Music of the Month; Futashika Tashika

Have I ever told you how difficult it is to choose a song every month? Despite these being more or less rants without any solid theme or anything similar, the music I introduce tends to have some sort of relevance and isn’t just a random selection. Most of the time. Still, any and all songs are absolutely something I personally enjoy. I don’t know whether or not this selfish approach tells anything outside that I really don’t stick with one type of music too much.

Anyway, to the music!

Give other Go!Go!7188 songs a try too. They have an excellent cover of Cutie Honey

 I want to give a shoutout to a RadioDrome special, where Josh Hadley has a very interesting and quite in-depth interview with none other than Buzz Dixon. Dixon worked on multiple cartoon and comics throughout the years, the likes of Thundarr the Barbarian, Transformers, Jem and G.I. Joe, plus whole lot more I’m not even properly aware of. It’s an excellent piece to listen for numerous pop-culture trivias that pop-up, but also just to hear the passion Hadley and Dixon share, but also how the industry has been run. Other than that, I recommend giving both RadioDrome and Lost in the Static a try, as they’re both pretty damn swell radioshows to listen while going to work or otherwise. A fair warning is in place thou, as Hadley has very, very strong opinions on certain matters, to say the least.

I’ve started to work fully on certain projects, so I apologise beforehand if the quality of the blog has dropped recently or will have posts with lesser content. I need to prioritise other things first, as blogging isn’t my job. If it would be, you’d see one or two posts per day. Possibly more.

I’m not satisfied how the last month’s review on the Shiranui Second Phase 3 turned out. It will be revised further when I have enough free time to sit down properly and work with it, as I simply forgot certain important tidbits in my hurry and didn’t even write a proper closure. As it stands now, it’s not even a mediocre review in my eyes. I’d estimate that I’ll revise it sometimes by the end of the month or so, but knowing me that estimation is off by six months. It may be better for me to revise it little by little.

Despite my own busy schedule (aren’t I always?), I have plans to return on TSF posts. If you hate when I talk about fictional giant robots, sorry. I intend to use pre-existing graphs of some of the more popular TSFs and their real world fighter plane sources to point out how the plane elements have been introduced to the design. It’s sort of old thing, but it has been on my to-do list for… few years now. Better later than never, right? My aim really is to write somewhat comprehensive design comparison, which requires some time, so it’ll be done unit by unit, and we’ll start with the more popular or easier ones. I’ll most likely be completely selfish and start with Su-47 Berkut.

Speaking of Muv-Luv, a mobage was released based on the franchise recently. It being your run of the mill browser based game on your smartphone, it’s not very good. Nevertheless, I keep tapping the screen on my almost broken HTC while doing something else. Hell, I’m tapping the screen while writing all of this in order to advance in the Missions/Quests, so there’s most likely more typos and language errors than usual. Then again, I already got the Common Hayase card, so I’m sort of content.

Somebody thought that I had moved on from Muv-Luv on 4chan. I heartily laughed at that
Somebody thought that I had moved on from Muv-Luv on 4chan. I heartily laughed at that

Another post that was actually requested from me was to make a comparison between Kimi ga Nozomu Eien characters and their BETAverse counterparts. It’s something that I’d like to do, but as always time is of the essence. I really need to start writing these bit by bit rather than in one go, like I usually do.

From matters to other, we live an era where childhood heroes and icon are dying. This is something certain generations have to face, and at the same time we have to realize that we need to allow the younger ones to have their own things. Even Leonard Nimoy wanted Zachary Quinto his own room to embrace Spock as his role and character he could work with. We, the older generations, will always have the past stories and products. Those can’t be ever taken away. However, at the same time we need to allow the younger generation to have their own heroes and icons. As much as we may hate certain people producing entertainment or other products, what we love has been opposed by the older generations.

Personally I will not hold the 3DS Langrisser reboot in any negative light because it’s not any of the older games. It has been long time enough since the last proper Langrisser game, and the new generation that are introduced to the world of Langrisser do not have to know anything that has been. They can research that later on and experience the past games if they so choose, but it is not demand or expected of them. I would say that it would be good to know about the past of the franchise if you’re going to discuss about Langrisser as a whole with a fan of the series, but that’s sort of beside the point. The point is, we can’t be stuck on the past, and we as the older generations need to embrace new things as well, rather than stifle the change.

 Dammit, I should’ve put some Jem songs up this month. Oh well, there’s always the next one, unless I go and die.

Kids say the darnest things

I’ve been working with kids on and off ever since I turned ten. I’ve got experience with kids from three different decades with varying ages, from three or four years olds to teenagers. The work has ranged from your normal summer camps to daycare centre work, and to weekly hobby club. Between these three, and everything including and surrounding them, are sort of honest mirrors what are the current things that are in. It’s not too uncommon to see children to have more knowledge what seems to be more popular than their parents. Of course, there is the division between children’s, adolescents’ and adults’ matters, but if we know anything about fandoms at this point is that there is far more overlap between all of them than we want to admit.

