Archive for the ‘prs cons’ Category

… it’s not great; and that’s just because of a couple things, so, right off the top of my head:

  1. Sakura is just a lovable main character, but she’s annoying at times, especially at the beginning of the story. Of course YMMV.
  2. The beginning of the story seems a bit too forced… sorta “things have to be like this” or like “this situation have to lead to this conclusion”: why?
    This maybe occurs because there are too much things happening in too little time, probably in a 2 ½ hours movie the pace would have been slower (thus better for this type of movie). Again YMMV.
  3. The soundtrack: I can’t remember a single track standing out from all of the background music
    (compare this to some tracks from Scum’s Wish); and, no, the opening and the end titles don’t count.


Theatrical poster of I want to eat your pancreas

Theatrical poster for the movie

Setting these things aside, I want to eat your pancreas is still a very good movie, the story is easy to follow, drawings and animations are really well done, there are silly moments, tragic moments and the main characters are sympathetic enough to make the movie enjoyable to watch.

Recommended, if you have enough spare time to watch it.

Ok, so, what’s this?

This is a list I’ll keep updated during this year about anime series/movies I really enjoyed during 2020 (some… well… in certain ways: looking at you, Scum’s Wish) and that I decided it will be worth rewatching in the following years (maybe before a new season will come out).
It does not contains:

  • series or movies I’ve rewatched this year (all of SAO first and second season, Guilty Crown, etc.)
  • series or movies I’ve enjoyed, but I’m not willing to rewatch again in a near future (like Code GeassAttack on TitansTrinity Seven, etc).
  • series or movies I will for sure rewatch multiple times, like SAO or EVA.

So, here’s the list, in purely alphabetical (in English) order, with some small comments. Related movies, OVAs, etc. are to be considered included by default (live actions not included). To see the original title in Romanji, hover on the Japanese title:

  • After the Rain [恋は雨上がりのように].
    Simple, delicate, gentle, small love story. Why not?
  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor [ロクでなし魔術講師と禁忌教典].
    I usually don’t like magic and stuff, but this was fun. (waiting for season 2!)
  • Are You Lost? [ソウナンですか?]
    One of two funniest series of 2020 so far (the other being Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It). Many thanks to the owner of FullMeta for suggesting it to me! (waiting for season 2!)
  • Boarding School Juliet [寄宿学校のジュリエット].
    Another Romeo and Juliet alternative story. Lightweight, fun, enjoyable. (alas season 2 seems like it’s not gonna happen…)
  • Golden Time [ゴールデンタイム].
    This is rather good but a bit complicated. Worth watching by the way if you like the genre.
  • My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU [やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている.].
    Another rather good serie but not exactly lightweight. Definitely worth watching if you like the genre. (waiting for season 3!)
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai [青春ブタ野郎はバニーガール先輩の夢を見ない].
    Ok, this was probably the most enjoyable serie I’ve seen this year as it’s a good mix of comedy, science, psicology, social matters… You have to see it!
  • Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend [冴えない彼女の育てかた].
    Characters are so badly matched it’s so funny to watch… mind that this is an otaku-oriented serie, by the way. (waiting for season 3!)
  • Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It [理系が恋に落ちたので証明してみた。].
    This was, along with Are You Lost?, one of the two funniest series of 2020. Definitely science-oriented, but definitely a must see.
  • Scum’s Wish [クズの本懐].
    That. Was. Hard. It hurt. Badly. Maybe it was just me, after all…
  • Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku [ヲタクに恋は難しい].
    Another, funny, enjoyable, otaku-oriented serie. This one with adult relationships.
  • Your Lie in April [四月は君の嘘].
    I’m not gonna lie: it’s a beautiful story, but if you’re just a little bit sentimental, you’ll cry a lot (the good part: I’m not gonna cry for the rest of 2020 since I’m out of tears for the whole year thanks to this serie).

This list will be updated not so regularly… expect some new entries during the summer.

… that is, the point of view of an Evangelion fan.

Last night I finished rewatching Guilty Crown. I went to bed at 3:30 am but I could not manage to sleep because I wanted to listen to that song again: Departures – あなたにおくるアイの歌 – BOOM BOOM SATELLITES remix.

I’ve seen Guilty Crown [GC] for the first time in 2013. At that time, I was really into EVA [1] and GC, that is produced by the same Production I.G. of Ghost in the Shell [2], really struck me for both the similarities and the differences with EVA.

So, after finishing the rewatch, I thought I’d better write down what I think about one of the member of the “Triad”, as I call a group of anime in which the World is constantly on the edge of falling apart [3] because of a deadly mix of science, magic and religion, the other two members are Neon Genesis Evangelion, of course, and Code Geass: Lelouch of Rebellion.

