Feeling Conflicted

I know I've said before that we were going to get the initial podcast up ASAP, unfortunately it's not ASAIL. Pandalicious is trying to finish up this gnarly little 15 page paper for school in order to finish out the semester without doing and serious damage to her grades. And while we were scheduled to record the initial podcast this evening we are re-scheduling it so she finish this thing up. Somebody in this family has to graduate from college, not just go to it. ;)

You go girl...But hurry up and finish already. We gots shizzole to do. :D

NinJaSistah out --
...Finish what you start

New Anime Day (^_^)

Today is new anime day: the day anime episodes on my cable providers OnDemand service are available. So far I've watched half of the new episodes.

Before I get into running off at the fingers about the episodes I've watched I want to talk a little bit about the Cox Communications Anime Network OnDemand service. To say that I love this service would be an understatement. On top of my ridiculously high cable bill, I pay $6.99 a month for the Anime OnDemand service from Cox. While I'll probably complain about the price of cable, I won't complain about the price of the Anime Network OnDemand. I look forward each week to Thursday when the new episodes pop up. Un-edited, uncensored, commercial free anime is the way to go people.

Anime Network alternates the series' updates. Half of all the currently airing series updates one week, and the other half the next. This way, you don't get bombarded with anime. I don't think I could contain myself if every series updated every week, but I wouldn't mind trying to. ;) Imagine, end of the week anime overload...[drool]

The OnDemand implementation is pretty good too. There are five categories of anime available:
Action [Bandit King Jing, Blue Seed, etc]
Bento Beatbox [DVD Dojo, and JPOP baby]
Giant Robots [Godannar, Dai-Guard, ZOE]
Girl Power [Gravitation, KaleidoStar, Diamond Daydreams]
Super Happy Funtime [Maburaho, Happy Lesson, Wandaba Style]

Today I watched Maburaho #23 and and Zone of the Enders Dolores I, #9. But now I'm tired and don't want to write any more so you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the episode breakdowns.

But I do have some good news, we will be recording the podcast tomorrow so we should have something up for Monday. Y'all better start subscribing and whatnot.

NinJaSistah out--
...Finish what you start

Oh Happy Day (^_^)

Do know what tomorrow is? Now if you are going to be a wiseass and say "Thursday" you'd be correct but that's not what I'm trying to get at. Thursday is new anime day on Anime Network. It's the day that new episodes get posted for different series.

This week, some of my new favorite anime series are being updated:
Bandit King Jing [episode 9]
Zone of the Enders, Dolores I [episode 9]
Maburaho [episode 23]
Blue Seed [episode 20]

Unfortunately not all of these series are weekly updates. :(

So I'll have to wait until next Thursday to catch new episodes of my latest guilty pleasures:
Diamond Daydreams

If you haven't seen any of these series you really ought to check em' out. I'll be writng about all of them here sooner or later.

For those of you out there with The Anime Network, I wish you a Happy New Anime Day.

NinJaSistah out --
...Finish what you start

Anime Review: Diamond Daydreams

Diamond Daydreams is a series that follows the stories of 6 women in Hokkaido. Atsuko, Karin, Kyoko, Suomi, Shoko, and Akari. I started watching this series by accident. My cable provider recently added Anime On Demand [still waiting for the Anime Network 24/7 but I'm not going to hold my breath] and I was browsing through all the episodes on the list when I came across the title, "Diamond Daydreams - Ep.01. Drawn to it like a moth to a flame I was. Do you have any idea how damned rare to catch a series from episode one On Demand?!

But I'm digressing.

It was a lark really. I didn't think it was going to be interesting at all. In all honesty I expected it to suck. I just wanted some background noise going on as I killed some time...but oh no, the damn thing had to be good. It's not earth shattering, but the initial episode draws you in so much you find yourself caring about and rooting for the episodes main character Atsuko. She's the typical hard working, seldom praised, near 20-something girl that's stuck between a rock and a hard place: A crush on a jazz playing, smooth older man [Mr. Kurata] or a pre-arranged engagement to a young, rich, boy who is quite controlling [Minoru]. After watching the episode I found myself needing to know what happens. So I grabbed my trusty laptop and heading to the Anime Network website to see when the next episode would air.

At the time, it was going to be more than 3 weeks until episode 2 was due to air. I nearly pulled my hair out. I needed to know if Atsuko picked Kurata or Minoru. And seeing as how each girl only has 2 episodes to tell their story, I rushed out and bought the DVD. I won’t give it away, but I have to say I was surprised. I have yet to watch Karin’s story, but I’m hopeful it will be as interesting as Atsuko’s.

As far as the quality goes it’s your typical anime…no astounding visuals, no OMG moment, nothing spectacular. It was just an enjoyable way to spend an hour. If you have the Anime Network, you should check it out. If not, you can buy it from ADV for around 30 bucks.

ninjaSistah out --
...Finish what you start

F&@K! 3D: Defunct Demo Discs

To say that I love video gaming is an understatement: I’ve suffered through Harrier, rescueded that damn Princess Peach umpteen-million times. Hell I’ve even gone broke spending all of my allowance at the arcade on Pole Position II followed by a prompt grounding for it. I’ve had my ass handed to me by the likes of Ninja Gaiden, God of War, all of the Devil May Cry series, and I keep coming back for more.