One thing I discussed a lot with first grade boys was Minecraft. While I don’t personally care for the game, the children are more than well versed in it. They can cite what materials can build what tools, how certain structures are best to build and how to farm Creepers like no other. While I should not be amazed how much they know, just the amount of logical thinking they made among each other incredible. Comparisons between real world materials and Minecraft voxels, thou there was more than few inaccuracies between them. For example, they claimed that any stone is stronger and harder than steel, which I responded in taking a normal stone outside and scratching it’s surface with an utensil.

I asked about certain other games that are more or less popular with the older population, but the children claimed them to be boring, thou few claimed that Skyrim was one the best games ever made. Period. It’s a good question how a six years old children are given access to the game, but if the parents regard the content and the kids old enough to play it, then who am I to say anything to the matter? Interestingly, Super Mario Bros. was regarded either too immature for their age or to me, but after asking if a good game has an actual age target group, the kids say such a thing would be stupid. I agree with them; why not make a great game everybody could enjoy regardless of their age?

The girls had less interest in games overall, mostly knowing of them but not really giving a damn about them. While most of them did say they play occasionally, it was more than apparent that they had no interest in gaming overall. Mario Bros. was one of the series they knew best, but even then they really had other interests. All this just makes more apparent that forcing products directed at an audience that has no interest in said product at the expense of the current consumerbase is stupid and more or less futile.

All this shows that Minecraft has been an insanely big hit. It defies everything people think about games, it being all game and no story, encouraging creative and logical thinking without directly hand holding the player’s hand, educating or enforcing ideas.

And apparently Super Smash Bros. For Console X is not a good game because nobody can be killed.

Last year there was a huge amount of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles discussion, and we had funny discussions where we compared the Nickelodeon Turtles against all previous versions. Few of them were interested in how, for example, Shredder was completely different in his 2003 iteration, being an Utrom and all. Actually, explaining what makes an Utrom, Krang and the Kraang stand from each other, but gladly the kids always want to me to draw something for them, so illustrative explanations are easy to make. Similar thing applies to Transformers. G1 setting has seen so many different variations of it that it’s a no brainer for the children to see connections and differences between the different series. We actually had a lengthy discussion whether or not Optimus Prime’s cannon should be transforming from the hand or a separate entity, and similarly if Prime should have a sword or an axe. One of the boys defended the axe idea by saying that it would be cooler.

Speaking of drawing, both boys and girls really enjoy whenever I doodle with them. Fairies, ninjas, angels, robots… some things seem to never change. Every time they ask how I’m so good at drawing, and I just have to tell them to practice. Sometimes we just sit there for an hour or two, discussing how to hold pen, what sort of paper is good, what colours are best and so on. My quick render of Lien Yun from Gekisatsu! Uchuuken was met with enthusiasm. Pre-schoolers deemed it as a pretty angel of protection while the first graders saw her as a Chinese princess with an attitude.

However, the most important thing is that when they asked me to draw robots, I did doodle a Mazinger and a generic Obari robot. The kids liked Mazinger better, because the Obaribot was too much and didn’t make any sense. After discussing it further, it seems that at the core design Mazinger simply works, whereas Obaribot was met with confusion due to its stupid appearance. It’s hard to explain, but the visuals Obari usually employ just seem too busy, stupidly complex and overall unattractive to certain degree. Perhaps it was the generic outlook I used, or just that locally the kids don’t like that appearance. However, the latter doesn’t hold water when you take notice how modern Transformers does have Obari inspired elements and so on.

Girls on the other hand still like princesses, fairies and all the stuff that is typically seen stereotypical for girls. This is not a bad thing at all, as the same things repeat with girls’ interests. I admit that I don’t have the same level of understanding of girls’ popular culture, but things like Little Mermaid, My Little Pony and pretty things seem to apply. I feel sort of awful that I can’t say much on girls’ interests. However, one thing I can say for certain that when it came to board games, the girls were more than eager to play them.

However, crafts was something both girls and boy did equally as much. Visuals were a bit different, but that’s nothing to scoff at. It’s a positive thing to see children of either side of the fence doing what are essentially the same things, just differently. These children don’t really know how to lie yet, mostly exaggerating everything to a large degree. They’re a small mirror of the grown up world with less haze in the way, and with no politics or bullshit ideologies attached. If adults could keep similar simple and honest attitude to the world, with the best elements and without all the bullying selfishness sometimes causes. I guess we all could live slightly more in peace.  I guess I too have an ideology consisting of a world where we wouldn’t need to cause harm to each other or force ourselves on other while still giving a hand to those who need it simply because it would be the right thing to do.