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  • Listening to: Starbomb Player Select
  • Reading: A Game of Thrones, device specs and algorithm code
  • Watching: Bob's Burgers, Markiplier Plays Dead Space 1-3
  • Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Pokemon AS
  • Drinking: Blue Gatorade
Once again, apologies for the hiatus, though I get the feeling this will be the first of many I'll have for dA. If it's any indicator how much my job has taken time away from art, I sketched a drawing back in August and didn't get to finish it until today (and I'll hopefully post it later today as well).

My resolution for 2015 was to work on something productive each Sunday afternoon, and so far so good. Most of that time will likely go into Lyssia the Scarlet, whether outlining, writing, or doing concept art. One thing in particular I'd like to do is sketch concept drawings of each character alongside the characters that helped to inspire and shape them. Not only will it help me to put a face to a character, but I'll also be able to sneak in some fanart and practice other styles a bit more.

And of course I haven't forgotten about my series BSL and SSBA! I'm also aiming to draw at least one more of each of these within the year, though I'm hesitant to make any promises on full-fledged drawings after how long it took for my recent one. We'll see how the year goes!


PS: As I probably mentioned before, about the only place I lurk online regularly anymore is Tumblr, if you'd like to find me there.
  • Listening to: EastNewSound, NSP
  • Reading: Podcasts count, right?
  • Watching: Kill la Kill, Adventure Time, Game Grumps
  • Playing: Pokemon Y, Bioshock Infinite (again)
  • Eating: Strawberry strudels and turkey sandwiches mostly
  • Drinking: Caffeine
Remember when I used to update this journal thing semi-regularly? Yeah, me neither. Anyhow, I've finally got a few things to mention!

First, I figured I should update by saying what's been apparent for a while now, which is that I seem to have grown away from the dA community over the years. Not to say I'll be leaving, but that I'm simply not as involved as I used to be. I'll still continue to use dA as my artwork portfolio/hub of sorts, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. But I guess what I wanted to get across is that I'm more active elsewhere on the webs lately, which is to say Tumblr. If you'd like to follow me there and/or ask me random questions, my reblogs blog is over here, and most everything that shows up on my dA or YouTubes shows up on my art blog here.

Second, an update on creative projects.

As some might know, I published my latest novel Eve of End in 2013, between graduation and getting a full-time job in engineering. My current creative focus is with my next novel, Lyssia the Scarlet, which is still in its planning stages, but steadily approaching cohesion. I'd like to also announce that I've been looking into creating some original YouTube video series for a while now, and while I do have several ideas, my circumstances (to cut a long story short) won't allow for it just yet. I've already set up the new channel, and now it's just a matter of waiting for life to settle into place.

There's a bit of good and bad news for AR Book 2. Since I've already covered most of the backstories for Ruby, Freddy, and Don (the three protagonists) indirectly through combinations of Eve of End and the Blue Starlight comics, I seem to have painted myself into a corner of not having enough material left to fill another book as originally planned. So instead of a set of novellas like the first book, I'll be telling the remaining stories through a series of three games, which I feel can carry the stories better in some ways. It's likely this project will be the lowest priority on my list of major projects for a variety of reasons, but I just wanted to announce the change ahead of time because it is a bit of a drastic change, and I want to have a chance to listen to any concerns if they exist. Real talk, Eve of End wouldn't have existed without the fans of the THAF/Apesol series, and the last thing I'd want to do is betray them at the final chapter of the franchise.

If you have any comments, of course feel free to leave them here or in a Note, or drop questions in my Tumblr Ask and I'll probably get around to answering it many days sooner. And I hate to be the guy shouting about all this social networking stuff, but you can follow my Facebook page and/or Twitter for updates on stuff (my Facebook page is the better managed of the two, frankly I sometimes forget I have a Twitter).

THIRDLY, KILL LA KILL IS GREAT AND SATSUKI IS THE BEST CHARACTER.


PS: Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes and gifts, I really do appreciate it!
  • Listening to: EastNewSound, ClariS
  • Reading: Eve of End
  • Watching: Railgun S, Oreimo 2, Maou-sama, Attack on Titan
  • Playing: Borderlands 2, SWTOR, Touhou 13.5, Touhou 14 demo
  • Eating: Pastas and pizzas
  • Drinking: Soda
As those who've been following my Twitter and/or public Facebook may already know, I just ordered my review copy of Eve of End from my publisher. If the physical book turns out well, I should be able to officially release it by mid-June! I've also got a couple of related surprises in store to release alongside it, and perhaps a few unrelated surprises to work on after its release, so look forward to those as well!

On the anime scene, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S, Oreimo 2, Hataraku Maou-sama, and Attack on Titan have all been awesome in their own ways. Can't really say why in particular for fear of spoilers, but they're definitely worth checking out if you aren't watching already.

I got Borderlands 2 while it was on sale a while back (with a few DLCs included). So far I have a level 34 Mechromancer (my solo character) and a level 14 Siren (my co-op character with my sister's Assassin). Haven't tested out the rest of the classes, but I think it's safe to say anyway that Mechro is the best class =P Still waiting on a good price to nab the Season Pass and the Psycho class.

I've also been playing a bit of the Touhou 14 demo. For some reason I never quite got into Touhou 13 (as far as gameplay, new characters, or music), but 14 hit all the right notes for me. It's a bit assuring to know 13 was just a hiccup for me instead of a drift away from my general interest in Touhou.

Oh, and long story short, I basically got a free Wii U this past weekend. My Nintendo ID is (surprise) "Apkinesis" if any of ya'll happen to have one as well, though I'm not sure how frequently I'll be using it for Miiverse stuff.

And that's about it for now!
  • Listening to: EastNewSound, Exit Trance
  • Reading: Eve of End drafts and edits
  • Watching: TWD, Scrubs, Puchimas, Minami-ke 4, Game Grumps
  • Playing: TF2, Pokemon W2, Skyrim, Shadow of the Colossus
  • Eating: Pastas and pizzas
  • Drinking: Soda
Howdy again after yet another long absence!

It feels like I've been neglecting DeviantArt more than usual lately, and I've narrowed it down to four reasons:
1) I finished my final semester of college this past December, and have been spending the following months job-hunting.
2) What time I find for drawing, I instead spend writing and editing my third novel, Eve of End.
3) Blue Starlight Comics "ended" (as far as the main story and weekly updates are concerned).
4) I discovered Tumblr.

I'll still be doing some drawing here and there though; I still have SSBA ideas to draw and some concept art for a new IP I'd like to establish, plus the occasional "post-mortem" BSL comics as ideas (and events) come by. Not a whole lot else to really report on at the moment, as the above list pretty much covers it. Just wanted to let everyone know I haven't completely abandoned dA!

Also, if you haven't yet, I urge you to watch a motion-comic-style fan movie called "Little Reimu." And bring lots of tissues.
  • Listening to: EastNewSound, Exit Trance
  • Reading: Eve of End drafts and edits
  • Watching: A bunch of anime and shows
  • Playing: TF2, Kid Icarus Uprising
  • Eating: Dorm food
  • Drinking: Dorm drinks
Back in school for one last semester of college! Got a good chunk of things done this summer, including writing most of my third novel, Eve of End, and creating a backlog for Blue Starlight Comics to last me through a couple of months. Hoping to finish the novel and extend the backlog early in the semester before schoolwork and job hunts start getting hectic. Aiming to have all that done before this December. I've also been working a bit more diligently on adding to the SSBA roster, with help from the push of my 2012 resolution to draw something every month.

Anyhow, time for some noteworthy shows/movies I started and/or got caught up with over summer.

What are some movies I watched... Summer Wars was pretty good, though somehow the story felt disconnected to me; not sure exactly why. The Secret World Of Arrietty is quite possibly my new favorite Miyazaki film, which in itself states how much I enjoyed it. I also finally got around to watching the last of the Harry Potter movies; though I already knew half the plot points and such through spoilers, it was still amazingly done as a movie and as an end to the series.

As for TV shows, Breaking Bad showed up on Netflix a little while ago, and upon checking out what all the hype was about, I got hooked, though I'm only starting season 2 at the moment. Also started watching Scrubs, which has a great cast of characters; still in season 1 of that. Watched quite a bit of Transformers G1 and Animated, which are entertaining, and all of Transformers Prime released to date, which is a genius series. Also started watching Gravity Falls.

Saw a few episodes of Panty and Stocking, and though I love the art style and stylization, the sense of humor of the show puts me off. Been keeping up with Kokoro Connect, which is a very engaging drama. Slowly making my way through Nisemonogatari (sequel to Bakemonogatari), a series I'm not entirely sure why I like, aside from the animation and style. Hyouka is also on my backlog, mostly because it's a KyoAni show, though I've heard great things about it so far.

Neon Genesis Evangelion -- I'm not really sure where to start. I wanted to like the series, but right when things started getting interesting, the series felt like it derailed and didn't explain or conclude its major plot points very well, and tried too hard to drill in the lessons it wanted its audience to learn instead of letting the story speak for itself. The first two movie remakes seem to be doing better so far with its pacing and presentation though.

Game Grumps! Possibly the best thing to be released this summer. Egoraptor and JonTron provide commentary as they play awesome games, generally released in episodes twice a day on Youtube. If you don't mind all the swearing, go watch them. Their shows are hilarious :lol:

About the only video-game I played start-to-finish this summer was Red Faction Guerrilla, which was a ton of fun while it lasted. I also started and finished Kid Icarus Uprising, but I haven't completed it yet, because there's just so much left to do still. Uprising is all the reason you'd need to buy a 3DS -- epic replayability, great story, and insanely awesome characters. Or if you still don't want to get a 3DS, you won't regret watching these Uprising playthroughs. Also started playing some Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is fun, though I'm pretty darn bad at it :P

TF2 came out with MvM, which is awesome, though nearly impossible on Mann Up mode (I've only beaten one mission so far). One of my randomly-assigned teammates actually uploaded the gameplay from our first MvM mission (I'm the Pyro with a silver Brigade Helm).

I also started using Tumblr; here's my blog thing for anyone interested.

And that's all pretty much my summer in a nutshell. Now to write more, draw more, and... Wait, what's wrong with Potato? I'll fix that by the start of September.
  • Listening to: minami, xi-on, other Touhou remixes
  • Reading: Eve of End drafts and edits
  • Watching: Korra, Transformers Prime, Kore Zombie 2, VGHS
  • Playing: TF2, Skyrim, Rhythm Heaven Fever, Vanquish
  • Eating: All the food in the house
  • Drinking: Everything in the fridge
Behind me now is one of the busiest semesters of my academic career; one more semester to go and I'll be done with school for good! (Unless I decide to work toward a Master's Degree later down the road, but that's a worry for another time). But enough about school; got a few things to update about, mostly regarding my creative endeavors.

