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  1. Panel 1:
    Where in the world did SHE come from? And why did she have my bookbag?
  2. Panel 2:
    That wasn't the same girl... was it? No... different girl.
  3. Panel 3:
    It's definitely my bookbag. Everything is here. I wonder why she got so worked up over the sketchbook?
  4. Panel 4:
    I can't believe she looked through it. How embarrassing. None of this stuff was ever supposed to be seen by...
  5. Panel 5:
    ...Anyone else... What the...
  6. Panel 6:
    <I don't think you could tie a ribbon in your hair like this. Hair clips would help.>
  7. Panel 7:
    She... wrote... comments... on them?? On... every page??
  8. Panel 8:
    <The demi bra is very cute, but it looks uncomfortable. Is this why she looks so sad?>
  9. Panel 9:
    <She's right, you know, though I doubt she speaks from personal experience. I'm heading home. Help the boss close up.>
    Also shown:


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< Piro >

that other site...

"first person"

Friday - September 7, 2001

[Piro] - 19:14:00 - [link here]

Gosh, i really love listening to Velvet Acid Christ. Track 2, "Dial8" on Twisted Thought Generator has 'Miho' written all over it. :P I've been bouncing back and forth between this disk, "Kita E" White Illumination Pure Songs and Pictures, Richard Humpty Vission's Damn, that DJ made my day (i have got to do something about my recent House obsession, this isn't healthy), and Tonde Burrin Bu no ni. By the end of the day i'll be sketching a cute, enigmatic girl humming a highly distorted industrial/EBM "Ba Bi Bu Be Buurin~" to a tune of funky house/backbeat tracks while surrounded by dancing pigs. Like i said before, you don't really wanna know what goes on inside this beanhead of mine sometimes. ^_^

Yet another quick update regarding the Megatokyo Store. - I added more bucket cap designs to the stores, because people requested them - to the 3V1L L33t store, the b4k4^2 store, the Clocked store and the Baka^ni store. I have one of these, too - it looks really dopey on me, but that's kinda the idea. I sometimes wear it in public just to embarrass Seraphim. :P

The most shocking thing to happen this week was the fact that i (gasp) was on time and on the correct schedule for the first time in months.... granted, it's the temporary Tuesday/Thursday schedule, week 2, but it sure made me feel good. I think the quality of the comics is staying decent as a result, and it really IS giving me some breathing room. It's good for the easy-bake oven in my brain, you know.

Part of this downtime was spent zoning off and watching some of my anime backlog. Five episodes of "Galaxy Angel" very pleasantly mulled my brain into a viscous little pasty substance. It's an adorable show that is very well animated. I think what is most curious about the series is just how well designed the character's faces are. The eye designs are particularly appealing (for some odd reason, i find Rahra's character fascinating - mostly because her character has some of the most interesting and subtle facial expressions in the show). Oh, and Vanilla-san? Yet another Ruri-chan clone. See? I'm not the only one who does it :P Oh, and in case you didn't know, "Galaxy Angel" is produced by the same folks that brought us "Digi Charat" ^_^

The other show i watched with interest was Niea under 7, a show about a poor girl struggling to get thru college, who unfortunately is plagued with an annoying and rather useless roommate, who also happens to be an alien. This show is by the same guy who brought us Serial Experiments Lain, and is quite a bit different - on the surface. Watching Mayuko's character carefully, there's something interesting there that i can't put my finger on. Maybe it's just me. I'll have to finish watching the subbed version to figure it out.

As usual, it's been very interesting reading some of the supposition and thoughts that people have regarding the direction and coming events in the story. People keep noticing the relative absence of Kimiko compared to the other characters. Well, if you must know, i've been building up to the point where she becomes more a part of the story, things have to happen in order. After thinking about it, i think i may have realized why it's been difficult for her character development.

One of the difficult things about fleshing out kimiko's character and personality is that her character is like a real live flesh-and-blood girl from a ren'ai game, in much the same way that Yuki is a personification of a character from a TV anime. Fleshing out a ren'ai-inspired female character is harder than i thought it would be.