So, this is not a review, but just my “two cents” about the show.

Cover of the DVD's box art of Guilty Crown

Shu and Inori, for reference…

The initial setting is common to many stories: something really bad happened in Japan in 2029, life goes on, but there is an organization – some United Nation’s entity (not NERV) – that manages the country which isn’t anymore a sovereign state.
Instead of the Second Impact, Japan (actually, Tokyo) has to deal with the aftermath of a pandemic, caused by a virus named Apocalypse. The city in 2039 is more or less back to how it was ten years before except for some areas, like, for instance, Roppongi.
A group of people known as Funeral Parlor (or Undertaker in the italian fansub) came together with the goal of making Japan an independent nation once again.
In this scenario, our main character, Shu Ouma, accidentaly encounters Inori Yuzuriha, the lead singer of Egoist, a very popular teen music group which endorses the goal and methods used by Funeral Parlor. Inori‘s not only a singer, but she’s actually a member of Funeral Parlor. Also, Egoist is a pop music duo which actually exists because it was formed to create the theme music for GC.

Shu is constantly going through rought events, losing friends, self esteem and many times the will to go on. But Shu has his own good Lelouch [4] moments, especially when his friends’ life is at risk.
You don’t love him, you don’t hate him. He’s probably just an average main character bound to a cycle of events he’s absolutely not prepared for. He’s not your typical Shinji Ikari by the way. Shinji almost always run away, but when he doesn’t he seldom think about what he’s doing.

Inori at first seems your tipical Rei Ayanami, but she questions more about herself, who she is, what she likes, who she loves, pretty early. She’s doing a risky job, she’s ready to die, but she’s not the one who will die just because someone ordered her to, à la Gendo Ikari for instance.
Also, no, she’s not related to the main character’s mother in any way [5].

A lot of sad and bad things happen during the story. Villains are not just bad, they’re infamous and shameless, ready to sacrifice everything for their personal goals. Friends sometimes turn into foes, but no foe turn into friend (unless he/she was a friend before, that did something despicable, usually for a not-so-despicable good reason tho).
The plot is linear, there aren’t hidden meanings in what the viewer see. You just watch it to get to the end, while experiencing a visual and musical top-level class production.

Watching GC after seven years, given my memory, was almost like watching it for the first time. You know it was great, you know you like a certain character – in my case Ayase Shinomiya, you know things will turn bad, but you don’t remember why.
Given the length of just 22 episodes, I decided to take it slow at about two episodes per night, until last night when I decided to watch it till the end starting at episode 17.

GC is not an emotional roller-coaster like Scum’s Wish or Your lie in April, but when it ends, it leaves you a sort of bittersweet feeling, something not every story leaves you.

And that’s the reason why you should watch it if you already haven’t

1 I’m still into EVA, as of 2020, and I’m still waiting for the fourth and last installment of Anno’s Rebuild of Evangelion.
2 and a lot of other high profile movies and series.
3 and well in many ways it actually does.
4 Lelouch is the main character of Code Geass, usually the one who outsmarts everyone or by the way comes out with a plan that works.
5 …but ██████ ████ ███████ ██████ █████ █████ ████ ██████.

or… how I shoulda stop to add anime to my watch list because of the videos Youtube keeps showing me… seriously!

The problem is that even the site I use to keep track of what I have already seen and what I want to watch ( is starting to give me recommendations accordingly!

So, this year alone I’ve seen some very big and famous (or should I say notorius?) shows, like Attack on Titan (I mean… all the seasons), Tokyo Ghoul (both the first season and √A) and SAO: Alicization (Yeah, I should write about SAO, I know…) but here I am, writing a post with a reference to the title of the lowest rated anime (still 2.5 stars out of 5, but it started at 1.5 after the first episode) I’ve seen this year (so far).

And, I mean, I’ve seen 13 new series this year and I did a complete rewatch of FMP! (including Fumoffu!, TSR and IV) and the first five arcs of SAO (Aincrad, Fairy Dance, Phantom Bullet, Calibur and Mother’s Rosario, just in case, if you’re not familiar with SAO and its storyline).

Point is, I’m in serious need of another EVA, FMP!, Guilty Crown or similar serie… and, even more important, I need the will to see it. The will to stay up late, the will to be taken by hand for a walk and then punched violently by the same director or author which I have trusted at the beginning of the serie (yeah, thanks Anno-sensei, very kind of you…) when my favourite character dies (C’mon, go watch Re:Creators now! I dare you!).

Because let’s face it… Hajimete no Gal is a typical please-watch-me-put-your-brain-in-powersave-we-got-lotta-boobies 10-episodes serie you don’t even bother considering if is worth watching… and how you’ll feel at the end (probably like me, hating Junichi and feeling sympathy for Yukana, but I digress…). But guess what? Sometimes you really need to put your brain in powersave and the two-and-a-half-out-of-five-stars serie Hajimete no Gal will serve the purpose just fine.