As those who follow my Twitter already know, I've put Blue Starlight Comics on an extended hiatus, tentatively to resume in late August or early September. One reason for doing this will explain itself through later comic strips, and another reason is because I've contracted myself to work on my latest novel, Eve of End, six days a week throughout the summer, in hopes of completing it before I graduate in December. No guarantee that I'll finish by then, but I do aim for it.

Along with that, I recently realized that I hadn't done a new SSBA piece in almost a year, which prompted the recent Sarasvati drawing. Hopefully future additions to the series won't be as far between, especially since I now have five more concepts lined up (as teased through the roster), and because I still aim to keep my resolution to produce at least one drawing per month.

So until next time, wish me luck in keeping up with everything the rest of the year!

And if you haven't yet, please check out my Master's Spark piece! Though it is based on the Touhou world and characters, I wrote it with the intention of making it accessible to anyone (even those who've never heard the name "Touhou"), and put just as much care into it as I would any of my novels. Hopefully it's as enjoyable to read as it was for me to write.

By the way, if anyone has Portal 2 on Steam, I've made a few test chambers here, for anyone interested in trying those out. Cheers!
  • Listening to: Touhou remixes, MLP:FIM remixes
  • Reading: Stuff on my new Kindle Fire
  • Watching: Doctor Who, Futurama, MLPFIM, GI Joe, random anime
  • Playing: Skyrim, Skyward Sword, random Steam games
  • Eating: Helecoptors made of chocolate
Wow, it's been forever since I've written a blog entry. Or posted artwork aside from the webcomic. Or even posted a comic, actually.


Artwork

I've been seeing some of those "2011 Art Summary" things popping up recently, where people showcase a drawing they did for every month of 2011. I wanted to join in, which brought to my attention that I haven't been drawing much this past year, with only five pieces done during the whole year (not counting comics, which are all purely vector-drawn/edited at this point). I largely blame this on the fact that I got a gaming laptop late last year, coupled with an abundance of sales on Steam that I took part in across the year. Joining Netflix this summer didn't help a whole lot either. College has always kept me busy of course, but Steam and Netflix have taken away a good chunk of the free time I once used for drawing and writing :I

While I don't usually take part in New Year's resolutions, this year I'm going to aim to at least do a sketch each month, and work on writing at least once a month. After all, that's part of what I'd originally intended by updating my comics every other week instead of weekly, so that I'd have room to work on other art during those off weeks.

On that note, I've started writing again recently, albeit a fan-fic. Haven't written fan fiction since my very first piece of creative writing that originally spurred my series of novels. Whenever the new fan-fic is ready, I'll likely post it on dA.

Oh, and I'll continue the webcomic later this month; forgot to announce it on Twitter as I usually do (never mind, just did), but the comic is on a short hiatus during these last few weeks of my college's winter break. For some reason I feel more motivated to work on the comics when I'm away from home, maybe because I don't have family to hang out with while at campus, or because I feel more obligated to spend more time actually working on things when I'm surrounded by homework and studies.


TV / Anime

About all I keep up with on TV anymore is MLP Friendship Is Magic, The Office, Adventure Time, and Burn Notice (and to a lesser extent, Warehouse 13 and Eureka). Lately I've been getting into Doctor Who via Netflix, though I'm nowhere near caught up with recent episodes at this point (just started with the Eleventh). Also similarly been enjoying Futurama, though I'm even less so caught up with that series.

Haven't been keeping up with anime as much as I'd like during this past season or so, though I hope to remedy that soon. Still need to catch up on Ika Musume 2, Working 2, Shana 3, Haganai, and Hidan no Aria, and still need to start/try several more, including Idolmaster and Persona 4. Some good sequels coming up too that I'm definitely going to be watching, namely Amagami SS+ and Kore wa Zombie 2.


Video-Games

Almost done with Skyward Sword, and so far it's been awesome; it's easily the best LoZ story so far, and some of the best and most intuitive motion-control implementation I've experienced. Not much more I can say about it without throwing out spoilers. Also, I used to have a social life like you, but then I took Skyrim to the PC. My wood elf Harrowe (the H is silent) is currently level 36, if I recall correctly. Got that game during the big Steam sale, along with other games including Sonic Generations (which has been surprisingly decent), Bullet Storm, the Deus Ex Human Revolution DLCs, and a few other things.


That reminds me, I have some work to do, and by "work" I mean playing Skyrim and Skyward Sword, watching random shows, and occasionally working on an aforementioned piece of writing. Hopefully my inspiration to work on drawings will return once I'm back on campus. Have a great 2012!
  • Listening to: Touhou remixes, MLP:FIM remixes
  • Watching: The Office, MLP:FIM, Nichijou, random movies
  • Playing: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (soon), Team Fortress 2
Whoa, I haven't been all that active art-wise for a while. As I mentioned on Twitter a while back, I put Blue Starlight comics on hold -- at first due to a bad cold of some sort, and later to catch up with things around home while I have the month-and-a-half of summer break away from campus. I plan to resume regularly-scheduled comic updates as soon as I'm settled back into college, as well as continue work on a few other pieces. Apologies for the lack of art and updates this summer!

I started watching The Office since I've recently subscribed to Netflix, and have been watching through the series with my sister these past few months, though we're not quite caught up to current episodes just yet. I'm not much of a fan of live-action TV series for some reason (Burn Notice, Eureka, and Warehouse 13 the only other series still in production that have my interest), but The Office has been enjoyable :)

Also, I'll come right out and say it (if it hasn't been apparent yet) -- I'm a brony =P I've watched through all episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (twice in fact), and enjoyed each one. I blame Youtube and Memebase for getting me interested, and Lauren Faust for making ponies 20,000% cooler. For those who haven't seen the show, it's hard to define what exactly makes the series so appealing to a young adult male; it might be the combination of expressive animation style, superb voice acting, solid cast of characters/personalities, and great writing. Not like those old girly MLP series. And for any fellow bronies out there, Apple Jack would have to be my favorite mane character, Apple Bloom my favorite CMC, and of course Derpy my favorite background character :D

I haven't been watching as much anime as I used to, though I still keep up with Nichijou at the very least. Aside from that, the only anime I've finished from last season so far was Ano Hana, which had its flaws, but was ultimately an excellent drama. World God Only Knows 2 wasn't quite as good as the first season, but still enjoyable nonetheless.

Played through some of the more recent DLCs for Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age 2 on the 360, which were pretty good. Also got Banjo-Tooie off Xbox Live and finished that; loved it when it first came out, and still love it today :D And I recently found a good deal on Psychonauts, which I've heard good things about, though I'm not too far into the game just yet. Been playing a bunch of games on Steam as well, though it's getting to be that I have too many games to write about (thank the big winter and summer sales for that), so I'll just leave the Gameplay Stats of this page for anyone curious of what I've been playing on PC :lol:

Comiket 80 happened last weekend, welcoming the release of Touhou 13! Haven't played a ton of it yet, but so far I've managed to beat the game on Easy, make it to level 4 without dying on Normal (then proceeding to get butchered by those later bosses), and make it to the start of level 6 on Normal. Lots of awesome Touhou music came out that weekend too, such as from Yuuhei-Satellite, Xi-on, K-Waves Lab, and Silver Forest. Not to mention this video -- possibly one of the most emotional Touhou videos ever made, and a great summary of the backstory behind Touhou 12.

Other than the above, not a whole lot had changed with me since the last blog I posted; just heading back to more classes after the weekend. Oh, and here's a journal-tag thing I filled out:

------

Questions tagged by :iconjaderaven93:

Rules:
1. You must post 10 different questions, but they must be your own questions, don't copy anyone else's questions
2. you must then tag other people who must answer your questions which you cannot answer yourself then ask 10 different questions go to their page and tell them they have been tagged
3. they can be random questions but mustn't be anything rude or sexual

Her Questions:
1. If you could hang out with any fictional character for a day, who would it be?
Perry the Platypus
2. What do you do when life gives you lemons?
Trade them for a piece of Scrap Metal each.
3. Who's your favorite/top favorite video game character(s)? (if you don't play video games, then go with movie characters ^^)
Samus Aran
4. I see my friends kickin' in the front seat, sitting in the back seat, gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?
None, because apparently all the seats have been taken already :O
5. As this is a highly relevant Internet topic, what are your thoughts on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?
20% cooler than being awesome.
6. Where's Perry?
Hanging out with me for a day :U
7. What's your favorite/top favorite Disney movie(s)?
Probably Aladdin, just because I went to see it like a million times back when it was in theaters, and a million more times the year it came out on VHS.
8. Why can't I hold all these limes?
Because you forgot to bring the shopping cart :noes:
9. Where would you go on your dream vacation?
Akihabara / Akiba
10. How am I going to stop some big mean mother hubbard from tearing me a structurally superfluous new behind?
Keep your back propped against the corner of an indistructible wall.

My Questions:
1. What's your favorite Internet meme?
2. *KNOCK KNOCK* Who's there?
3. If someone gave you $1,000 as a gift, what would be the first thing you'd buy?
4. That helicoptor... is it made of chocolate?
5. What's your favorite gaming platform?
6. "Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"
7. If you were given an elixir of immortality for one, would you drink it?
8. What makes me a good Demoman?
9. What brand of computer are you using right now?
10. Master Spark or Sonic Rainboom?

I tag: Anyone who actually wants to be tagged :lol:
  • Listening to: Touhou remixes, Madlax OST1
  • Reading: Textbooks
  • Watching: Megas XLR and (see Anime section)
  • Playing: (See Video-Games section)
  • Eating: Pizza
I've heard from a few Blue Starlight Comic readers that there's an interest in my novella, The Pentesse (which is essentially the backstory of Hoshi's and Hikari's mother Irene, their aunt Zelda, their powers, and their world in general). As such, I just wanted to mention that my publisher is offering free shipping until the end of April with this coupon code! The book containing The Pentesse also includes two other novellas, The Apkinesis (my namesake) and The Intangible, for no extra charge :D

I feel obliged to point out though, considering the primary source of interest for the book, that The Pentesse takes place during Irene's and Zelda's college days. As such, Hoshi, Hikari, their father Hideki, and Irene's job in Japan are not within the scope of The Pentesse (I'll be exploring this bridge between stories later, in [classified information]). So while The Pentesse is a prequel to Blue Starlight, it's not a direct prequel, is what I'm trying to get at. Shouldn't mean it isn't worth reading, but figured I should mention!

