I must conserve my bandwidth until I get FiOS again. Watching only one or two shows this season is a good start. I am a man of simple taste and this bird pleases me. Therefore, Tamako Market is my show this season. Not that that necessarily means I’ll ever mention it again or anything…
(as though it weren’t serious already)
I never imagined MegaUpload would shut down. Years ago, it didn’t take much imagination for me to foresee the eventual closure of suprnova. Likewise, I was frustrated, but not terribly surprised when mininova went “legit” and lost all significance, but I never imagined MegaUpload would close its doors.
I suppose I’m naïve, but DDL sites, particularly one with a founder/mascot so bombastically confident and publicly expressive of its safety from those who would wish for its demise, always seemed to me too mainstream and even “safe” to be targeted like this. MegaUpload was, in many ways, a legitimate business. If they earned ad revenue from downloads of copyrighted content, that’s not their fault. I suppose when you make money by the sackfull off such advertising schemes, throw parties to rival those of Tracy Jordan in ostentation, and hire the most expensive ensemble of pop stars to sing the praises of your company, people take notice.
According to torrentfreak the defendants are being charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. I would believe the money laundering charge, but I want to know more about the “conspiracy to commit copyright infringement” and what sort of conspiring, specifically, they are accused of. I don’t totally doubt the money laundering thing though. Of course, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be quite happy to be shown that it’s false, too.
I had rarely used MegaUpload at all, actually, but I did like it a bit more than other free DDL sites after I got FiOS because it was the only service on which I could get near 1MB/s download speed without the use of jdownloader. Fileserve usually gives me about 400kB/s, which is more than tolerably fast, of course, but if I was in a rush to get a file and there was no other source for it I was always happy when it was on MegaUpload as opposed to some slower DDL site.
Now I fear that FileServe will be next. If MegaUpload was CocaCola, FileServe is at least Pepsi.
I will fail, but it’s worth a try. I never watched it when I was a little kid because my room looked like this and I was already mistaken for a girl frequently enough.
I will now marathon through my reasons for being underwhelmed this season:
There’s barely anything I think I can bear to watch this season. Perhaps there are some good shows, but I have profoundly deep-seated genre biases: I don’t like mecha or battle shows. Horizon is a school battle trainwreck that interests me even less than Karutamon. Gundam is mecha, Majikoi is a school battle erotic trainwreck, Mirai Nikki looks like it’ll be a boring battle to the death scenario I’ve seen countless times before, Phi Brain is shounen puzzle bullshit, Tamayura is pleasant and heart-warming but slow as watching paint dry, Persona is based on a game too erudite and long for me to appreciate or even play, Busou Shinki is based on a series of action figures, Maken-ki is basically the poor man’s version of Ladies versus Butlers! and I haven’t yet seen Un-Go.
I’ll watch Ika-musume because it’s wholesome and the protagonist is adorable. I’ll watch Haganai because it will inevitably be the most popular, if not best, of the season and if I don’t watch it, I’ll feel out of the loop later on. I’ve heard Kimi to Boku referred to as K-ON! with boys. K-ON! is too good to be compared to Kimi to Boku; a more apt analogy would be to say that it’s like A Channel with boys. I found A Channel about as mediocre as anything could possibly be. There was nothing overwhelmingly wrong with it, but it didn’t do anything to stand out from other similar shows of the same genre that I’ve seen. That’s what Kimi to Boku feels like. My feelings for it may change if it gets significantly angstier or if a shota enters the cast. As for C^3, I’ve only watched the first episode so far but the sudden girlfriend appearance premise never gets old and I like clumsy girls from other dimensions/planets/planes of existence who aren’t familiar with the ways of us earthlings, just like Ika-musume. I’ll try watching Mashiroiro Symphony but I may drop it if it’s disappointing like Yosuga no Sora. I’ll watch Working`!! because I’ve grown to like it.
I just watched the first episode of Guilty Crown without, as usual, knowing what it was about beforehand. I am disappointed by the prevalence of explosions and robots. Those are demerits according to my genre biases. On the other hand, there are skintight powersuits, neat character designs, and Sephiroth, all of which mean I will at least try a few more episodes before giving up.
Though I say that few of these shows pique my interest, if I have the time, I’ll inevitably end up watching some of them. Nonetheless, iDOLM@STER and Penguindrum will be getting the lion’s share of my attention this season, just as they did last season.
Xunlei really does support uTP. The client I saw in July was real. I noticed the above clients all within about 5 minutes of each other on 4 different torrents, so I suppose they really did add support for uTP. That’s nice. Now all the major clients in the world can play nice with each other…except BitComet.