Cover of the first volume of the Hajimete no Gal manga

Picture for reference…
[Source: Wikipedia]

This week I’ll probably start watching Code Geass – I decided to finally watch it – but maybe on Friday, or during the weekend. In the meantime, what about that serie with an annoying long title? What was it? Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she’s a cutie? Those clips I’ve seen on Youtube were funny…

I’ve just finished watching Maison Ikkoku [めぞん一刻] and I really love that anime. It’s not one of my all-time favourites like Full Metal Panic or Neon Genesis Evangelion but nevertheless is, by far, the best romance drama (some would say it’s a comedy, but I digress…) without magic, science fiction or anything outside of the ordinary that I’ve ever seen.

I can’t deny this show is long… veeeeery long… with 96 episodes is the longest anime series I’ve seen so far (Urusei Yatsura and Ranma ½ are both in the backlog of things to see, but maybe next year).
Extraordinary long by the today standard of 12 or 24 episodes per serie.

So.…I really love the plot, the characters’ development, I found the two main characters to be enjoyable and relatable (Kyoko-san is such a lovely character, ahhh…) and since I lived (when I was young at least) in an era before cell phones and pervasive wireless high-speed internet access… the era when you had to put coins in a public phone in order to communicate with someone while you where on the street or at a train station or somewhere far from home, I can perfectly relate to a story set in the ’80s because I know first hand how things were going at that time.

… and that’s the problem.

The problem is that this is a show I love, a show most of my friends around the same age as me would enjoy (if they enjoy the genre of course) but it’s a show that is aging (and will continue to age) bad.

Really bad.

It’s not science fiction: I can picture myself watching today Star Trek – The Next Generation (Gundam if talking about anime) because… well… it’s Star Trek (or Gundam).
It’s not a two-hour comedy movie you can enjoy on tv, something like Wilder’s Some like it hot or Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.
It’s not a war/action movie (a-la Die Hard or Terminator).

It’s a serie someone born in 2000/2005, a perfect age to relate to the main characters, will probably struggle to watch and even to understand.

And that’s sad, really sad, because it really is a masterpiece, maybe as some said, Rumiko Takahashi’s more mature and best work, but to really appreciate it, more than anything, you have to relate to the characters.

Something I feel will be difficult for the generations to come.

Market Driven

posted by Viking
Giu 27

All the products names are copyrights or trademarks registered by their own manufacturers.

Back in the good old days when computers weren’t mean to be used – and were costly enough not to be purchased – by anyone, there weren’t any design or weight issues.
Desktop computers were rugged and ugly and no one cared, as long as they were powerful enough for their job. Laptop computers were bulky and costly enough to be a professional / enterprise – only choice. Mobile phones were the same, and voice calls were really costly too.

No one really cared about design until Apple made the first iMac, a PowerPC G3 based computer that looked nice and didn’t seems a computer at all, maybe a small colored TV. With the introduction of the various following models, more and more people started buying Apple hardware. The introduction of the iPod was another successful move, selling millions of units. Then followed the iPhone, the rest is history…

Apple did a very good job, creating a large user base and a series of product related – and complimentary – with each others. Owning an iPod, an iPhone, an iPad, a MacBook and an iMac is not that uncommon, assuming a person can afford such an expense.
They ( sort of ) share the same design or style and people continue buying them. Of course competitors started to manufacture similar products with sometimes good, sometimes bad results.

As I wrote, today a device is meant also to be good to see and show to the others, in a similar way as cars and girlfriends ( or boyfriends ). People want them to be that way, because they buy them, so there’s a market for them: the evolution of the well known Supply & Demand model.
Of course common people aren’t supposed to be “power users” or “pro users”, they simply want something that works, that keep working without maintenance and that in case of trouble can be sent to a service and repair center to be fixed until it’s so old that repairing it isn’t the best choice anymore.
The problem is “power users” or “pro users” ( like, for instance, me ) don’t like this way of thinking and are starting to get tired of such products that are not customizable, not upgradable or not fixable.

Once I tried to open a 5th generation 30GB iPod ( my father bought one, and he always say he’ll not make the same mistake twice ) to replace the dead battery – pretty common after 4 / 5 years – with a new one I found on the net for as little as 10€ ( included shipping from Germany ). After cursing for over an hour trying to open that thing following various tutorials I found on the net, I gave up, but I’m still thinking why on Earth Apple’s engineers / designers didn’t simply put four little torx screws on the rear. Of course I already know the answer: because people don’t like seeing the screws, even if they’re covered by plastic or gum caps, because devices without screws sell better, because the vast majority of people are not expected to replace a battery, they’re expected to replace the whole product with a costly new one.