Speaking of Blue Starlight, Hikari's "birthday" is today; she turned -11 years old today. Also, just for the record, my publisher's name and Hoshi's middle name are purely coincidental.

Anyhow, I mainly just wanted to let ya'll know about my publisher's special, but I might as well touch on "a few" anime and games "briefly" while I'm writing.

Anime

Started watching Nichijou, which is just plain epic and hilariously random. I've only seen two episodes, but it only took one for me to confidently crown it the anime of the season.

Also watching The World God Only Knows 2; can't really say much about this season yet, but the first was pretty good.

A Channel I started watching, but I may drop depending on what the second episode is like. I didn't care much for the first episode, but I'm not one to judge an entire series on its first episode.

Started and finished Madlax, which started off a bit slow and was overall a decent series. Its soundtrack was superb though; ended up buying the OST after finishing the series.

Been slowly working my way through Princess Resurrection, which has been alright so far. I'm only about six episodes into it, but the story has quite a bit of potential.

Almost done with Amagami SS, which I started a couple of weeks ago on a friend's recommendation. I'm enjoying it so far (two more arcs to go), and I'd have to say my favorite arc/character so far is Kaoru's.

Finished Kimi ni Todoke 2... HNNNGGG SAWAKO IS WAY TOO ADORABLE. That "Let me think about it" scene near the end of season 2, in particular... there are no words to describe how insanely adorable and pure-hearted that was. Seriously, if you want to know what "true love" is, watch both seasons of Kimi ni Todoke and you'll completely understand. I've been working on a Sawako x Kazehaya art piece on-and-off for a while now; hopefully I'll have that done within the next couple of weeks.

Also finished To Aru Majutsu no Index II; it got better toward the end, as I had mixed feelings about it by the mid-point, but overall it was worth watching. Something tells me season 3 (if one is coming) will be the best of the three, with the way season 2 left off. Also, facepunch.

Video-Games

I've acquired a 3DS! The only game I have for it is Ridge Racer 3D, of which I've only played for about an hour, and only bought because it was $15 through preordering my 3DS on Amazon. I mainly wanted the 3DS because (as I think I've mentioned before) my DS phat's touch screen was dying, and I couldn't play most games effectively, or Professor Layton at all. Almost all the way through the Find Mii RPG thing; I'm currently at the room at the base of the tower, I believe. Regarding the system itself, the 3D works exceptionally well, and the games it comes packaged with are probably the best launch titles, albeit they get old relatively quickly (see also: Wii Sports).

Still playing Pokemon White; I beat the Elite Four and now have a party of  roughly level 67, consisting of Frass (Stoutland), Psci-Fli (Sigilyph), Afterburn (Chandelure), Jiggles II (Seismitoad), AxeCopToo (Bisharp), and Pridston (Serperior).

Also picked up Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box again; not too far into that game yet though. I think the last puzzle I played was #50 or so (not necessarily my 50th puzzle though).

Finally got around to playing Donkey Kong Country Returns, and got some epic nostalgia rush from that. I'm up to the third or fourth map in that game now, with completed KONG letters for every level so far.

One stage away from beating Super Meat Boy! I also managed to get A+ rankings across the first two worlds and the first dark world. I think I have just under 30 bandages.

Preordered Homefront and beat it a while back; it's pretty good, but I wouldn't say it was worth the $50 -- maybe if it was twice as long.

I also fell out of Team Fortress 2, I think mainly because of the update that made a bunch of new weapons Vintage, which are now freakishly expensive in the trading market. Still play it once in a while, but I'm not as into it as I was before. On the note of TF2 though, I've heard a while back indirectly from two people (a stranger's friend, as well as a guy who was written about for an article, both of whom visited Valve) that Meet the Medic is due very soon, and that it's the best Meet the Team video so far; looking forward to that.

Played and beat Dragon Age Origins Awakening and Dragon Age II. Awakening, followed by all the DAO DLCs, ended my main Warden's story perfectly, I felt. DA2, I liked the controls and inventory/market system much better, and while the story was pretty good, it was nothing compared to DAO. Overall, pretty awesome though.

Artwork

Been procrastinating on FEYC 3.4 for some reason, despite it being the final decimal of FEYC 3. In case you missed them, here are some other videos I've done recently: FEYC 3.3, a TF2 Gmod short, and an odd MMD Touhou video.

As mentioned in the anime section, I'm working on a Kimi ni Todoke fan-art piece of Sawako and Kazehaya, because those two are love. After finishing that, hopefully I can get around to finishing a Mokou and Kaguya fan-art piece (that's an "and," not an "x," mind you.) And after those are out of the way, I'm almost overdue to make a new BSL drawing (as opposed to a comic); the archives page could use an updated image, especially since the recent design changes .


And that's about it for now! Time to get back to studying for exams.
  • Listening to: A bunch of different Touhou remixes
  • Reading: Electromagnetics Textbook (to learn how they work)
  • Watching: Index II, Ika Musume, Sam & Max, etc
  • Playing: Trade Fortress 2 and other games
  • Eating: Double Stuf Oreo Heads or Tails
Quick Update! Forgot to mention that I'll be at the deviantART Meet in Austin on March 9th, and at Anime Matsuri in Houston on March 18th (and possibly on March 19th as well). If anyone happens to be attending either of those, feel free to let me know and we may be able to meet up :D

---
Feburary 28, 2011

It's time for another wall filled with blocks of text regarding anime and video-games!

Anime

I've done a little bit of catching up on shows, mainly with To Aru Majutsu no Index II. The show has really picked up on my interests in what seems to be the final arc of the season, namely by following Misaka, MISAKA 10032, MISAKA 20001, and Accelerator, as opposed to all the random religious/magical antagonists. I suppose that's what I couldn't quite put my finger on while writing the previous blog entry, why I continue to follow the series despite not caring much for the story or majority of characters. The season up until recently had been focusing on that religious/magical side of the story, with little comic relief, and I had forgotten that I keep up with the show for two things: The esper/science side of the story, and the fact that when something epically hilarious happens, it's downright epically hilarious (see also: all of episode 17). It seems I'm not alone in this sort of stance, since I've recently read (while doing a quick search to make sure I was giving the right episode number) that fans either seem to hate Misaka/science side and love Index/magical side, or vice versa, with not too many between. I have to admit, I can't even start to describe what's going on in the magical half of the story (I only have a very general idea). Maybe I'm not following that side of the story because none of the characters really mean anything to me (aside from Touma, who walks both halves), or maybe they don't mean much to me because I don't get the story; I'm not really sure. The science half, on the other hand, just feels like it has more recurring characters (plus the character reinforcement in the Railgun season), and the plot makes much better sense to me. And maybe some feel the exact opposite about the series, but those are just my thoughts. But before I digress any further, all in all, it's been a great series (minus all the forced "fanservice" scenes).

I finished The World God Only Knows a while back; it was pretty great, and I really liked the art style of the show. In retrospect it's not as memorable as other shows I've seen, but it was fun while watching. I'd have to say the second and third arc were the best, though "god mode" toward the end was insanely awesome.

Started Kimi ni Todoke 2, though I haven't watched much, in part because the very first episode kind of ticked me off (in ways I won't mention due to spoilers), and in part because my desk is surrounded by roommates and my manliness would be at stake if my eyes started watering from watching a shoujo series :noes: But focusing on the first reason, I can understand why the writer(s) did such from the perspective of a writer myself, and hopefully the story will rectify itself as it goes along.

Started Kore wa Zombie Desu ka, though I haven't watched much of this either, largely because of all the "fanservice." The first episode was ingeniously hilarious though, I have to give the series at least that much. Now, for the record, I really like the idea of a ninja vampire, as well as Punie-chan's model of a yandere-like magical girl. Take those concepts, and make the ninja vampire a girl who is infinitely more bad-a than Cullen can ever hope to be, and give the violent magical girl a chainsaw, and bring the two characters together, and you've got some real potential! Hopefully the series doesn't get as bad with fanservice as High School of the Dead did (which I dropped because of), because otherwise it seems very much like my kind of show so far.

I've also watched a bit of Yumekui Merry and Infinite Stratos, and they're decent so far. I may pick up on them again in the future, but for now I'm probably going to put those on hold to focus any anime-watching time of mine on the above series, and a few other shows I've been meaning to continue/finish.

Shinryaku, Shinryaku, Shinryaku, Shinryaku, Shinryaku, Shinryaku Ika Musume! I started and finished this series within a matter of days, it was so good. I'm tempted to say that it's better than Azumanga Daioh and/or Lucky Star, which are two of my all-time favorite comedy anime series. The best way I can describe the show is if Yotsuba got squid powers and tried to take over the world. The oddity of the premise hindered me from starting the show at first, but once I did, I was completely hooked from the start. And now a second season has been announced!

Video-Games

The touch sensors on my DS don't work anymore :noes: It started off as one corner of the screen "tapping" on its own, and then one night it just gave up and turned off its sensors. Luckily the 3DS will be coming out in the US relatively soon, so that's my replacement right there. In the mean time, I've put Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box on hold, while I instead spend my time on handhelds playing Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Days of Ruin actually has a pretty engaging story, a pleasant surprise which admittedly I wasn't expecting at all; it's to the point that I play it about every other night just to advance the story.

It seems I'm one or two Magic Strings away from beating Kirby's Epic Yarn, and once I beat that, it'll finally be time to move onto Donkey Kong Country Returns. I haven't been doing much console gaming with my Steam full of games, particularly (of course) TF2.

Team Fortress 2 is devouring my life :noes: Not really, but I'm spending quite a bit of time on it trading items around. In the month or so after the Loadout piece I did, I've since acquired four more Vintage hats and a Backpack Expander all through several series of profitable trades -- mostly with selling weapons and old non-vintage hats, partially with luck of finding the right buyers and sellers at the right times. To give some perspective for non-TF2 players, you're basically given about 1 Refined (equivalent to 18 raw weapons) worth of items on average per week, and Vintage hats and Expanders sell for roughly 5 Refined each. Also managed to craft a Rocket Jumper on my first try, and a Sticky Jumper on my second, so I basically got 3 Refined's worth of weaponry for 1 Refined's worth of craft items :D Got a bit lucky there, since the craft success rate is 1 out of 3 for each.

By the way, would anyone happen to be interested in purchasing (with TF2 metal) the very Bloke's Bucket Hat that was featured on Patchouli's Sniper-like head here? I'd be willing to stamp an "Apkinesis" seal of authenticity on it through use of Gift Wrap if so, for whatever that might be worth!