I’m on vacation with my family today and the place where we’re staying has Optimum Online service. I’ve never used this service, but I remember there were rumours several years ago about shit service and crazy policies about P2P throttling.
These are the same people who have a TV commercial that claims they are the only ISP in United States to offer 100MB/s service. Yes, they actually explicitly write “100 MB/s” in the commercial. There is no ambiguity in those units; they denote megabytes per second, not megabits per second. This is a blatant lie. OOL does offer 100Mbps (read megabits per second) in some service areas, but not 100 MB/s. They’re just doing that because they think that most people will respond to the capital letters and the exclamation point in the commercial, rather than the actual measurement, which is incorrect. That and the fact that they assume (probably correctly) that even the people who do realise that the usage of the capital letters makes their commercial a lie either don’t care enough to hold it against Cablevision or are in a position where Cablevision is the only non-ADSL ISP available.
But because of the rumours about insane throttling on all service tiers to low speeds as well as the false advertisements, I’ve always had a mild dislike for Cablevision in general and OOL specifically. I also think it’s stupid that the Internet service is called “Optimum Online” while the television service is called “iO”. Time Warner has a separate name for their Internet service and call it “Road Runner”, but at least they’re consistent about it; they call all three of their services “Road Runner”. Verizon also calls all three of their FTTH services — TV, Internet, and phone — “FiOS”. I don’t think Verizon even has a catchy name for their ADSL service; I’m pretty sure it’s just “Verizon ADSL” or “Verizon High-speed Internet”.
My point is that having two names is acceptable, but having three separate names is asking too much of the consumer. Most people can’t even answer the question “who is your ISP?” so asking a person to remember three names for the same company as well as which specific service each name refers to will just cause confusion. Plus “iO” is a stupid name anyway. It’s almost as bad as “XFINITY”.
But I did some speed tests here and they’re consistently good. I was tempted to test some bittorrent downloads and I did for about 10 minutes but I soon started to feel guilty, seeing as it’s not my connection or anything. It was just a linux ISO though so there’s really nothing to feel bad about at all. It looks like these people have the 15Mbps/2Mbps plan. I was able to download at 1.4MB/s on the linux ISO but the speed soon dropped to about 200KB/s and remained stable. I’m sure that’s not throttling though; it’s just a bad configuration on my side, I think. I was curious to see how long the speeds would be sustained, but I really felt too self conscious running a torrent client on a stranger’s connection so I closed it.
On the other hand, I was able to download consistently from my FTP server at home at about 1.7MB/s, even while it was busy seeding ~1000 torrents. This is why FiOS is so great. While they don’t explicitly allow you to run any type of server from a residential connection, there’s nothing stopping me from running an FTP server. I ran it on port 2121 just to be safe, but on dslreports I read that they don’t block it even if you do run it on port 21. My IP address at home barely ever changes either. It’s a bit like the Earthlink connection I used to have, where running any sort of server was formally forbidden but, in practice, even port 80 was open and I could host a tiny website for years, without having to change the DNS information more than once or twice a year since the IP address always stayed the same.
My conclusion from today is that I wouldn’t mind terribly if I had to live somewhere in which Cablevision was the only ISP. The channel guide menu on the STB is a bit slow to respond, but I bet this is because it’s an old SD STB they have here. This is the first time I’ve ever used OOL or seen iO TV, so I wouldn’t know if the Scientific Atlanta 4200 is still being given out on new installs or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if newer boxes have a firmware update or something with a nicer-looking guide. This guide is faster to respond than the guide on the HD STBs from Time Warner Cable that I had, but slower to respond than the Verizon FiOS STBs I currently have. The selected line on the guide moves less than one second after you press the up or down arrow with this iO TV STB, whereas with the TWC boxes I had it was at least one second or even slightly more between the time the user would press a button and the time the selection bar on the screen would actually move.
This is an interesting show. At the least, it’s quite beautiful. I will certainly keep watching it. I still don’t know what it’s all about, but at least I get the penguin bit now. It’s certainly good looking so far, with lots of bright, pretty colours and even some flowery iconography. Maybe that’s obligatory, I dunno.
The viewer immediately notices that, in a way very similar to Utena, there are scenes in which all of the characters other than those in the main cast are drawn as simplified, anonymous figures, apparently close relations of the man on the men’s room door:
Not that I’m complaining, but I’d once like to see an anime in which the protagonist has a really ugly imouto who the viewer is supposed to love. That’d be a challenge for the viewer. I guess Kuragehime was a bit like that, though Tsukimi wasn’t anybody’s sister. Nonetheless she was supposed to be “ugly” or at least not “pretty” in a conventional way and still succeeded to be moe. Regardless, Himari is undeniably cute as a button:
There’s a little bit of a fairy tale vibe to the show. The three main characters are siblings, but the sister, who fulfills the Ill Girl trope, is a little bit princessy in that the doctors all said long ago that there’s nothing they can do for her and she has little time left to live, as so often seems to happen on TV. Every day is precious, or something like that, so the three value every day they have together. Anyway, that’s how they end up at the aquarium to see these fucking adorable penguins:
But oh noes! My favourite imouto dies!