Some would say I’m a glutton for punishment.
My mother asks me if I’m, “still playing those stupid games...”
Me? I say I’m dedicated.

Dedicated because I love playing video games.

Not only do I love playing video games, I love reading about them. I have a subscription to OPM [The Official Playstation Magazine] had a subscription to Nintendo Power, I will shortly be starting a subscription to the Official XBOX magazine and even have a subscription to Game Developer magazine. I’m not a programmer, but their Post-Mortem articles are extremely insightful. With all this said, you may be asking how the hell title of the title above is relative. Great question. Here’s the answer.

I’m about to drop my OPM magazine subscription.

You might ask why? Are the articles that bad? Is there too much advertising going in the magazine? Do I not find uninformative or just plain boring?

The answer is no. I really enjoy the OPM articles. A great deal of the time they are frank explorations of a particular game or game developer. Advertising doesn’t bother me at all. As a matter of fact, I tend to spend almost as much time checking the ads out as I do the rest of the magazine. I’m a web designer, so all elements of design catch my attention. And what about the humor? or information? Again very funny [props for including the Penny Arcade strips] and the in depth examinations of Tomb Raider Legends, and Shadow of the Colossus.

So by now you’ve taken a look at my questions, and a look at the title and you’ve figured out why I’m dropping my subscription. It can be summed up in three words:

Defunct Demo Discs Damnit! [okay, that’s four...sue me]

Yes, I’ve finally gotten tired of begging for replacement demo discs [that never show up] because the demo disc that ships with my magazine is either bent, broken, or covered with that gummy adhesive they use to seal the lil disc envelope. Now, most of the time I didn’t mind receiving these busted discs because there really wasn’t the demo of a game that I really wanted to try. I mean I wasn’t really torn up that I couldn’t play a NBA game as they aren’t my thing, but I started to get a leetle perturbed when I couldn’t play the SC3 [Soul Calibur 3], BLACK, and Tomb Raider Legends demos. So I finally got off my snobby high horse and called the number listed in the magazine for disc issues. Each time I called, I spoke with someone who was very polite, and very sorry that my disc arrived in bad shape. They told me that they would be shipping me a replacement disc and that I should be receiving it shortly. One woman even told me that if I kept getting damaged discs they may have to look at how my magazine was being delivered to see if they could fix the problem. F&@K YEAH! All my problems are over. I even renewed my subscription early and for two years because I no longer needed to fear damaged discs.

Christmas, dear friends, had come early.

There was only one small problem. To this day I have not received any of the replacement discs I requested. Every demo disc I have received for the last 5 issues has been damaged. And damaged bad man. I’ve tried soaking my adhesive covered discs in soapy water to get the adhesive off...running just the part of the disc that had the adhesive on it with hot water to try and melt it off...I’ve tried re-bending bent discs...I mean it’s like a drug addiction; I’m doing everything I can so I can get my fix...my video game fix.

Things weren’t always this way.

I’ve had my OPM subscription since issue 25 [or 24] and none of those discs every arrived in any kind of state of damage. In the early days the demo discs used to be in a cardboard sleeve on the outside of the magazine. Mail carriers could easily see there was a disc in the plastic encased package, so they didn’t bend it to fit it into a mailbox, or to fit into a mail carrying sack. But then OPM made a move to hide the demo disc in the middle of the magazine, and that’s when my disc reliability started to shit the bed.

After going through my collection I have added it all up and I have a total of 25 damaged discs. Had this been out of my total demo disc collection [which is 77] it would not be so bad. It would mean that roughly 32% of my discs arrive damaged; I’d have a one in three shot of getting a damaged disc. This I could live with.
The problem is that I am only talking about discs 49-104 of my collection...that’s 55 discs. Out of 55 discs, 25 are damaged to the point that they are unplayable or would do damage to my PS2 if I tried to play them in the system. That makes the percentage jump up to 45%. For the non-mathematicians, that means that my "one in three shot" is now down to a "every other" as in every other demo disc that I receive is likely to be damaged.

And that just SUCKS.

It especially sucks because the games coming out on the PS2 platform have been really stepping their game up and OPM has been putting out demo discs that beg to be played. Who wouldn’t want to play Okami, BLACK, We Love Katamari, or Psychonauts? Lord knows I wanted to play the damn demos. I use the demo discs to decided if a game is worth pre-ordering, plunking down $50 bucks on, or if I should just pass on it all together. And now my reliable tool for doing that has gone down the shitter. YIPP-FUCKING-EE!

So here I am, completely pissed off. I’m restless because I now have to wait for TV commercials to find out if games are really cool or not. [LAME] And to top it all off, I’m getting ready to drop one of my favorite magazines because they aren’t helping me to spend my money like they used to. And that pisses me off even more.

ninjaSistah out --
...Finish what you start