Also been playing a bit of Sam and Max. I recently finished watching the TV series (DVDs of which Telltale is selling), and started moving my way into the games from there. I'm only on Season 1 Episode 1 as of now, and not all that far into it at that. Also been replaying some World of Goo, which I've long beaten on Wii, and am now working my way through on Steam.

Oh yeah, and TOUHOU 13 TEN DESIRES ANNOUNCED!! A translation mentions ghosts/spirits everywhere, and from that, I'm calling it now: MIMA IN TOUHOU 13. Sure it's just a prediction and my own personal high hopes, but YOU'LL SEE. YOU'LL ALL SEE. Yuuka had her triumphant return in Touhou 9, and the mysterious and uber-powerful magician ghost is due for hers. Let her in ZUN, how could you possibly say no to this face and this threat of global destruction? But seriously, it'd be cool if she were in it, but I'll be looking forward to the game regardless -- especially since ZUN is toning down the difficulty, so maybe I can unlock an Extra Stage for once, or even just beat a double-digit Touhou game on Normal mode.

Artwork

BSL should continue doing its thing on a biweekly basis. (Is it bi-weekly, or biweek-ly?) Other than that, I've had plans for a somewhat large-scale fan comic (for a somewhat predictable fandom), but reasons of school and TF2 have prevented me from that. Now that I've got most of what I seek in Trade Fortress 2, that shouldn't eat up so much of my free time now, and midterms should  be out of the way in another week. Before tackling the fan comic though, I'll likely start working on FEYC 3.3, since that's kind of way overdue compared to the release dates between 3.1 and 3.2.

That's about all I have to mention for now! By the way, about that little contest I offered in the last blog entry... Oh wait, is that my phone ringing?


PS: "Double Stuf Oreo Heads or Tails" is pretty good. Good thing I got it on sale at CVS; they're crazy expensive at regular price.
  • Listening to: 2P START! Live! Postmortem, and The Lame Show
  • Reading: Lucky Star 7
  • Watching: Index II, and a bunch of other anime shows soon
  • Playing: Team Fortress 2, and the other games listed
The new semester has just started for me; figured I should update with a new entry while I still have time D:


Anime

I haven't been watching a ton of anime lately (actually none at all during my month-long break from school), but I do have an ever-growing list of things to finish and start.

I watched a couple more episodes of To Aru Majutsu no Index II yesterday, which got me caught up to episode 12 as of writing this. It's kind of strange, but I never really cared that much about the story, yet I'm still following the series into this second season. Story and characters are generally my primary drive to watch most shows, and even then I only like one of the characters in the Index series, and one I don't consider a main character at that (Misaka). If I had to guess, it might be just be the action sequences (particularly when espers are involved) and animation thereof which have gotten me hooked on continuing the series. Ah well, in any case I'm enjoying it overall so far.

Anime to Continue: The World God Only Knows and Astro Fighter Sunred 2, and probably Katanagatari and Princess Resurrection.
Anime to Definitely Start: Kimi ni Todoke 2.
Anime to Try Out: Infinite Stratos, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka, Shinryaku Ika Musume, Solty Rei, and Yumekui Merry.

If anyone's watched any of the above shows I'm thinking of trying out, what's your opinion on them so far?


Video Games

I bought a ton of games via Steam during the recent holiday sales, too many to list even. All but around ten of these I bought during the past couple of months during the big sales, and I haven't even touched half of them yet D:

Of the ones I've bought during the sales and have played, Super Meat Boy and Plants vs Zombies are easily my favorites, and I'd completely recommend everyone to pick those up at some point. Not a whole lot else to say except that they're both awesome games. By "not a whole lot," I only leave room to mention that Super Meat Boy has outstanding music, so much so that I actually paid more for the digital soundtrack than I did for the game itself, plus I'm very much considering buying the physical album once it's released (which will include even more tracks).

That bunch of games aside, I've also been playing quite a bit of Team Fortress 2, though I've slowly evolved from actually playing the game to just trading items. I'm slowly getting back into actual gameplay though, as my inventory is getting filled with nearly everything I'm interested in obtaining. (By the way, if anything on Page 6 of my inventory interests you, it's up for trade. Generally it's two weapons for one of mine, 1-3 reclaimed for a paint depending on its color, and one weapon for a crate, all with some exceptions.)

I also got Donkey Kong Country Returns when it came out, which I've yet to try out but have heard nothing but good things about. Before I get to starting that though, I think I'm pretty close to finishing Kirby's Epic Yarn, aka one of the most adorable games ever made. I also love the level designs and mechanics; the music-themed stage in particular was simply awesome in all senses of the word. Also got some new games for Christmas, including Legend of Starfy, Devil May Cry 1-3 (a special box-set thing), Rabbids Go Home, Alan Wake, and Heavy Rain, the only one of those I've even started being Heavy Rain, which I have mixed feelings about so far, but overall pretty good.

Professor Layton is currently my top priority in the realm of handheld games. I beat the Curious Village maybe a month ago, and though I wasn't too impressed with the story at first, the resolutions to the mysteries and the ending itself were brilliant. Now I'm in the midst of Diabolical Box.


Artwork / Other

I've been thinking about casting LiveStream sessions whenever I'm working on videos and digital drawings. If there might be any interest of this at all, please let me know. Depending on how many are interested, I may make a LiveStream notification system on dA (ie, make a short temporary blog entry whenever I'm about to start), or just Tweet whenever I'm starting a session.

As teased by my WIP post and my ever-updating thumbnail preview, I've been working on a fairly large-scale artwork piece on-and-off since mid-December. At time of writing, of the nine characters, I've completely finished five, colored one, and only sketched three. It's getting there!

Also, commissions are still open; if interested, please send me a Note. My prices are roughly $10.00 for a drawing, $2.50 for BSL-style or a sketch, and $1.00 for two doodles.

Oh, and I have a new ringtone! Just for fun, the first person who can correctly guess (1) the franchise the song is from, (2) the name of the original song, and/or (3) the name of the remixer, will get a dollar's worth of commissions from me for each attribute of the song correctly guessed first. Two dollars' worth for guessing the name of the remix itself! Two guesses per attribute per person. (I'd honestly be surprised if more than just the franchise is correctly guessed though.) I'll reveal the song in the next blog entry (at least a month from now), at which point this little "contest" will end.

Lastly, in case you missed it, I made some videos! I answered ya'll's questions here, and started FEY Chronicle 3. And that's about it for the update!
  • Listening to: Touhou music
  • Reading: Not textbooks anymore
  • Watching: Index II, Kami Nomi
  • Playing: Team Fortress 2, other Steam games, Epic Yarn
Update: January 11, 2011

My Q&A video is done and posted! www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqtt4_…

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Original Entry: December 11, 2010

This stuff is so fairly important that I won't be reviewing anime and video-games like I usually do here, and that I'm inviting my Youtube followers to check out this particular blog entry as well :O

Join me in Team Fortress 2. If you'd like to join me in some TF2'ing (or just want to see how bad I am at the game), feel free to add "Apkinesis" to your Steam Friends list so that you can join any servers  that I might happen to be on. The only thing I ask for in return is to not send me any IMs or invitations (to games or voice chat) or anything of the like. It's not to be mean, but I'd just rather not be flooded with messages and invitations from semi-random strangers :3

Project FEY Chronicles. I haven't made a new video in forever, and I apologize to all my Youtube followers who've been looking forward to Chronicle 3 after these many months of silence on my YTP channel. I've noticed that much of the reason for this is because when I look at the list of all the Acts I want to do for FEY Chronicle 3, I see a ton of work ahead of me and procrastinate it away. To fix this, I'll plan to release a set of smaller videos -- maybe about three Acts per video -- rather than one "big" video like the previous Chronicles. (It'd be the same material I'd otherwise post, just broken up across more videos.) Hopefully that will give me more incentive to work on videos, since I'll get to upload my work relatively soon after working on it. It's not to say I'll have a new video out regularly, but it'll beat having a year of silence on my YTP channel. Thoughts?

Question & Answer video. I'm considering making a Q&A video, if there's a large enough interest from ya'll. Feel free to post any questions in the comments of this blog entry, or in the comments of the video which directed you here. They can be serious or silly questions, and I'll answer them through a video as soon as I'm able. I'll stop accepting questions at the end of 2010, or when I gather 100 questions (I highly doubt I'll even reach 50, but might as well cap it to be safe). Even if I manage to not get around to working on FEY C3 right away, at least the Q&A video might serve as decent filler material.

Art Commissions. If anyone might be interested commissioning me to draw something, I'm open to it. The rate is $10 for a full-color drawing (down to hips), or $2.50 for a drawing in BSL-comic style or a sketch. Depending on details (or lack thereof) on a given character, prices may vary slightly. Payments accepted through Paypal, or in the form of Supply Crate Keys in TF2 (which admittedly is where the funds are going anyway). If paying with Keys, I'll throw in a complementary free item of my choosing (likely one of my triplicate weapons) for every four Keys you pay with. I also have the right to refuse commissions if I find the subject matter inappropriate in some way, or simply have a lack of time. Please send a dA Note if interested in a commission, and we'll work out the details.

Blue Starlight Comics. It's been a long hiatus, but BSL's break is nearly over. Though at first the hiatus was due to a malfunctioning laptop, I extended the break due to a heavy end-of-semester school workload. It gave me a chance to sit back and see where BSL was and where it was headed, to think up new ideas instead of worrying about which of my list of scripts to implement next, and to consider possible changes and new directions the comic might take. I appreciate the patience from BSL readers; the break was quite an enlightening time for me in regard to the comic. I also had several offers for guest comics during the break, all of which I'm very grateful for, but for various understandable reasons none were able to provide one just yet. One webcomic group in particular has begun work on a BSL guest comic, which we may see sometime in the future (once their new hiatus is broken as well), and which I promised I'd repay with a guest comic of my own someday...

Alright, fairly important info is now conveyed; time for me to draw and play TF2 :D YAY ONE MONTH OFF FROM SCHOOL.
  • Listening to: Exit Trance, DJ the S
  • Reading: Textbooks, some manga
  • Watching: (See Anime section), Lost
  • Playing: (See Video-Game section)
November 6, 2010: Update

If anyone might be interested in creating guest comics for Blue Starlight, I'm open to them throughout the hiatus! Please send me a Note about your guest strip idea, and we can work out the details from there. Cheers!