But it’s okay ‘cuz she has a special souvenir hat that revives her, albeit possessed by some spirit that says something or other about fate and the like. We’re warned that her life is prolonged only temporarily so we should be prepared to see this again:
So the cool part here is that once she’s revived using the power of this fate thing and the penguin hat, these penguins start helping out everywhere, finding the protagonist’s train pass, umbrella, killing roaches, sewing, and so forth.
So this is all pretty cool, so much so that I’d like some penguin helpers of my own, even if it means exceeding the 78 degree voluntary limit on air conditioning suggested by Mayor Bloomberg. The only problem is that only the three of them can see the penguins, despite how industrious and adorable they may be. What follows is a henshin scene for the ages. There’s no use taking screen captures of it (and besides, this page already probably takes 9001 minutes to load). There’s some great music in this scene too.
Is Himari being controlled by the hat? What is this about obtaining the Penguin Drum? Of course, the viewer is meant to be confused, but there is also the right amount of humour in here so that I’m genuinely eager to see the next episode. It’s also good that it’s nowhere near as experimental as it could have been. I love shows like Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei as much as the next guy and cannot really criticise it, but I can at least complain that it’s a lot of work to watch. The same is true for masterpieces like Ghost in the Shell; they require some effort on the part of the viewer to appreciate. While I’m not saying by any means that this was superficial, what I think I am saying is that it’s relatively easy to become immersed in the very first episode. It’s not so challenging in the beginning so as to be off-putting to viewers who aren’t interested in something that requires intent focus.
I suppose it’s required that I confirm that I didn’t miss this visual nod (or perhaps I’m imagining it):
No matter how many times you see it, pulling a sword out of somebody’s chest is really neat. I like this show and will continue to watch it. I will also continue to watch Yuru Yuri and Ikoku Meiro Croisee. I don’t know who’s cuter: Yune or Hinata
I think that even if the show ends with a lame cop-out ending like a meteorite impact or even it was all a dream this show will still be my favourite of the season. The only other show in the running would be Hanasaku Iroha but I hate the protagonist and her let’s-all-get-along-anything-is-possible-if-we-work-together attitude so the show would be a nonstarter for me if it weren’t for Chiaki Omigawa.
But this AnoHana show continues to have very concise yet equally emotionally draining episodes without lowering the intensity scale even a bit. It’s hard work for the viewer and I can see how a one episode break from the bullettrain feverish pace this show seems to be going at in the form of a more easygoing episode somewhere in the middle would be a tempting diversion, but nonetheless, I sure hope they don’t have an onsen episode or anything like that (I’ve jinxed it, haven’t I?). But even if they did, nothing can ruin the show now. Not since Hourou Musuko have I as eagerly awaited each new episode of a show. Admittedly, Hourou Musuko wasn’t that long ago, but prior to that I don’t know when the hell the last time I enjoyed a show this much was. Maybe NHK ni Youkoso.
I like how each character seems to get his or her turn in the spotlight. Last week’s episode was Yukiatsu. I guess I was biased in his favour since it was revealed that he was the one dressed up as Menma, but this episode was devoted almost entirely to showcasing his likable side to viewers who may not have found his crossdressing as likable as I did, saving Naruko and all and wailing like some kind of teary-eyed survivor’s guilt victim repressed to the point of mentos and cola magnitude explosive inundation.
Tsuruko must be more than the archetypal meganekko tsundere. I look forward to her character episode.
Chiaki Omigawa plays one of the main characters.
I didn’t think I’d be able to stomach this show after watching the first episode. The entire premise by which Ohana is carted off to the old hag’s ryokan was not believable. The whole thing with the boyfriend kid confessing in the first episode just as she’s about to leave town was also a bit off-putting, but I can see how perhaps further developments could make it work. In any case, I wasn’t particularly interested in watching more after seeing the first episode.
But then I realised that the reason that Minko character sounded an awful lot like Chiaki Omigawa was because it was, in fact, her playing the voice. She’s not a dojikko in this show, so that’s too bad, but she can make tsundere work too. Minko does seem to fail at all of her chores though, which provides plenty of opportunities to hear her curt, businesslike apologies, which is nice, I suppose. That’s a type of clumsiness, at least.
Now I’ve really got no choice but to watch the rest of the series, even if it’s garbage.