reporting a surge of traffic from Tunisia.

Jan 11, 2011

Is This What Heaven Feels Like?

The promised day has come! Our beloved Boxxy has returned after two years away from us! Now I know how the Christians must have felt after the resurrection of Jesus!

It's just some random girl on the internet but for some reason it fills me with ecstatic glee and I don't know why. However, she is different to when we last saw her, this video appears to be the real girl behind Boxxy, explaining her long absence and at times getting even emotional as she thanks her/Boxxy's fans. I'd like to thank the great sxephil for telling me of this return, made all the greater as I completely wasn't expecting it. Her other video's also pretty cool with the way she did it.

This also amused me despite it's negative nature:

Jan 10, 2011

Glee Has Returned!

That's right! I'm a Glee fan, and I'm unashamed to say it. Usually I despise musicals and everything about them but this show is just brilliant, with quite a bit of decent comedy to top it off. They can actually sing too, which makes a change.

Anyway, Season 2 just started airing in the UK tonight and Mondays have been brightened up significantly. I'm not the only one happy though as it seems to have quite a large fanbase within my group of friends, even from those I didn't think would like it... then again I never would have thought I'd like it either.

The first episode was just as great as last season so it all looks pretty promising, and for the next few months it will be one of those rare times in the year that I'll have something decent to watch and look forward to because British TV has declined into nothing but Reality TV and soaps. Also, assuming the new Doctor Who series coincides with this then I really will be satisfied with TV for once instead of resorting to Anime for something entertaining (especially since Winter 2011 doesn't look very great).

Jan 1, 2011

Fall 2010 Season Final Impressions

Despite most of these shows running on into Winter 2010 I htought I should at least re-evaluate my opinions on them, so here we go.

To Aru Majutsu no Index Season II
I'm sorry to say but as this has carried on I've found myself losing interest. The last arc lasted far too long and I just didn't find it that interesting, although I think the next episode is the final part of this arc. Also, through the last few episodes I swear I've noticed a severe drop in character animations, especially Index and Misaka, but I haven't seen anyone else comment on this so I'm not too sure. I'm hoping the after this arc is over and done with that Index will return to form (with plenty of Misaka).

Star Driver
Each episode remains to be formulaic and repetitive, but I still can't stop watching, I think I've found a guilty pleasure. I hope they move away from the predictability of the first 13 episodes, but I'm not sure I can see that happening except for maybe some of the climax episodes. The characters and most of the animation are still pretty good, but the story is really lacking at the moment.

Despite the sub group I was using dropping this for being 'boring' I continue to enjoy it (after finally finding a new group who don't take an age to release). I can happily carry on watching this over the next season and they've already green-lit a second season for October 2011, so I have something to look forward to later this year. The story remains to progress out a relaxed rate that's both easy to follow without being too slow and I still like the main characters plenty. They've also managed to find a way to get rivalry, suspense and romance into a show about two guys writing manga, which is rather surprising.

Ore no Imouto
Despite a couple of lows with the whole Light Novel/Anime thing of Kirino's (I still can't forget how ridiculous it was) the show managed to get back into form for the last few episodes and didn't even get too incesty (even though you can tell Kirino likes Kyousuke a bit more than a sister should and there's still the 'True End' to get released with the DVD's). This was a fun enough show with mostly likeable characters, except for Kirino's mega-bitch moments, as well as some comedy. Even though I'm not exactly otaku and have only been watching anime for a year I was still able to relate to quite a few moments although perhaps not as much as actual otaku. I'll probably have largely forgotten about this by the end of the Winter season but it was still an enjoyable watch.

Shinryaku! Ika Musume
This was a great bit of fun to look forward to every week with the ever-so-lovable Squid Girl and her human friends, and they even managed to get a bit of an underlying story for the final episode, which even got me a bit sad. Like I said last time the lack of story maybe limited this for me, but of course it was never meant to have one because it's just a comedy, and a great one at that. This was quite a memorable series but I'm not sure if I'll ever end up re-watching it.

This was the clear highlight of the last two seasons and perhaps even the year for me (even more than my beloved K-ON!!). Although the story was a but slow at the beginning I have to agree with what another blogger said, in that it helped us connect with the characters and setting, which gave the show a bigger impact as it reached it's climax. It was a brilliant story that managed to make you even feel sympathy towards the vampires/Shiki and actually question the villagers humanity as they go a bit overboard after finding out about the Shiki. Like I said, you develop a great attraction to a great number of the characters, both human and Shiki, and start to think about who you really do want to win. I don't think I've really done this show justice with this paragraph but I'd suggest if you're reading this that you really should watch this, especially if you're big fan of traditional vampires who burn (not sparkle) in the sunlight, can't enter your house without permission (instead of watching you sleep), have control over those they've bitten (I've ran out of mocking Twilight comparisons) and can only be killed by a stake to the heart. The story was one of the most exceptional I've ever seen, being thought provoking, full of suspense and horror and sucks you right in.

Although I'm really not pleased with the Shiki paragraph (still not used to this reviewing malarkey) here's my views on the last season. I hope I've maybe given you some ideas for shows to watch, especially Shiki! I'm kind of worried that with 3 shows running into next season I may end up watching quite a lot, although from my quick glance of next seasons shows I haven't seen much that catches my eye so I may not be too busy in the end.

Hopefully this year will be a good one for anime, and I'm especially looking forward to Season 2 of Baka to Test to Shōkanjū and (assuming it's out this year) the new Code Geass series. There's also the K-ON!! movie, but I'm not sure when that's released in cinemas or when the BD/DVD release will be.