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November 2, 2010


Howdy all, I just wanted to notify that I probably won't be submitting any digital artwork for a little while, including Blue Starlight (not that I've been doing a ton of other artwork recently). My laptop's getting old and its screen is starting to fail, so in order to maximize its life (and because it flickers like mad otherwise), I have its brightness down to minimum, which makes it extremely difficult to work in my image editor. I'm planning to get a new laptop on or soon after Thanksgiving weekend though (hoping for a sale someplace but not really holding my breath for one), so with any luck BSL will resume within the next month or so. In the mean time, I'll have more notebook doodles and possibly some sketches to upload.


I don't have a lot to mention about anime and video-games just yet, but here's what I have, while I'm writing:

Anime

The new anime season has pretty much just started, and I don't have much to say regarding the end of the previous season (without spoilerizing anything, anyway). As of now, I'm following To Aru Majutsu no Index II, Bakuman, and The World God Only Knows, along with some older series I've neglected. I tried several other shows of this new season, but ultimately dropped them after one or two episodes.

I also recently started and finished Maria Holic, which overall I wasn't terribly impressed with, but the OP was extremely catchy and artistic and held my attention for the duration (though it's a bit NSFW).

And I was at Oni-Con this year as Male Fujiwara no Mokou, took several pictures of other cosplayers, and bought me a Misaka Mikoto figure and a chibi Ritsu Tainaka figure.

Video-Games

It's been a bit tough playing video-games lately as I somehow managed to stab a fork halfway up my left thumbnail a few weeks back (it's now practically back to normal though), but I've primarily been playing Pokemon HeartGold, which is a brilliant remake of my favorite generation of Pokemon games. My updated team now consists of Budderflah (Butterfree), Mustang (Arcanine), SvenTK (Tangrowth), Alfonzo (Pidgeot), Locke-Ohn (Magnezone), and Olives (Feraligatr).

Some games I've recently gotten but barely played yet include Kirby's Epic Yarn, Professor Layton and the Curious Villiage, and Silent Hill 2, all of which I've heard great things about and look forward to playing more of when I get the chance.


That's all for now; onward to tonight's homework. Cheers, and wish me luck on my laptop hunt!
  • Listening to: Touhou music
  • Reading: Textbooks
  • Watching: Astro Fighter Sunred, Lost
  • Playing: Touhou 12.3, New SMB Wii
So, earlier today, a Spy from the Black Team was on his way to visit the Engineer's hometown, but mistook my campus for Bee Cave (since it's only twelve miles away). He fired a few shots at random people out of habit, but his bullets kept missing; for some reason the accuracy of his gun was far worse than he remembered.

After running through the streets and mocking Engineer with some stereotypical Texan "woohoo"s, he found his way into a library to research what was wrong with his gun. It was then he discovered he was actually holding an AK-47, and became confused. "Spy is confused! Spy hurt himself in his own confusion" by giving himself a headshot. (This sort of thing is why we never see Black Teams in TF2 anymore.)

Police think that the Spy may have had an accomplice Demoman, but he's yet to be found. I was a fair distance away from campus when this all went down, but I hear there were many shotguns involved in the investigation (many classes have one, after all). Medic reports that no one else was hurt.

As far as I know, this is the first time there's been a campus shooting of any kind around here since Sniper visited almost fifty years ago.

True story.
  • Listening to: Touhou music, 2P START Live Postmortem
  • Reading: Textbooks, Black Cat
  • Watching: (See Anime section)
  • Playing: (See Video-Game section)
School's back, and my semester has just concluded its first couple weeks of classes. I'm not sure if this will mean more creative work from me, since on one hand I'll obviously have a bunch of schoolwork to worry about, yet on the other, I tend to strive to be more productive when I'm away from home -- or maybe the two sides will balance out and there won't be any noticeable difference in my output; guess we'll see!

K-ON

The series (along with the members of HTT) is finally growing on me; it's been getting quite good lately in the latter half of this second season. In particular, the whole bit with the Romeo and Juliet casting was brilliant. And Ritsu with her bangs down -- mind = blown, she actually looks feminine :O

I also recently found myself looking back on the OP for the first season, and noticed that the cast looks significantly younger than they do now (late in season two) -- I'm not sure if their eyes were bigger, they were shorter, the way they dressed was different, but something subtle made that big difference, and I thought it was pretty cool.

Also in the process of watching K-ON OPs, I checked out videos which did not sport subtitles. I may've mentioned before that the only reason I started following K-ON was because KyoAni is awesome with animation, and K-ON has been one of their best works animation-wise so far. But take away the subtitle distractions, and it's a whole new league of animation epic I hadn't noticed before. I'm actually quite considering getting the K-ON DVD set just to watch the series dubbed so I can pay more attention to the art and animation of the show. I've heard clips of the dub, and it's not bad -- not good, but not bad.

Other Anime

Finished FMA Brotherhood the day the last episode aired. To describe it in one word, the series was epic (in all senses of it). The plot twists and connections were all simply genius, and every character was well developed across the story in so many dimensions. Also, lol Mustache.

Took me a little while, but I got caught up to and finished Working, which ended up being quite a good show. The way it left off everything though, it'd better have a second season! Also, the OP is way too catchy.

High School of the Dead. Oh, where to begin. So it was apparent since episode one that this show would not only focus on zombies, but also on "fanservice." Though I'm not at all a fan of this kind of fanservice, normally I can tolerate it in order to watch what might otherwise be great show. However, episode eight was just way too much -- I don't even want to get into it. So yeah, the story, animation, design, action, and characters were all very well done, but a particular set of lingering themes basically ruined the series for me.

Ookami-san and Her Seven Companions has been pretty decent; it has its shining moments, but decent overall so far. Ookami herself as a character has been a very nice change of the stereotypical tsundere, since she actually has her reasons to be one, as gradually learned through the main story. Only two more episodes to go though.

Speaking of stereotypical tsunderes, Kaichou wa Maid-sama is still on my watch list. My opinion of the show hasn't changed much since last time, but dang those two really need to get together -- they act exactly like they're already married and they haven't even started dating yet! Also, Usui is the coolest stalker ever.

Higurashi Chikai, the second live-action movie of the series, was surprisingly good; great effects, better acting (though it's not hard to beat the acting seen in the first movie), and Rena's cleaver! However, I wouldn't recommend watching this movie unless you've seen the anime series first, as (similiar to the first movie) the story likely wouldn't make nearly as much sense without prior knowledge of the Higurashi storyline(s), since the movie doesn't seem to explain nearly as much of the story as the anime does.

Metroid: Other M

Other M recently came out! If you haven't heard yet, I'm quite the avid Metroid fan, both for its storyline (which got me started as a novelist) and for its gameplay. From the moment in the debut trailer Adam spoke "Any objections, Lady?" I was sold. As time passed and I saw more trailers and information about it though, my expectations for the game gradually fell. Using only the Wii Remote? Close combat attacks? Working so closely with the Federation? Needing approval from Adam to use weapons I already have? Being able to instantly replenish missiles and health? Developed by the guys who made that glitchy ninja game? Well, gameplay probably wouldn't be that great, but at least it's quite story-driven, so hopefully they'll at least do that right. I recently got the game in the mail, and played all the way through to the end within the same day. My thoughts? Epic. Win.

Granted it's not a masterpiece like Super Metroid or the first Metroid Prime, it got pretty darn close. The controls handled extremely well (even with the limitations aside), the story was engaging, the battles were epic (again in all senses of the word), and the references to other Metroid games -- crikey, the references alone made the game for me; the developers really did their homework and outdid themselves on their first Metroid game. Zero Mission, Return of Samus, Super, Fusion, and even the Metroid manga each had their share of major references throughout the game. I've had a list of things I've wanted to see in a 3D Metroid game, and there is only one thing (out of many) on that list that Other M didn't do. The game does have its flaws though, including Samus's voice-acting work, a nitpick or two about the story/cutscenes, and a somewhat small "world map" to explore, but overall, the pros greatly outshine the cons. Maybe it was my low expectations, or maybe it's my love for the Metroid storyline (particularly Super and pre-Zero-Mission), but Other M now holds a spot in my top three favorite Metroid games.

Other Video-Games

I finally beat Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn recently, as I left off at the final boss over two years ago due to frustration, but easily overcame the boss with a clear mind and new strategy. I'd put it in my top three favorite Fire Emblem games, up there with Path of Radiance and Shadow Dragon, tied for second with SD.

Also slowly progressing through Wario Land: Shake It, though I'm currently stuck at the floating clown head thing. I'm not too impressed with the game so far, but I'm still kind of hoping it gets better, if there are even many more levels left.

Playing through Pokemon HeartGold as I find the time; currently fourteen hours in and going for the sixth badge. At the moment my Pokemans are roughly at level 24, my party consisting of StoneLuigi (Geodude), Buddurflah (Butterfree), Alfonzo (Pidgeotto), Mickooroo (Flaaffy), Koizumi (Haunter), and Olives (Croconaw).

Steam games, I preordered and have been playing some Worms Reloaded, and it's been awesome -- easily the best of the franchise since Worms 2. Loving the online matches and the weapon sets, though making custom rules can get a bit tedious the way the menus for it are set up. Also been playing a bit of Altitude, which I guess isn't the greatest game in the world, but still quite fun to pick up and play for a bit or an hour.

Started on God of War recently, though I'm not too far in yet; last I remember is defeating the hydra (violent, yet epic), and later kicking down a giant statue. It's been interesting so far.

Other Stuff

Apparently my third deviantART "birthday" was a couple of weeks ago, for what that might be worth. And if I'm not mistaken, I actually share the same anniversary day and year as Walfas's site, which is kind of cool.

And in case you missed it in the description of the hypnotic set of happy Touhou faces, I've created a  Touhou Overview, which will hopefully serve as a good foundation for anyone curious about the Touhou fandom to learn about the large cast of characters and the inside-jokes associated with them. The page also includes my favorite theme remixes, as well as the original theme mixes, of each character and stage -- because the two best things about Touhou are the characters and the music.

Anyhow, this entry is getting quite long, and I believe I've covered everything, so it's time to wrap this up until next time!
  • Listening to: Touhou music, The Plasmas, The Lame Show
  • Reading: Melancholy of HaruSuzu (novel), random manga
  • Watching: (See Anime section)
  • Playing: (See Video-Game section)
Seems I'm over a month overdue for a new entry update!

