Let’s see…

Finally finished up Steven Erikson’s Midnight Tides the end of last week or so, fantastic as usual, though the characters perhaps outshone the story this time, particularly Tehol and Bugg, one of the best duos ever. Kicking myself for putting it down for 4 months. Argh.

Plowed through Warren Ellis’ Crooked Little Vein immediately afterward. Very, very good book, but be warned, its a twisted book, full of deviance that may disturb you deeply if you aren’t already aware of how messed up both America and sexual fetishes have gotten. I had almost as much fun imagining the reactions of the less hardened as I did in actually reading the book, but then again, I can be quite twisted myself. If you pay attention, there’s also some strong insight to both where things are headed and where things are at(for better or for worse), something Ellis has always been thinking about, as evidenced by Transmetropolitan and Doktor Sleepless, among others.

Followed that up the last couple days with the Welcome to the NHK novel, and I’m of mixed feelings on it due to watching the anime first. On the one hand, the book absolutely moves, and is definitely more manic than the show, but due to this, the characters weren’t nearly as endearing and the plots weren’t as fleshed out as in the anime(the lead’s high school crush doesn’t even get named in the book vs having a fairly prominent role in the show). As such, its still good, but not nearly as much as the show. I’m still working on the manga, and it seems closer to the goings on of the show, but the show is what I absolutely recommend as far as the title goes. Part of that, though, is that I can draw strong parallels to so much of what goes on in the show with my own life, and as such, I wanted the lead to succeed and get through the painful state of his existance.

I’ve just started Stanislaw Lem’s Hospital of the Transfiguration, and despite being similar in size to the prior two books, it should take me more than a couple days of reading on the bus to get through(~20 pages coming in this morning vs ~50 one way with the other two), but that’s a given with how dense his work is. Those 20 pages have already resonated pretty strongly though, as our lead, awkward and an outsider among his own family, is forced to stand in for his ill father at the funeral for his uncle, and we get to ride along with those outsider thoughts. Of course, I haven’t even gotten to the meat of the book yet, but given this and taking place in WWII Europe, I have a feeling I’ll be as deeply enamoured with it as I am Memoirs Found in a Bathtub.

Following that will be either Erickson’s Bonehunters(whose release prompted me to pick up Midnight Tides again) or Goodkind’s Phantom, haven’t quite decided which bit of meaty book I want next. Assuming I don’t go back to focusing on the handhelds…

November is both an awesome time to be a gamer and a nightmare of a time to be a gamer, particularly in the last few years. This month alone sees so many games coming out that I want to play, from Soulcalibur Legends and Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 on the Wii, to King of Fighters XI on the PS2, to Final Fantasy XII:Revenant Wings and Geometry Wars: Galaxies on the DS, to Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops+ and Disgaea on the PSP, to name but a few! It’s a good thing that Super Smash Brothers Brawl got shunted to early February, means a few more dollars to spread around. Picking which ones I can afford to pick up will still be very tough, and I may have to try and hit up the Black Friday sales for Toys R Us or KB Toys, as they both seem to have Buy One Get One Free on all their video games, though I don’t quite know if it’s worth the hassle.

As to what I’m actually playing, despite flirting with Soul Calibur III a little bit in the last few weeks, most of my attention at home has been on Hellgate: London, which despite its best efforts at giving me good reasons not to play, is proving just as addictive as Diablo II. If I can actually manage steady online play by the end of the month, I think I’ll probably be diving in for their Founders offer, lifetime access to subscriber content for about a year’s worth of subscriber fees, though that’ll put a dent in getting other games for a while.

On the go, Disgaea’s been getting the nod, what with Tetris-level gaming crack now in portable form and with nearly no load time. though I’ve not coughed up the $40 that they want for it(I’ll probably pick it up if the price ever goes down, but I’m not paying for it in full twice, despite how much time and enjoyment I got out of the PS2 release).

Phoenix Wright 3 has also been seeing some playtime, and the dialogue is just as awesome as ever, but its been more of a cool down at night than anything(though that’s somewhat dangerous as its hard to put down).