In most gal games, you learn about the female characters thru the eyes of the protagonist - the games are really first person simulations - you play the protagonist, and you live vicariously thru this interaction with the computer to interact with the girls. There really aren't many 'third person' events, like Yuki contemplating her looks - it happens all the time in anime and manga, but not in ren'ai games. You only see the girl characters when the protagonist does, you can only find out about her personality by how she interacts with YOU. Obviously, since the chances of Piro being bold enough to dig out Kimiko's personality in this way is about zilch, it presents a real problem for me - but perhaps that's the real grist of the challenge - can i really make this work? should i? What is really going to happen? Is kimiko really a red herring? Largo tells me he could care less, and that it's my problem - throw her down an open manhole and get rid of her. He is SUCH a bastard. :P

A lot of people have pointed out some 'similarities' between Love Hina and Megatokyo (we've seen so many comments to that effect that Dom is getting violent about it ^_^) The truth is, i didn't see any Love Hina or read the manga until Megatokyo was well under way. The only real influence it had on Megatokyo is that it inspired the move to manga-style format. So why the similarities? Well, because Ken Akamatsu and I are spoofing the same stuff - Both Love Hina and Megatokyo are parodies on Anime and Gaming culture in japan - there are bound to be similarities. Naru-chan, just like Kimiko-chan, is based on designs and concepts found in ren'ai games.

If you've ever watched Love Hina, have you noticed that everything is mostly shown from Keitaro's point of view? Naru remains pretty enigmatic for much of the series. Keitaro has a distinct advantage over Piro - He lives with the girls in an all-girl dorm with a hot spring. Oh ya, like you can't get some distance out of THAT plot vehicle. ^^;; For me, Piro and Kimiko barely know each other, and the strings that connect them are very tenuous. Piro knows Erika better than any of the other girls at this point, because he works with her... or does he? He hasn't been trying to find out her deeper, inner thoughts. He's too busy catching up on back issues of Nakayoshi. Basically, piro is getting nowhere.

Interesting, isnt it? ^_^ Perhaps it speaks to how more fantasy-oriented ren'ai games are than anime, in all it's forms. From the beginning, i've implied that Piro and Kimiko are the destined pair in the story, but most of you are wise to me by now to know that you can't assume anything will go the way you think it will. There are no guarantees. The only goal i really have here is to bring Kimiko to life, not tell her what she should do. I'm not going to twist things around so that Piro and Kimiko get paired just because i feel like it. Life isn't like that, and neither is this story.

we're not the only ones who have to bridge this gap of getting to know the girls - comic-piro does too. We've had the benefit of being privy to Yuki's thoughts, but he hasn't. In the store he's been keeping to himself, and we're pretty sure he's not chatting up Erika :). Basically, he knows just about nothing about all the girls around him.

I guess Piro isn't really very good at this Gal-game stuff after all, is he? His inability to play the game that is going on all around him in real life sure doesn't help me out, either. ^^;;

Maybe it's piro i need to dump down an open manhole... :P

< Dom >


"game bonanza!"

Friday - September 7, 2001

[Dom] - 13:41:00 - [link here]

You know what? I haven't really ranted about the games I'mplaying in a while. Wow, that's so many games to talkabout with so little space. Well, I suppose I'll start atthe top and work my way, uh, sideways?

Final Fantasy X has devoured my soul for the past coupleweeks. Though I haven't really been a big fan of theseries--I liked FF6 way back when, but it hasn't quitestood up to the test of time as well as Phantasy Star4--this game really has captivated me. The break from theActive Time Battle system really places an importance onstrategy over brute strength and speed, since instead ofhaving your three beefiest characters in a party doingtheir strongest moves when their bar fills up, eachcharacter has a unique set of skills, all of which arenecessary to a sound strategy. Well, okay, with theexception of Kimari, who copies whichever path you set himon.