Anime

Angel Beats -- easily the best show of the season. Pick almost any single episode, and there's a good chance it'll both make you laugh out loud and tear up, something not many shows can do. It was hard to tell where the story was going as it had several plot direction twists, but knowing that it's written by the brilliant mind behind Air and Clannad, I was very confident that wherever the story would end up, it'd be awesome -- and it was. My only gripe is that the series seemed to rush through the final episodes (rather than its thirteen episodes, it could have easily spanned twenty-four), but regardless, the ride was insanely entertaining. Plus, who doesn't like TK? That Japanese-stereotypical-American rocks. Also, the OP and ED to the show are both sheer masterpieces, visuals and music alike; I even ordered the OP/ED CD Single (Limited Edition) from Japan, they're that awesome.

Still following FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood, and there are no words to describe how epic this series is getting as it's nearing its final episodes. I wouldn't be hesitant at all to call it one of the best anime shows ever made (and it's not even done yet). Not much else to say that wouldn't qualify as spoilers and that I haven't already mentioned in earlier entries.

Kaichou wa Maid-sama started out quite interesting, got a bit dull for a few episodes at some point, but is picking up again for me recently. The general premise feels cliche yet somehow fresh, and Misaki a stereotypical tsundere yet somehow a unique character. Overall I've been enjoying the series so far, and would say it's worth checking out for anyone interested in a slice-of-life romance-comedy (the focus leaning toward comedy).

K-ON Season 2 has been better than the first season, though I'm not sure if that says a whole lot, given my continued impression that the K-ON series is severely overrated. However, it's been enjoyable and I've had a few laughs here and there; it just seems like they're trying too hard to make the show "moe," and (for me at least) that kind of backfires most of the time. On a similar note, Hetalia World Series has been pretty good; though the series is also quite overrated, I've been enjoying this season better than previous ones, so far.

Started watching Working not too long ago, and though I'm only two episodes in, it's been one of those shows that seems enjoyable and has potential, but for some reason I can't find myself eagerly looking forward to the next episode as with the above shows, similar to how Kobato has been for me (still haven't finished that show either). Also gave Katanagatari a try recently; I'm only one episode into it so far, but it looks interesting, and I'll be checking out more episodes of that sometime.

A few weeks back, I found out that Lucky Star was finally released in the US as a complete-season set for an awesome price, so I got that and have been watching the English dub (several times over) while simultaneously working on other things that don't take up the TV. It's pretty neat that even after the fifth/sixth time of watching these episodes, I'm still finding new jokes and references that I hadn't noticed before. The English dub is fantastic as well (excluding Patty's voice), one of few anime shows which I'd say the Japanese and English dubs are done about as equally good (the only other shows immediately coming to mind being FMA and Cowboy Bebop, maybe Haruhi and Death Note).

Video-Games

Finished Ace Attorney Investigations, which I have to admit doesn't hold a light to the original Ace Attorney trilogy, but is still fun in its own right. As with the other games of the franchise, the final case of the game had a brilliant twist, which I won't get into for reasons of spoilers. On that note, I'm not sure if it's just me getting used to and catching onto the Ace Attorney patterns, but the culprits of each case in AAI have seemed extremely easy to predict, and the cross-examinations (or whatever they're called now) relatively easy to get through, aside from about a handful of tough ones across the whole game. But the slightly lacking challenge aside, it's still been worthwhile to play just for seeing old characters, meeting new characters, and all the fun dialogue among them.

Also finished Super Mario Galaxy 2 with 111 Stars. I wasn't much of a fan of the first Mario Galaxy, but the sequel was quite a brilliant game, easily one of my top three favorite Mario platform games (third to Mario 64 and Mario World). I especially liked the Throwback Galaxy (nostalgia win), Supermassive Galaxy (where I discovered the "infinite lives cheat" on my own), and pretty much every rythm-based area.

Bioshock 2 is also on my list of games finished this summer so far. It's probably me just used to the general feel and setting of the first game, but the sequel seemed to lack the suspenseful atmosphere of the first game. Other than that, it was pretty awesome; pretty much everything involving the Little Sisters was epic (especially the bit toward the end, nice bit of plot insight there), and setting up Trap Rivets rocks like nothing else.

And latest of games I've gone through, Left 4 Dead (1, 2, and The Passing) were fun in local co-op campaign, but I haven't tried any of the online modes due to lack of willingness to get an Xbox Live Gold subscription. I always played as Louis (PILLS HERE!) and Nick (IS THAT A BOTTLE OF PUKE?), while JadeRaven93 played as Francis and Ellis. Fun times, those games.

Made some progress in inFamous, though not long before our PS3's Blu-Ray laser stopped working (the system is now in the process of being replaced). Last I left off, I just got the Thunderstorm ability, and seem to be about halfway through completing the last area of the city.

A few games I've started (but am nowhere near finishing yet) include New Super Mario Bros Wii (beat the first map), Crackdown (beat one gang leader or whatever they're called), Fallout 3 (got out of the shelter and started wandering), and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (just started the first campaign map). Then there are other games I have but still need to start, such as Bionic Commando, Mirror's Edge, Little Big Planet, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (all four of which I got at Hollywood Video as part of their out-of-business sales), Fable II, Jade Empire, and maybe Final Fantasy XIII.

E3 2010 was interesting. Microsoft took Nintendo's dull "casual games and motion-sensing gimmicks" approach, Nintendo took Microsoft's exciting "showcase a ton of epic games back-to-back" approach, and Sony found ground somewhere between. Seriously, Nintendo's E3 press conference was so insanely awesome it brought me to man tears several times, practically for every game (aside from Wii Party and Mario Sports Mix) and for the epic stage introduction of Miyamoto. My reaction to Microsoft's conference was inherently one long facepalm throughout (with the exception of the MGS Rising bit), and to that of Sony was basically a "meh."

Other

Been a lot of procrastination in the department of writing and drawing lately, mainly in writing. I may just need a bit of a push to get me started again; hopefully I'll have more than just Blue Starlight appearing in my Gallery since I've started on my due sketch requests recently, and hopefully I'll make more progress in my upcoming THAF sequel now that I've got myself writing this entry. I have, however, recently updated AR Book 1 to fix some typos and to improve the spine design.

Saw Toy Story 3 a few days ago (and a second time just this morning), and it was epic. Not much else to say without spoiling it, except that it was great to see some of my childhood icons back in action again; it was totally worth the eleven-year wait. Just... win.

Nindotendofreak showed me this cool band called The Plasmas, who apparently does a bunch of rock remixes of various video-game songs. I've only heard a couple of their songs so far (Brinstar and UN Owen), both of which were pretty good; I'll definitely be listening to more of their work. On topic of video-game remixes, if anyone is interested, here's a YouTube playlist with  some of my favorite Touhou remixes.

And... that's all for now, I suppose!
  • Listening to: 2P Start Live, Touhou music, random anime stuff
  • Reading: Textbooks and reading packets
  • Watching: (See Anime section)
  • Playing: Ace Attorney Investigations
Just got out of Spring Break, so I've got quite a bit to mention this month!

Video-Games

I finished Mass Effect 2 recently, and it was quite epic. MINOR SPOILERS ahead. Although a very short game (30-35 hours) compared to Dragon Age (80-90 hours), it was still awesome. Tali was easily my favorite character from the first game, so it was great to see her back (and as an "option" this time, if you know what I mean). The story felt lacking and the ending felt abrupt and incomplete, but seeing as it's the second piece of a trilogy, I can let it slide (see also: Empire Strikes Back). The overall cast of characters was better than that of the first game as well, and there were many tough decisions to make throughout the story and side-quests (compared to an entire two tough choices in Mass Effect 1).

Started InFamous, which has been awesome so far. I've just finished the bit where the bus is thrown to a building roof, so I'm not entirely sure how much more of the game is left to complete. I can see how the various side-quests could get repetitive, but aside from the "run past all these lights in X seconds" and "zap all the surveillance boxes" missions to a minor extent lately, I've been enjoying everything about the game so far. Even the glitches. I think it's safe to say that this is the glitchiest game I've played in a while, sometimes frustrating (eg: falling through the ground into an abyss of death, which has happened to me twice), but sometimes funny (eg: civilians randomly launching into the air in the fashion of Spiderman jumping, which has happened once or twice), and overall understandable, given the epic scope of the city and what all you can do to it. I'm not a terribly huge fan of most games that are this open-world, but this is one major exception, just above Assassin's Creed.

Played a bit of Team Fortress 2 finally! I've played a bit on the 360 Orange Box while I had some free Gold membership, and a bit on a friend's PC, but this was the first time I could get it running on one of my own computers (well, technically my sister's). My laptop lacks the processor but has all the other specs, my PC lacks the Internet but has all the other specs, and our family PC lacks the video card but has all the other specs, and though the game is slightly laggy on my sister's laptop, it still works. So, I'd been playing that for about five hours straight one evening, unlocking a few new weapons (but no hats so far). Fun times.

Recently purchased Left 4 Dead for the 360, but since I ordered it online, it didn't arrive in time for me to play while home for Spring Break, so I'll have that to look forward to when I visit home again. Also got Dragon Age Origins Awakening, but didn't have time to try it out yet, so that'll probably have to wait until summer.

Started Ace Attorney Investigations just this weekend, which I can't really criticize as being better or worse than the other AA games (since I'm only part way through the second case so far). I can say that they implemented the in-court elements quite well, considering the entire game (so far, at least) takes place out of the courtroom. It's done a good job of blending what were previously separate court and investigation segments, making each case feel more streamlined than broken into distinct "court" vs "investigation" segments. The Logic concept is pretty promising too; I'll have to see how that develops as the game goes along.

And with Investigations in the way, Spirit Tracks is on-hold for now. Last I remember, I visited the fourth sub-world of the map, though I haven't done much there yet. I would say I'm almost done with the game, but I hear there's a lot more still left to do after restoring the Tracks of those four areas. So far it's been much better than Phantom Hourglass, almost as though they took out everything annoying about PH and added cool things in their place. I'm pretty sure the Snow Temple is my favorite handheld-LoZ dungeon so far; I'm not sure exactly why, but that place was so much fun and creatively put together.