I also had to put in for the Magic:The Gathering Online release for Lorwyn, and amazingly managed to win enough packs to make it worthwhile. Though I’d been somewhat concerned with the set earlier, I’m really starting to enjoy it, especially as we finally get some great faeries to play with. I may even have to go in for a decent investment in the actual cards, if I can find the cash for it :|

As stated in the last post, I just dropped a ton of that hard to find cash catching up on (the bulk of) the comics I missed in the last month or so, World War Hulk, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, and DMZ continue to be outstanding monthly purchases, Mouse Guard’s gotten going again with the Winter 1152 storyline, I’m starting in on DC with Green Arrow Year One finishing up and Green Arrow-Black Canary getting started(<3 Black Canary), Strange Girl’s just wrapped up in excellent fashion, and more!

I’m also getting more entrenched in reading the DC universe, recently catching up on post-Infinite Crisis Batman and Wonder Woman stuff, as well as going back now to read the Cataclysm-No Man’s Land arcs and starting in on Catwoman v2, on top of most of the whole spread of Countdown and most of the other current releases(of which I’m now really only neglecting the Flash and Superman books).

On the fansub front, Seirei no Moribito and Oh! Edo Rocket finished in excellent form, Bokura no closing out pretty solid as well, and I look forward to seeing them come out over here. Baccano and Dennou Coil continue to be absolutely amazing shows that get even better with each episode. I’ve stalled on Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, with almost as many unwatched as watched now. Angel Heart slowly is finally into the final quarter of the show, and I’m still enjoying it enough to ponder City Hunter proper at some point. Genshiken Season 2 is just as good as the first go around. You’re Under Arrest Full Throttle has also been in line with its prior incarnations. Sketchbook ~full color’S has been showing itself to be an excellent substitue for ARIA(the President even makes a cameo!). Dragonaut is looking like it will go the way of Divergence Eve or Witchblade, with a decent story/concepting buried under excessively endowed women. Despite the hype, I haven’t been able to get aboard CLANNAD, even though there’s some really nice animation to be found within. And lastly, the sleeper surprise of the season, Bamboo Blade has been proving itself to be quite an entertaining show and one of the only ones I’m actively keeping up with as episodes come out.

DVD-wise, I’ve finished up Noein and have just lined up the rest of BECK, one more to go on Ergo Proxy and Black Lagoon. Welcome to the NHK and FLAG have both started to hit DVD now, and I desperately need to pick them up. I’m also looking to get started on Mai-Otome and possibly Tide-Line Blue, though I’ll probably wait on a cheaper bundle on the latter. I’m still on the fence with Gunbuster 2, as even the discounted $27×3 for ~2-3 hours of show is a bit ridiculous.

Haven’t watched any television since moving, so I’m completely out of the loop on the fall schedule, so the writer’s strike doesn’t leave me hanging on anything. I still need to finish the last few episodes of Eureka though :|

Movie-wise, the last I’ve gone to see was The Darjeeling Limited, which was just as awkward and entertaining as The Life Aquatic, though I think I still prefer Life Aquatic, as it was completely out there. Up shortly is Beowulf, and I’m seriously considering trying to find it in 3D as it sounds like they’ve finally nailed that aspect of it. Outside of those though, hasn’t been too much that I absolutely needed to see in theaters, until Blade Runner: The Final Cut on Dec 1st, that is. Yeah, that’s going to be Fricking Awesome(despite not owning a Blu-Ray player or HDTV, I’m even considering the Blu-Ray uberbox that comes out shortly after, I love Blade Runner that much).

And lastly, I managed to go to a concert on Wednesday. Not just any concert though, a Dethklok concert. Despite a horrible choice for an opening act and a no-moshing rule, the show was a blast, as our eardrums were assaulted with an hour or so of nonstop music by the most metal fictional band around. I think I may have even had just about as much fun as I did with all of Ozzfest. The best part might be that none of my Metalocalypse-loving friends got to go, so I get to brag about it even more. That, or sharing one of my favorite photos ever with the entire crowd:


And on that note, I’ll wrap this up. I’m sure there’s more I missed that’s worth pointing out, but maybe you’ll hear about it in a couple months or somesuch :|

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Posted on November 11th, 2007 at 1:54 pm.
Posted in Anime, Books, Comics, Console, Film & TV, Handheld.

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