But that's not what captivated me about this game--thecharacters and the story pulled me in. After about an hourof "What the hell's going on?" the game settles down andbecomes a story of faith, death and renewal, with seven ofthe most compelling and well-acted characters I've everseen in a game. Full voice on every main character allowsfor a lot more character development in a single line thanplain text does over a whole game *coughRedXIIIcoughcough*and boy, are these characters great. They interactbelievably, have more than just one dimension and hell,they even give out noogies when they're deserved. Also,one of my major gripes about the FF series was eliminatedwith this series--most of the side quests actually assistthe plot, giving you more of a character's back story ormore of the history of the world--however, I refuse tododge that damn lightning 200 times. Much like watchingchickens having sex and challenging every Joe on the streetto the devil offspring of Magic and Tic-Tac-Toe,it's inane and I refuse to do it.

Next up is Comic Party, which I haven't played myself,though my roommate swears by it. One of those SimulationLife Games (read: dating sims) that Piro likes so much,it's about an artistically inclined college student whogets sucked into the world of doujinshi. So thisgame, from a genre that I usually don't pay attention to--Iseriously played Tokimeki Memorial 2 because I got to fightagainst a banchou... nothin' but kendo club, baby--got myinterest because it's such a mocking look at the world offandom. You have the self-centered mangaka, you have thegung-ho mangaka, the outsider looking in who hates theworld of fandom, the con staff, the voice actress, theprinter, and my personal favorite, the cosplayer. It'sjust hilarious at times, though it's weird when I get thejokes and my roommate doesn't, so I have to translate forhim.

But huzzah, there's a Comic Party-related game that I canget into. See, Queenof Hearts is a series of doujinshi games. The last onecame in '99, and involved... To Heart characters, as Irecall. All kicking and slapping the snot out of eachother. What grabbed me about Queen of Hearts 2001 is, thecosplayer is dressed up as my man Kyo. But she's dressedmore like Cosplayer Kyoko. So she's a cosplayer,cosplaying as a cosplayer. And she has all of Kyo's movesand some of his lines, complete with a '94 version ofherself... it's just freakish enough that I consider itabsolute genius. So I've been playing Party's Breakerpretty frequently lately simply for shock value, thoughit's a nice game with nice backgrounds, good gameplay andlow-res sprites.

What else, what else. Oh, right, Parappa the Rapper 2 cameout. I've played it. It disturbs me terribly, becauseMaster Onion's level is the bastard child of Tae Bo andLoveline. It's a fun level, but I'm sorry, I don't need tosee Parappa sexing up his teddy bear while Tamanegi-senseispouts things like "Punch punch love". But hey, I guess Ijust gotta believe! ...okay, I have no idea what thatmeant either. Big props to the level apparently sung byBarry White, though.

Oh, right, Devil May Cry. Words fail to describe thismasterpiece of style and panache. As my buds over at VGD say, "Thankyou, Capcom. Thank you." Suffice to say Ed and I will bewearing red trench coats for a couple months after playingthis thing. As if we needed another excuse to beat thesnot out of each other.

Side note here: I bid a not-so-fond farewell to VGD's petproject GameGO!magazine, which is pretty much dead as of last week. Iloved the concept, but the one issue they released wasn'tthe kind of stuff I'd expect from a professional rag. There were more editors than actual editing, in my opinion,but given where I work, I suppose I'm a little biased...

In other gaming news, my recent acquisitions of MechWarrior 4 and Mech Commander 2 led me way back in myBattleTech history, all the way to BattleTech: The CrescentHawk's Inception, a game I had fond memories of, and whichheld up surprisingly well to the test of time, for all thetwo hours it took me to beat it. I guess next up isMechWarrior 1, the last MechWarrior I actually played...and maybe DeathTrak, or even Decathlon. Ach, so manychoices...

Aww, hell with it, I'm going back to Hanagumi TaisenColumns 2. I need to practice using a Dreamcast controllerwith my feet so I can beat the snot out of Cortana the nexttime he tries to play as Iris. Until next time, people.


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