Anime

Kimi ni Todoke is one of two anime shows I've ever rated a 10/10 before the series has even finished (the other being that in the following paragraph). If you're remotely interested in a romance or drama series, definitely check it out. Maybe it's just me as someone who only has a small group of very close friends (as opposed to having a ton of casual friends, for lack of better term), but there are so many things to which I could relate with the various characters, the big and the little things. On the side of the romance genre, where other awesome shows use fantasy-like plot devices (Clannad, Kanon 2006, Air) or stretch the drama to approach a certain feel of fantasy (Special A, Ouran), Kimi ni Todoke keeps things feeling completely real, while still accomplishing the emotions it wants to convey to the audience just as well (if not better). The best way I could describe the series in one phrase is that it "stops to smell the roses"; it's all the small things and the slow pace of story that make the show marvelous. A grander example, the gift Sawako receives later in the series is the one of the simplest things in the world, but crikey did I cry when I watched that. Easily the most happy-tears I've shed for a single fictional character were for Sawako. (Awards for most sad-tears and man-tears go to Clannad and Gurren Lagann respectively.) The show also has a perfect balance of humor, to the point that you're not sure if the next conversation will make you laugh or tear up, while at the same time never ruining the mood or feeling out of place. It's a bit depressing that I only have three more episodes of the series left to watch.

And I doubt I need to repeat myself, but in case you've been missing these entries of mine, FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is awesome incarnate. (Epic incarnate being Gurren Lagann.) I've reached the point in Brotherhood where I've yet to read about what happens in the story before watching (via the manga), and it's been just amazing. After recent episodes, I think it's safe to say that Pride is my new favorite character of the series (FMAB Pride, not FMA Pride). He's too cool for his own good.

After ranting about how great the above two series are, the next shows will probably pale in comparison, but they're still quite good!

I'm three episodes into Astro Fighter Sunred, which is a parody on Power-Rangers-like characters, years after the heroes and villains have retired, yet still casually hold their grudges against each other. It's kind of hard to explain, but worth a peek if you're looking for a different kind of comedy.

Haven't finished To Aru Kagaku no Railgun or Hidamari Sketch xHoshimittsu yet, but still keeping up with those on-and-off. Falling behind on Nodame Cantabile, Kobato, and Bakemonogatari; they're series I enjoy as I watch, but never seem to feel interested in starting a new episode for some reason. I won't go into detail of these five shows, since my opinion hasn't dramatically changed since the last time I'd mentioned them.

Blue Starlight

Today I started what I hope will be a continuing series of BSL Fun Facts, which I'm tentatively planning to post every week or two on my Twitter. I'll also continue to post teasers of upcoming comics on Twitter.

Regarding the comic itself, I think I'll slow it down to updating once every two Sundays. It's been the pattern lately due to my schedule, and in the foreseeable future, the trend will likely need to continue anyway; might as well stick with a consistent schedule than give false hope of a remotely possible comic every weekend.

I'm also opening commissions for BSL-styled vector drawings! $6 for one character, or $10 for two. Might charge a bit extra if significantly extra details are needed for a character. For samples of what a commissioned drawing might look like, check out my Touhou comic, Time Paradox panel, or 2P START! mini-gift. First-come-first-served, and I'll try getting commissions done within a week or two of transaction. Please send me a Note if interested in a commission.

I'll also be opening up an extra BSL-related something, hopefully by the end of the semester. Just need to gather a few more ideas and find the time to implement them.

Other Artwork

Feels like I have a million other projects that need to get done as well, ranging from my second THAF book (in its writing stage) to more SSBA designs (still filling up with ideas) to the inevitable FEY C3 (in its planning stages). April and May are looking to be fairly intimidating months as far as college is concerned, but I'm sure there will be pockets of calm here and there to work on stuff. Just wanted to let anyone interested in those works know that I haven't forgotten about those!


I believe that's all I wanted to cover for this month. Thanks for reading; until next time!


(PS: I would have this updated on the front page of my site as well, but the upload servers for my webhost are down for some sort of major upgrade.)

(PS2: Whoa, such a lack of smilies and Touhou here!)
  • Listening to: 2P Start Live, Relient K, random anime stuff
  • Reading: Textbooks and reading packets
  • Watching: (See Anime section)
  • Playing: Bowser's Inside Story
It's been cold outside! Regardless, it's a new month, which means a new blog entry!

Anime

Started watching a series called Kimi ni Todoke not long ago; two episodes in, and already enjoying it. So far, it's the story of a girl who everyone thinks is made of pure evil, when actually she's just bad at being social, and she looks up to this uber-charismatic guy and the two become friends. Probably one of the more original "romance"-type stories I've seen in a while, though again, I've barely started watching it. The art style of the show is pretty fun, too :D

Still keeping up with FMA Brotherhood. It's getting fairly close to catching up with the US manga releases; it'll be fun to actually not know what's going to happen in the anime :noes:

Spoilers for Toaru Kagaku no Railgun in the sentences to follow, but... The recent Index cameos have been win :lol: Granted the two series take place in the same city, it's still fun to see all those characters from Index making appearances in Railgun, especially Index herself. Cameos aside, the series has been quite awesome; a shame that it'll be over in just several more episodes :(

Nodame Cantabile Finale has been feeling lacking to me somehow. Maybe I'm getting tired of the characters after the past two seasons or something, or maybe it's just the fact that Nodame has been acting more serious lately.

Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu continues to be adorable; no other anime series does a better job at "cute humor." And that's all I have to say about that :lol:

Webcomics

Speaking of cute humor, if you're a Touhou fan, you definitely need to read Life of Maid (if you haven't yet). I've laughed out loud reading this series more times than I can remember. If you don't know much about Touhou, I'm sure there are some universal jokes, and some of the characters' personalities can probably be picked up through reading, but knowing the inside-jokes of the fandom ahead of time definitely adds to the humor.

Oh, and some of those random links I placed earlier are from Left-Handed Toons, another favorite webcomic of mine which I've probably mentioned in the past. Other favorites (along with Life of Maid) include 2P Start (which has the greatest Podcasts known to man) and Brawl in the Family. Any other webcomic pales in comparison. Even Blue Starlight :noes:

Artwork

And speaking of Blue Starlight, one more comic to go until the conclusion of what I consider the "introduction" to the series :D Hard to believe it's been thirty comics already. As it stands, there are about fifty more comics left to do, but I'm sure more ideas will be tacked on as it progresses. By the way, Blue Starlight has an RSS feed now, for anyone interested. Great for Feedly!

I guess this falls under artwork, but I recently released a new YTP, FEY Chronicles 2, which is the second sequel to Project FEY. To me, the entire FEY series is like a series of sketchdumps (in video-remix form), but it seems to be well-liked, and I enjoy making them, and so I do. The only problem is that when I finish a new chronicle, I have to wait a while before I can gather enough more ideas for a new one, which takes months.

Back to BSL, I'm considering making t-shirts perhaps? Wondering if there might be any interest at all.

And I'm also thinking of opening commissions for drawing characters in BSL Comics style (similar to what I did for Touhou and 2P Start). Maybe $6 per character (head to waist) or two for $10?

Video-Games

What are video-games? :confused: But yeah, I'm back on campus without a console; will be playing Mass Effect 2, Assassin's Creed 2, Infamous, and Fable 2 whenever I'm back home and have enough time. Plus I need to play through Dragon Age again as an elf mage (already beat the game as a human noble). Why do I keep buying games if I clearly don't have the time to play them :noes: Then there's several others coming out I want to play too...

But for now, I'm stuck with my DS and laptop. What little time I have to play games is spent mostly on Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, which I'm very close to beating. Following that will be Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Also have a few games on my laptop that I bought because they were on sale a while back (and I'd heard they were good games anyway), and that list includes Machnarium, Samorost 2, and Braid -- only the last of which I actually know anything at all about, to be honest ^^; The other two will (hopefully) be pleasant surprises to me. *browses games on laptop* Oh hey, it's Audiosurf! Haven't played that in a while.


But for now, it's back to studying for my Literature exam. ...Well, the exam is essay format, so I'll consider this blog entry my study-session of the day. Now to decide whether to go finish Bowser's Inside Story or start BSL 31...


PS: Here's a pointless list of my top favorites in games, anime, and web-videos.

PS2: This ought to be interesting.
  • Listening to: 2P Start Live, random anime stuff
  • Watching: Bamboo Blade, Ouran, Railgun, Animaniacs
  • Playing: Dragon Age, RE5, Bowser's Inside Story
Well, Christmas Break is almost over, so I figure I should write about some of the cool stuff I've been doing before school eats me up again (though it's a bit ironic that I finish more artwork during school semesters than during breaks).

First off, I know I've mentioned this before, but in case anyone missed it, I do have a Twitter account, at which I update about all the cool stuff I work on, including artwork, videos, writing, and even some behind-the-scenes stuff (such as "exclusive" sketches and previews).

Secondly, if anyone is interested in commissioning me, please send me a note and we can work out the costs and other details. I could use some extra monies! Anyhow...

Video-Games

I spent a good deal of my month-off playing through Dragon Age: Origins, which is easily the best RPG I've played in quite a long time. Spent about 86 hours on that game, playing as a male noble human rouge named Ferdinand (whose appearance was based roughly on my OC of the same name). He had sad-looking eyebrows and battle cries that were hysterical to make fun of (I KNEW WE COULD NOT LOSE~). I mostly tagged around with Alistair (because my sister insisted I keep him in my party) and Morrigan (because she's a mage, and just plain cool -- Claudia Black ftw). The third spot alternated depending on the situation, but it was usually Ohgren (because he has the funneh). Hard to say much else about the game without spoiling things, but suffice it to say the game was epic.

I've also been playing Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story on-and-off. Partners in Time was a disappointment, but BIS has been awesome so far. The only thing I can complain about is making Bowser sneeze. Once was fun, twice was okay, but any more was simply a chore; maybe it's just me, but the controls for that mini-game were on the weak side. But all-in-all, one of the better handheld games I've played in a while.

Also came very close to beating Resident Evil 5, but the end boss is so tedious to beat that I eventually gave up trying. The rest of the game was pretty awesome though; played it on co-op with JadeRaven93. I've also recently come to realize what a cool universe RE has; the only exposure I'd had to RE before this game was a little bit of RE4 and the Degeneration movie (the "live action" movies don't count, since they're horrible and have nothing to do with the canon story as far as I and many other RE fans are concerned). I'd previously avoided the franchise since the title misled me to believe that it was basically a series about generic supernatural horror phenomena (seriously, "Biohazard" does the series more justice than "Resident Evil" -- I wonder why they ever changed the name for its US release). So anyway, I've since watched the series' Retrospective; interesting stuff.

Games also on my to-play or to-finish list include Fable II, Assassin's Creed II, Fallout 3, LoZ: Spirit Tracks, and Sonic Chronicles. Plus all that new stuff coming out like Mass Effect 2, the Dragon Age expansion, AA Investigations, Bioshock 2... Still got a lot to catch up with.

Anime

Recently finished Bamboo Blade, which holds a rare 10/10 score on my anime list! Also recently finished Ouran High School Host Club, which didn't quite make a perfect score, but was quite awesome nonetheless (though I can't help but draw parallels between Ouran and Special A).

