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< Piro >

"the undefinable headspace"

Thursday - November 29, 2007

[Piro] - 09:01:35 - [link here]

Well, i knew that one of the challenges this week was to see how effectively I could 'go back to work.'  Having a little one to take care of adds a whole 'nother layer of activities and responsibilities to your tasklist, filling it with certain numbers of things that have various levels of priority from "immidately" to "sometime before he turns 21."  Our first two weeks with the new baby really had me worried if i'd ever be able to compartmentalizing any of the Jack-related items, but by Monday I was starting to see some hope that it could be done.  After all, we are hardly the first couple to have kids.  Even comic artists and writers somehow manage it. 

I actually didn't do too badly.  It probably would have been a three comic week if i wasn't dealing with over a month of being behind with all sorts of other things that, well, pay the bills.  Love the little guy, but his timing has been remarkably good at torpedoing our Christmas season at the MegaGear store this year.  The good news is i managed to get most of the new stuff done, photographed, and once i get home later i can set the new stuff live.  Got a new christmas mug design, a new ornament, some other new stuff, the biggest thing being a brand new t-shirt design supporting the Zombie Rangers.  :P  I'll post here later this afternoon when it's ready to go live.

I got a number of emails telling me that when feeding your baby is one of the best times to catch up on anime, and i actually took a little bit of that advice yesterday - i finally watched the first ep yesterday (or was it the day before??) and it put a very big grin on my face.  It's as good and a little better than i expected - it's nice to see some Key characters who are not quite so morbidly emo as they tend to come off sometimes (like i'm anyone to talk).  It's really kind of funny that i have not been watching Clannad as it came out, considering the fact that Kimiko and Lockart and the Sight game are inspired by Clannad and the long wait there was before the game surfaced.  I even had Erika dressed up as a Clannad girl back in 2002.  :)

Ok, gotta run.  I'll be back this afternoon.

< Dom >

Dango!

"Branded"

Tuesday - November 27, 2007

[Dom] - 12:18:58 - [link here]

I think, after almost ten years of associating with Fred, that some of him has finally rubbed off on me. Not the bad parts, mind you, I've stayed well clear of almost all of his worst habits. Procrastination is an exception, but it was part of my nature long before I started talking to him. I can't blame that one on him, no matter how much I'd like to. What I can blame squarely on him is the fact that I'm watching Clannad right now.  And I'm loving it.

For those MT fans who weren't around for Fred's continual gushing over Key games back in the early days, Clannad was made by the same company that gave us Kanon. Back when Fred was busy showering Key with money and his fan juices, I hated Kanon. I hated all it stood for: sad girls in snow, meaningless and overly used noises like "uguu," the "squat rutabaga heads" school of character design, the character designs that made everyone look eight years old, and the overall gloom. I remember buying the Kanon art book for a friend back during the early days of its popularity, and the entire time I felt like I was smuggling child porn into the country.

Disclaimer: I would like to avoid any possible misunderstandings by saying that Kanon is not, in fact, child porn. Look it up, and please don't arrest me.

So anyway, I spent the last few years despising Kanon quietly. I wouldn't judge you if you liked the show or the game, but it represented all the things I didn't like about the genre. Then, a month or two ago, a friend of mine told me that I had to watch Clannad. From what she told me, Clannad is so funny, so crazy, and so well-paced (my least favorite part about most angsty stories is that they wallow in it instead of my preferred problem: discovery problem, deal with problem, move on from problem) it can obliterate the foul aftertaste of uguu. And what do you know, she was right.

I like almost everything about Clannad. The characters are likeable and feel human instead of manufactured to sell merchandise, which does a lot toward fixing all the problems I had with Kanon. The main character is neither wishy-washy nor a detached 3rd party observer of events around him. The family theme is prevalent without beating you over the head with its message. It's just plain done well so far. And, as I mentioned, no one wallows in their own misery - the main characters work hard to help everyone else out of the fundamental goodness of their hearts, and even when it hurts, they keep at it until their efforts are rewarded. Compared to so many other characters you see in anime who just sit around and wonder why the world sucks so much, it's like they've discovered the cure for the common cold or something.

Begin statement designed to make fanboys angry
If you just cut out the horrid music in any scene with Kotomi, the show is close to perfect.
End statement designed to make fanboys angry

So with all that said, I have to wonder if there's some kind of brand that Key fandom puts on you. Because as soon as I started watching more episodes and thinking "hey, I might keep watching this," I got a mail from Newtype USA offering me the Kanon 2006 review. Then I got some messages from friends saying "hey, are you watching Clannad?" This continued for days, and I was left wondering if someone had drawn a sad girl in snow (or a stupid girl with starfish) on my forehead to let people know that it was open season on me.

I mean, seriously. Do I look like the kind of guy who would like Key games? The last game I played before Rock Band was Super Robot Wars. I play Japanese porn games so that I can get to the juicy mech combat center. My anime tastes tend to run toward idiotic action comedies. What could possibly make people think that I'm a Key fan? Could any of you out there figure out how you identify other Key fans?  Is it scent?  Attitude?  Looks?  Entries in the national sex offender database?  I'm stumped here.

I bet Fred is laughing at me right now... well, when he's not feeding Jacko.

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