Saturday, October 25, 2008

Home again home again

I took lots more pics yesterday until my camera battery ran dry. Walked up to Coit Tower (not by those dreadful steps, but it was still an excruciating climb nonetheless) then down to Fisherman's Wharf, then drove over to the Presido under the bridge.

I've got huge blisters on my feet. Made being stuck in an airplane for hours oh so much fun.

More later after I wind down and upload some more.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A few SF pics

Just a few pics for immediate sharing; I haven't had a chance to process any of 'em yet (plus I have a lot of panoramas to stitch together...). They all pop to the big originals.

There must be a Spider Rider around here somewhere...


One of the views from my hotel, at sunrise.

Sunset last night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The streets of San Francisco

Subject: Musings
Well, I'm halfway through my trip, with my "work" part in San Jose all finished. With all the free food and booze, I think I may have overdone it a little -- though it doesn't take much for me to "overdo" it right these last couple of months thanks to the acid reflux.

Anyway, I get to switch from "free" to "'spensive", because I've just arrived in San Francisco. I'm checked into a clever Japanese-themed hotel in Japantown, which I'll have to post pictures of. It's amusing though stylish. And I didn't really pick it out of any Japanophile leanings, really! When I booked it, there was a special "free parking package" that will save me $40 a night. Plus, the location is pretty convienient. And it's surrounded by sushi places, yum!

I haven't solidified any plans for the next two days, but the SFMOMA is definitely on the list. And it's absolutely gorgeous out; warm, sunny, perfect. I'd probably be happy just hanging out in a park or two (which I did for sunset as I arrived; those pics soon as well).

Enough of that, off to find a little bit of dinner...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Michiko to Hatchin ep 1 first impression!

Subject: Noir
In between packing (and loading games on my laptop) for my trip, I managed to catch the Michiko to Hatchin raw. It's kind of low-res and a weak audio mix, but it was more than enough for a good preview.

There was a lot going on, though it was all very much over-the-top and easy enough to follow. I'm sure there's a lot of detail in the dialogue that went totally over my head, which left a couple of sequences confused to me, but on the whole, I think I'm really going to enjoy this one!

Especially if a hi-def version becomes available... because the art direction is probably the most outstanding aspect of the show. The raw was really crunchy, but you could tell that there's a lot of detail and color and care that will totally enrich the Brasil-based world onscreen.

The music was pretty much awesome throughout, with a melange of styles that went from the sort of latin-style that was expected, to some funky 70's exploitation beats that totally accentuate some of the over-the-top bits.

Voices, I'll have to give it another listen to judge. So far the common "complaint" is Hatchin sounds too mature. She sounds like Kino's VA to me (too lazy to check right now...). But I'm not distracted by that.

Story, I'll have to get the dialogue to get a better feel for it, but I'm pretty sure that it's pretty much working at the "fun romp" level, and is self-depricatingly using over-the-top tropes to move things along. It's working up a frothy stew of homage in every sequence, I'm sure. I expect it's going to be all about experiencing the individual moments -- journey-not-the-destination -- and I'm down with that. Oh yeah.

Animation, well, I'm a bit torn. I simultaneously love it and find it annoying. I love that they're overloading the motion and using lots of very expressive, lively poses. Somewhat more subdued sequences contrast nicely with the over-the-top exaggerated action. Very humorous. And did I mention expressive? Yes, yes I did.

But ugh, in a lot of scenes, their motion timing is really clunky. It's not particularly smooth motion to begin with, but like with Bounen no Xamdou, I don't mind that when there's actually a proper sense of weight and gravity to compensate for the lack of tweens. It's no Champloo in this department, that's for sure. Which is a bit dissappointing.

That said, supposedly there are other studios and animators who are involved in various episodes. The ED looks like it's a multi-animator "exquisite-corpse" sort of affair (which Masaaki Yuasa does a very Kaiba-looking segment for, I believe). And over time, I'm hoping it will improve. But for now, it's not a show-stopper.

If it were better, though, I'd be a raving obsessive lunatic over this show. It would do no wrong by me. Heh.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Michiko to Hatchin has aired, OP on the 'Tube

Subject: Noir
A non-low-res raw recently showed up, but looks like it'll take forever to download. Not sure when I'll get to see it.

But here's the OP, at least!

It's all just little bits of history repeating...

Subject: Soapbox
Looks like we're partying like it's 1873.

There were many such "panics" throughout our industrialized history, culminating in the Great Depression, after which a system of regulations and standards kept us relatively stable and growing for an unprecidented period of time -- as lousy as some of our recessions had been, they weren't anything like a full scall "panic" like the old days.

And go figure, attempting to dismantle and circumvent the regulatory legacy of the Depression just brings us back to the kind of damaging cycles that cause normal people the most problems. With luck, we're not that far gone yet, but the similarity to 1873 is really, really eerie, isn't it?

(Next week I'll be in California... I hear there's fruit pickin' jobs there, so I have that going for me, which is nice...)