Finished watching Umineko not long after the last episode aired. Suffice to say, I'm very confused and quite disappointed. SPOILERS kind of, but what basically happened at the end (from my understanding) is "Oh hey you know ~all~ those questions we've been presented in the past 25 episodes? Here are all the answers in ten minutes with no build-up, game won. Oh wait, all those answers were actually wrong!" Kind of felt like they crammed an entire season into half an episode, and even then it didn't resolve anything. But maybe that's just me. Either way, I don't see Umineko becoming the masterpiece Higurashi was.

And finally, Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu is airing! Been waiting for this third season for quite a while; the first episode made me lol hard (particularly the IT bit, for some reason).

TV and Movies

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: Best comedy movie I've ever seen. See it now. Enough said. Also been watching some Animaniacs lately, a show I grew up with as a young kid. So many awesome jokes I completely missed as a kid, and now wonder how many of the said jokes ever even made it into the show.

Artwork

Anyhow, without access to video-game consoles starting next week, I'll likely be updating with more artwork and such more frequently again. So, see ya'll around!
  • Listening to: 2P Start Live, The Lame Show, Touhou remixes
  • Reading: Yotsuba&!, FMA, textbooks, notes
  • Watching: Railgun, Umineko, FMA Brotherhood, and more
  • Playing: Chrono Trigger, Touhou, Sumotori
Hey, it's been about forever since I've written anything; looks like it's time for an update! :D Lots to talk about since it's been a while.

Anime

So many awesome shows this season (or continuing from last). To Aru Kagaku no Railgun is probably at the top of my list of airing shows (of which I made some fanart a little while ago). It has a nice mix of "superhero" sci-fi, action, comedy, and slice-of-life, with a bit of crime-solving through the Judgement law-enforcement team, though recently it's been getting deeper into a crime-mystery story arc. It has its awkward moments (like one whole episode of the teleporter trying to get with the electrokinetic (both of whom are girls), but the rest of the show is well worth getting into.

And while I'll admit that Railgun might not be for everyone, there is one show no self-respecting anime fan should miss: FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This would definitely be at the very top of my list if it weren't for the fact that I've read all the US-released manga already (so I already know what's going to happen, at this point). People have called FMA overrated in general, and I'll agree with those pointing to the original FMA series, since halfway through it, it took a tangent and created its own far-fetched storyline greatly deviating from that of the source manga. Brotherhood, however, follows loyally to the manga storyline, (which easily owns the "original" story of the first anime). The only problem with Brotherhood is that it rushes through episodes 2-10 (which made up the first 25 episodes of FMA), and so many fans of the first series  give up on Brotherhood before the "new" and awesome stuff starts from the deviation point of the two series. So definitely, check out FMA Brotherhood. Or if you've seen the first FMA and gave up on Brotherhood, try skipping ahead to episode 11 and giving it a chance. FMA may have been good, but Brotherhood is just plain awesome.

And many who've been following these blog entries know that I've been following Umineko no Naku Koro ni. It's very much starting to remind me of Higurashi (which is one of the best anime series ever). You know, the pattern of happy, freaky, death, reset, happy, freaky, death, reset, etc, confusing strange plot twist, death, reset, some backstory, confusing strange plot twist, death, reset, things start to make sense, confusing strange plot twist which negates your reasoning, death, reset -- you get the idea :P Seems we'll be getting an "Umineko Kai" if the pattern continues to follow Higurashi, which it probably will, because I highly doubt they could cram all the answers to the murder mystery into the remaining few episodes of this season. I'll be looking forward to that :D

And while the above three series are some that I'm sure already have a large following without me promoting them, Natsu no Arashi (the second season of which is airing) is one of the most underrated series I've ever watched. Granted it's not one of my few 10/10-rated series, it's still awesome. It's from the writer of School Rumble, a sci-fi comedy involving "ghosts" (I use the term lightly) from decades ago that now live in modern-day Japan, who can connect with humans to time-travel into the past. I love time-travel stories that involve trying to change the past, when actually the attempts to change the past are what cause the current timestream to shape in the first place (if that makes sense). Throw in some comedy to the mix of space-time theory, and you've got gold :D (One thing I dislike about the series though is that the openings are pretty bad and misrepresent the series, I think. I almost didn't even try the show based solely on that, but you can't judge an anime by its OP =P).

Then there are some "older" shows that I've recently completed, which I'll touch on briefly. To Aru Majutsu no Index is the main storyline from which its prequel (Railgun) spun-off; I prefer Railgun overall, but Index is still a great show. If looking for a nice realistic drama for a change of pace from all these esper and sci-fi anime, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is just awesome; if you're human, you will cry when watching this series -- one of very few 10/10-rated series on my anime list. Back to sci-fi (though this probably falls more under fantasy), Gai-Rei Zero is a classic clash of light versus dark side, which needless to say quite reminds me of the underlying  themes of Star Wars, though under an entirely different setting; it's also apparently a prequel to a manga series called Ga-Rei, which I might have to check out now. I've also gone through and finished three seasons of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, mainly a satarical comedy about society and such, which is quite good overall, but I must admit got a bit bland by about midway through the third season (which might be in part due to me marathoning the series at times).

And now some shows that I've recently started! Bamboo Blade is an example of a sports-based series (if Kendo is considered a sport, which I would) that I actually enjoy; I think it's just that the humor of the show resonates well with me, especially the yandere humor -- we need more yandere characters like the one in this show :D And then there's Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan -- ah, yandere :lol: More-recent shows I've been starting include Seitokai no Ichizon, which to me feels like a cross between the humor of Lucky Star and Higurashi (regardless of the parody references to both shows within the first episode), both humor I enjoyed, but Seitokai doesn't seem to be fully doing it for me yet; guess we'll see where it goes. I'm one episode into Kobato, which seems like a sweet (old sense of the term) series so far; not much else I can really say about it at this point as I've barely started it.

And a few last things on the anime topic! Shakugan no Shana S (and Shanatan G) recently started, both of which are awesome if you've followed the Shana series. The Vanishment of Haruhi Suzumiya movie is due sometime next year; greatly looking forward to that, as I hear it's a fan-favorite novel of the Haruhi series (I still like the sound of "The Disappearance" better, but oh well). I've heard from a friend that Darker Than Black is an awesome series, so I'll probably be starting that soon, now that I'd just finished Ga-Rei Zero yesterday.

Video-Games

This'll be a much shorter section, regrettably, as I don't have the kind of time to concentrate on games during the school year (opposed to anime episodes that take up chunks of 22 minutes). So, I thought I was close to beating Chrono Trigger, but apparently not :noes: For those who've played the game and are curious how far I am, I just shot down the airship. It's been an alright game, somewhat reminding me of Mother/Earthbound in some ways (though not even close to rivaling their storylines as far as I'm concerned). And is it just me, or is Robo pretty much useless (aside from this)?

During Thanksgiving break I got to play a bit of Assassin's Creed II, which has been dull compared to the first game, but then again I just got the assassin's cloak before stopping; it can only go uphill from there (I hope) =P Also started Dragon Age, which took up much more of my break. Just got emo what's-her-face to join my party before I had to stop and go back to school :( I'll be playing that when I get back home in mid-December, hopefully beating it before Christmas when new games will inevitably be asking to be conquered =P

Also, ever heard of Sumotori? Awesome free game.

Touhou

Yes, I'm such a huge Touhou nerd/fanboy that it gets its own section now :lol: So, I'm getting used to Mountain of Faith, practicing that quite a bit when I have the time. Took me forever to get past Aya, but ever since doing it the first time, it's almost a cakewalk to get past her. The final boss, however, is a different story :noes: I'm to the point that I can reach her on Normal without using any Continues, but she owns me every time. All the Youtube videos I've seen of the battle make her seem so easy to beat though :noes:

On that note, I recently went back to play Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (my favorite of the series, closely rivaled by Perfect Cherry Blossom), and I was amazed at how slow-paced the game was compared to MoF :wow: Maybe I can finally reach Flandre Scarlet now... if I can get past Cirno's stupid (no pun intended) first spellcard without dying, of all bosses.

And speaking of Flandre (the embodiment of yandere), here's a fairly unique UN Owen Was Her? remix whose sound (and photo) do well to represent her split personality. AND speaking of Scarlet Devil Mansion, here's the best Touhou comic series I've ever read: Life of Maid. Definitely need some knowledge of Touhou to understand a good chunk of the jokes, though some are fairly self-explanatory (or one could probably derive character personalities directly from the comic).

And just because of sheer awesome, here's the Bad Apple!! Shadow Art music video again. I've seriously lost count how many times I've watched this video, but it's not a stretch to say it's been at least one hundred times.

Artwork / Videos

Artwork -- what I probably should be doing during my pre-finals break instead of rambling on about what I should be doing =P Blue Starlight has a couple new characters left to be introduced, one of which is a cameo from one of my novellas (who will appear in the next comic strip), and the other is another supporting character alongside Hideki, Irene, and Trish. Looking forward to introducing both :D

And speaking of the novellas, I'm thinking I should redraw those six teenaged "superhero" characters of mine; it's been almost two years now since I've updated their looks :noes: (Well, not including Irene's grown-up BSL version, but that doesn't really count).

I also realize I haven't been doing many SSBA designs lately, though I have to admit, the Misaka drawing I did was originally supposed to be for an SSBA design, but for some reason I felt like just drawing her in normal attire along the way. (Guesses who she'd dress up as? Hint: she's replacing someone already on the roster, a first and probably last for SSBA.) But as I keep mentioning, I do have several ideas at the moment for the series, though motivation and time rarely seem to meet up for SSBA.

Inevitably, there will be a Project FEY Chronicle 2, but I don't know when. I've the ideas lined up, so now it's just a matter of time and motivation. Looking back on the "pilot" FEY video, I wonder how I ever had that much spare time to work on just one thing.

Other

There's a new Vocaloid coming out! Not much else to say in this section, other than I finish the semester December 16th. Well, time to study for finals; good luck with yours, everyone! (Unless you don't have any finals, then you're already lucky.)

Updates (12/07/09)

Yet another new Vocaloid?! Also forgot to mention that I got some decent Black Friday deals online for Resident Evil 5, Fallout 3, and Sonic Chronicles, all new copies for $20, $20, and $10 respectively. Haven't played them yet since I had to go back to campus before they arrived in the mail :( But on the bright side, new Touhou video, with remix by Conagusuri (Chirumiru) and animation from Tetla (Cirno's PMC) :D