Music of the Month: Drill Domination

I’m writing this post, though I should be sleeping. I’m using the excuse of eating to stay up enough to write this post, while in reality, my food is still in the microwave because I didn’t feel like cooking chicken risotto this late in the middle of the night. Sudden shift changes due to a robot being programmed have thrown my daily rhythm to hell, which doesn’t really jive well with me exercising. Despite my utter hatred, dislike and sheer abhor towards exercising, I decided against my better judgement to start it again, as your body is the best investment you can have. That’s one more thing that eats two hours of my daily life away from hobbies and other stuff I should be doing. Then again, my scanner/printer just broke down thanks to a part that’s designed to break down in time due to its smaller than necessary contact points bending easily under normal ink cartridge usage. Don’t buy Epson.

With food in front of me and half a litre water in my mug, I’m wondering why the hell I didn’t do enough food for the whole week. I’ve noticed that salads don’t keep me full for the whole day. Eating before I go to sleep might cause some mishaps according to some, but at least I’m not hungry and I have the energy to exercise in the morning.

That doesn’t change the fact that I hate exercising in the morning, it makes me groggy for the whole day. Pissed off, unsociable, and generally about as enjoyable to be around as a bear shot in the ass. I guess that also makes me want to do my job as fast and as efficiently as possible so I could be done with it. I’ve picked up reading again due to some of the downtime (that may be increasing in the near future thanks to the whole Chinese originated flu floating about) and the series I’ve picked up again is A Certain Magical Index and its numerous spin-offs.

The problem with me and reading is that I’ve taught to think through the prose I read. Turning your brains off can’t be done, unlike with other media. This is partly why I prefer science fiction to fantasy, as fantasy doesn’t handle concepts as SF does. An exception to this is Japanese Fantasy, which blends SF into itself to a far larger degree. If The Lord of the Rings was a science fiction work, the concept of the ring and its abilities would have been explored further and in far greater detail. However, for fantasy work, it isn’t necessary or even desirable at best. Some of the Japanese prose has a tendency to stop the story in its track and explore a concept through a wholly different lens, sometimes citing actual studies or experiments. Some works turn this into a whole dialogue and explore the extent of the concept as a whole or its possible branches before putting it into proper use within the story. Purple’s Qualia does this to the point of fault, as a friend mentioned the work’s like the author was masturbating about these subjects. Funny that thing, he doesn’t like Science Fiction all that much. Another friend agreed the works’ pretty dang sweet, so what’d I know.

A Certain Magical Index is a series that’s a rarity for me anyhow. Both its literary and animated versions have their own strengths and pacing. Sometimes the books work out things better, sometimes the animation adaptation takes the lead. Going through both, even if I’m already familiar with the other, seems like a worthwhile effort. Reading through all these books will take me ages, but I’ll squeeze a book or two in some slots whenever I have downtime and haven’t planned on doing a scan-marathon. I should try to have one this Saturday.

What I find interesting in the series is that outside the whole practical exploration of concepts within the work’s setting, it goes to town with them. Often I end up questioning a pathway of a story or author’s decision to have events and concepts turn out in a manner that ignores their secondary characteristics. With A Certain Magical/Scientific series I’ve found constantly that these secondary characteristics, even tertiary in some cases, are weaved straight back into the whole story not thirty seconds after I’ve raised a question. That is mostly because the characters aren’t written as dimwits or idiots as most of their fellow genre characters often are, as they often stop and think. An example of this whole thing would be something like as follows; a concept of a person split into two cyborgs with different halves is introduced and explored. The two halves are clearly distinct beings that live their own lives despite being sourced from the same person. AI and advanced cybernetics have been helped to realise this (Academy City, the main setting of A Certain Magical Index is a scientifically hyper-advanced self-governing city with everything being tested and examined from weird mixtures of food to creating false deities). After living as two separate beings, the two halves are rejoined together. The rejoined human has two different sets of memories, but the overall acceptance of the situation and the participant’s psyche hasn’t been damaged or has rejected two sets of memories from the same time period. My first question after this was straight up What about the mechanical parts? and ‘lo and behold, the main point of the story ends up being these secondary elements, where the experiment also brought the cyborg halves into one whole, resulting in an android that considers itself as the same person. It just lacks any memories before the patient was turned into two cyborgs.

The series is full of these What about this thing? moments. It’s an effective use of a relatively short length of the books themselves, and the series is almost wholly consistent with itself. When a series runs a decade and then some, there are bound to be some small issues here and there, but nothing major. For an ever-expansive series, a franchise really, the overall story hasn’t really let go of its interesting characters and slowly building plot that keeps raising the stakes. I would be amiss if I didn’t mention that the series also crossed over with Virtual-On, which is why the series experienced a short, but oh so sweet, come back.

I guess that covers things what’s going on. I’m certain you’re able to read between the lines that the current situation where I am is somewhat dire, and despite my personal feelings and wants, I’m still returning to write an excessively long post about nothing to start the month with in order to get some steam out, as well as forcing myself to get rid of some fat again. It doesn’t matter regarding the blog itself, but things aren’t… well. That will, sadly, be reflected in the future posts but hopefully not in their amount. I doubt things will get better towards the new year either. I’ve got to start prioritizing. Maybe I’ll start writing more about single entry series or things that I’d like to have covered like I’ve done with Muv-Luv and Purple’s Qualia. Ah well, just wait ’til I start spouting shit about compact cassettes.

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