Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cracking a Goddamned Book-The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Starting up Haruhi month with a bang, let’s start where the series did: book 1. For those scratching their heads wondering what “Haruhi” is, well let me explain. The “Haruhi Suzumiya” franchise is a series of light novels, anime episodes, CDs, and a movie. I won’t divulge much about the entire series plot here, the spoiler’s here start early as hell, and most “spoilers” you’ve already heard are completely wrong.

The plot of this book starts off simple. Kyon (not his real name, but a nickname an aunt gave him that stuck so well no one calls him his real name, which we have yet to discover) is just starting high school. He’s very cynical, and narrates how he’s had to leave his childhood fantasies and grow up. On the first day, while everyone introduces themselves, the beautiful girl behind him announces thus,

“Haruhi Suzumiya. From East Middle School. I have no interest in ordinary humans. If there are any aliens, time travelers, sliders, or espers here, come join me. That is all.”

With that, Kyon is sucked into a spiral of insanity and fun. Basically, he accidentally goads Haruhi into making a club to search for what she wants, a club soon populated my 3 more members: Yuki Nagato, the silent bookworm; Mikuru Asahina, the shy beauty; and Itsuki Koizumi, the intelligent and asskissing transfer student.

 I won’t go past the plot from there, but let me tell you it rocks. The first thing you may notice if you start the book is the odd style. It is told in first person, though Kyon. That is uncommon, but not unheard of (The Dresden Files). No, what’s weird is that Kyon rarely actually answers people’s dialogue flat-out, he just narrates his response, and sometimes they respond, leaving you wondering what stuff he says aloud and what he keeps to himself.

The characters are all wonderful. Though they have little development in this story, it’s the ‘pilot’ of the books, and starts them off well. Kyon might be my favorite protagonist ever, completely relatable in how he thinks and what he thinks about.

A big sticking point with a lot of people here is the same with the webcomic XKCD. This comic is nerdy as all get-out. Not geeky, though it is that too, but nerdy. You know how a lot of stories just have stock phrases for technobabble to explain everything, which to people who know anything about that field is complete bull? Well here, either most of what is discussed actually exists, is theorized to exist, or is a well-thought out sci-fi idea that makes you think just hearing about it. To those people who aren’t scientifically inclined, this makes it the same as any other series. But to those who love the hell out of science, this book rocks hard.

Overall, for the first book of the series, it sets the franchise up well, and the actual content is made of win by itself. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you love science, sci-fi, slice-of-life books, or anime, this book is for you all the way. Laters.


Several things at once:

1. That Apollo Justice dub I announced a year ago? Actually happening. Find the info here to try out for a part.

2. I will now update once a day, and not shitty updates like, "I'm bored. Bleh.", full fucking content.

3. Every month will have a theme. Next, technically this, month will be "Haruhi Month". that means of the 31 posts that month, at least 5 will be Haruhi related, but I can tell you now the number for this month will likely be 8.

And because I haven't been able to say it during my stay at my folks, Happy Holidays and New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Classic Who Review 1-An Unearthly Child

        Hey there guys. I'm finally beginning my binge through the classic Doctor Who episodes. I'll drop by here after each serial to spill my impressions here.

        Let's start with the story. I've never been a big fan of the episodes where they go to historical times, and this first serial isn't an exception. The story is just alright, the 'politics' of a caveman tribe, really. The scenery and effects are again alright, they did well enough that my suspension of disbelief never broke.

        My first time with him, I don't know what to think of the 1st Doctor. He is definitely as I've heard described here: cold, pragmatic, and much less moral than I'm used to. However, there are still moments where I can see the Doctor we know and love in him, such as when he screws with the cavemen to switch the polarity of the politics flow (sorry, couldn't resist.) Not only does it display his cleverness, the whole time he looks and sounds like he's suppressing a giggle-fit. The same joy and happiness we see today is still there, just buried deeper.

      I really liked the companions. Susan was very interesting, and I'm excited to see more of her. The two teachers (sorry, their names haven't sinked in yet) are pretty cool two. Overall, it's not an episode I think I'll remember too often, though it isn't bad either. Until next serial, laters.

Monday, December 12, 2011

On the Wrong Side of the 4th Wall-Teen Titans (V3 1-57)

         This is definitely a good series, and before the blast of fan's flame hits me, yes, I have heard of it's problems. For those not in the know, long time fans of the series are pretty down on this run, because they believe it totally derailed several characters, specifically Bart Allen and Wonder Girl. On the Wonder Girl front I have no idea, because this is the first series with her in it that I've gotten into, and with Bart I can see your point, I don't agree. I think his change from Impulse to Kid Flash was more development than derailment, and I actually prefer the Kid Flash version to the Impulse one. Blasphemy and all that, yadda yadda.

          I might as well type it now, this is the first full run of the Titans I've read. I know several people out there are like one of my roommates, telling me to start with the New Teen Titans of the 80's. Yeah, I get the idea of wanting my to read that awesomeness, but I wanted to start at a period that overlapped with some of my other comic interests, specifically Blue Beetle.

          Why do I like this? I think that, not counting the stuff in the next paragraph, it's well drawn and better written. I like the Titans, their interactions, and their subplots. I really like Geoff Johns, especially his runs on Flash and JSA, and his talent for characters and dialogue stand out here as well.

          The only problem for me to find with this is at 2 points: Infinite Crisis and Countdown to Final Crisis. At both of these points, the comic became almost unreadable to me, and directly afterwards it was hard to continue after so much bullshit had happened.

          Overall, I'd say that this run on the Titans is damn good. I'd probably agree with some fans that the New Teen Titans are better once I read that, but until then I can satisfy my urge for a good team book with The Teen Titans.