Of course, from a “corporate” point of view, no one can blame Apple in any way. They’re absolutely right – no sarcasm here. They sell a lot and that demonstrates that they’re doing the right thing, manufacturing devices that people wants.

But, considering how many things ( TVs, computers, LCD and CRT monitors, various electronic devices, etc. ) I’ve successfully disassembled, repaired and reassembled with a minimum effort of time and money – and, sometimes, no money at all – from a certain point of view it’s sad to see how any customer is supposed to be so dumb he’s unable to use a screwdriver to replace an hard drive or a RAM module, while from another point of view, alas, almost any customer will never need that capability because he’ll never replace the battery or add RAM to his system or replace the hard drive because, even if as simple as it is, he’s not able to.

In the meantime, I’ll avoid buying phones without interchangeable batteries, laptops without standard screws or any other device that is, beyond it’s inherent limits, not serviceable, not upgradable nor fixable.
Question is, how long such devices will be available on the consumer market?


Ott 3

Being a Microsoft Student Partner simply means I like most of Microsoft’s technologies and products because they work the way I expect them to work, my expectations based on a 17 years old experience with Microsoft’s products.

For instance, as far as other desktop OSs can arrive, nothing, in my opinion, beats Windows 7 nowadays.
MacOS X is a very good OS, but as long as it’ll run only on Apple hardware, I’ll never gonna use it.
GNU/Linux-based distros like Red Hat, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Debian, etc. are today very good OSs, but there’s an overall lack of agreement between developers and, even worse, an incompatibility issue between licenses that lead to a “reinvention of wheel” time after time ( the Big example: ZFS and btrfs ).

So, while I usually like Microsoft products, sometimes I think that some little or big decisions have been made without thinking too much to a certain part of the users.

My first criticism was about Windows Phone 7, that is a really good mobile OS for the average user. But as long as I want to: sync my contacts with Outlook rather than Windows Live, join a domain, run native C++ applications and other things, Windows Phone 7 is not a choice for me. I’m still fine with Windows Mobile 6.x.

But MetroUI caught my attention when I first tried the developers’ preview of Windows 8 some days ago.
The concept behind MetroUI is the “unification of the user experience”, a marketing expression used instead of “users are getting more and more lazy and they don’t want to bother about what’s under the hood” ( meaning they don’t care what they’re using: a mobile phone, a desktop computer, an ATM or a washing machine ).
Many people think touchscreens were one of the biggest revolution in the late ’00s market. Probably they’re the same people whose jaw drops on the floor when I tell them my first experience with a touchscreen was in 1994, in a ship command bridge on a green phosphor CRT monitor used to manage the course ( Yeah, I actually steered a 200 yards-long ship ). By the way, they’re right if considering only the consumer market.
The idea of unifying the UI between “handy” devices ( mobile phones and tablets ) is hardly new and, most important thing, it works. After all, they’re similar and they’re expected to work in a similar way.
But, in my opinion, if the differences between a mobile phone and a tablet are like the differences between a car and a van, those between a tablet and a PC are more like those between a GA aircraft and an airliner.
They’re not similar, they’re not expected to be used in the same way. I don’t expect to find a manifold pressure gauge in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 ( or an ATR-42 or an Airbus A380 ) in the same way I don’t expect to find a FMS console in a Cessna 172 ( or in a Piper PA28 ).

Saying that I don’t like MetroUI would be wrong. I just think that MetroUI has no reason to be the default UI on a desktop OS. I also think that standard utilities should remain non-Metro applications. I find unacceptable that the remote desktop connection client is available only as a MetroUI application on a desktop machine, as I find wrong not giving the user the option to actually kill the application, even by some abstruse key combination, I don’t care, and not just suspending it.
For seventeen years I closed an application in Windows by clicking on the top left ( top right starting with Windows 95 ) corner button of the application window, or by pressing Alt + F4. In MetroUI I can’t quit application like this. I find it a bit ( well more than just a bit ) disappointing.

In the end, considering that there’s a lot of research behind the dvelopment of an operating system ( and Microsoft really care about what users think, or wouldn’t have released Windows 8 Developer Preview publicly ), what I’m starting to think is that average users are beginning to be afraid ( I could have used the word “tired”, but I didn’t ) of the keyboard as well as, following Windows 95, users started to be afraid of the command line.

What I’d really like, as a power user, as an enthusiast and as an experienced user, is a choice. As there are six versions of Windows 7, I’d like the Professional and Enterprise versions of Windows 8 use explorer as the default UI instead of MetroUI.
We will wait for the beta versions to see what will appens.