## Rozen Maiden (first season)

September 29th, 2009

Rozen Maiden, ever heard of it? Read the wiki page?

If you think it sounds like a weird anime… well, you are totally right. It IS a weird anime. :D

That is not to say it isn’t good. It is extremely popular in Japan. According to TV Asahi’s list of the most popular anime in 2006, Rozen Maiden was ranked 6th. Lol, first is FMA, second is Evangelion, and third is Pani Poni Dash (<33333, I can’t understand why it’s not popular anymore).

Haruhi came in at a measly fourth place. Negima takes fifth place. After Rozen Maiden at 9th comes Ichigo Marshmellow (Strawberry Marshmellow, I gotta remember to watch that soon), and then Shakugan no Shana at 10th place. Nanoha comes in at 13th, NARUTO at 17, Inuyasha at 20, AIR at 32 (wow o_O), Ranma 1/2 at 36 (wooooow, 20-year old anime is still in the top 50 after all these years… shows how awesome Ranma truly is).

Higurashi only makes #61, Fate/sn at #70, Da Capo at #82, etc etc. Wow, I got off on a tangent.

Anyways, more interesting trivia:

The Rozen Maiden manga, produced by Peach-Pit, has been serialized in two different magazines: Monthly Comic Birz from 2002 to 2007, and Weekly Young Jump from April 2008 onwards. It has garnered quite a few followers, including Japan’s current Prime Minister, Taro Aso, who gained the nickname “Rozen Aso” after being seen reading Volume one of the Birz manga in public, allegedly while waiting at Tokyo International Airport. Aso remarked about the manga, “Although it looked girlish, I was impressed that its story was so deep.”

This really shows how popular RM is… I mean, even the Prime Minister of Japan reads it and is a fanboy x3

Okay, anyways, putting aside the hype… it’s not that good in my opinion. Of course, this isn’t really my type of anime, so the fact that enjoyed it really says a lot.

The fight scenes are totally lame. I’ll say that first. The fights suck, the “attacks” suck, the visual effects suck. The plot freaking sucks. The villain sucks. Shinku sucks, for god’s sake.

Yet, somehow, Rozen Maiden still manages to be meaningful and cute. I believe Jun is the main reason Rozen Maiden can be so powerful.

Jun has experienced tremendous trauma having been bullied at school. (Speaking of which, we just had a school assembly about bullying…) He was also previously a 100% A+++ genius top-of-the-school student, and the pressure from everywhere caused him to collapse one day. As we are introduced to him at the start of the story, he locks himself in his room from down ’til dusk. He hates all other people, and doesn’t want to see or talk to anyone. He wallows in his own lake of shame and loneliness like the failure at life he is.

One day, a suitcase falls out of the sky, breaks through his window, and lands in his room. Out of the suitcase comes a beautiful doll named Shinku, who can talk and move. The plot behind these dolls and the battles and “backstory” and stuff, that’s all lame and stupid, but the dolls’ interactions with Jun, and the effects they have on him, do possess meaning. Over the course of this anime, Jun eventually warms up to the dolls he at first finds annoying and loud. He genuinely develops affection for them, and in a way, this slowly returns him to society, unknowingly. The trials throughout these 13-ish episodes made Jun a better person, and in the end, Jun finds a reason to live on.

“To live is to fight.”

Purpose. A purpose in life. The desire to seek such a purpose is manifested in all of us. Those who care about us, those who love us — the reason to live on, is it not for the sake of others? To wish you weren’t alive, would it lessen others’ burdens? or would it give them yet another sorrow to bear?

For his own sake, and for those of his friends and his sister, Jun chooses to live on. The trauma of his classmates’ condescending words are still painful, yet Jun chooses to fight. To live is to fight, and after all, what point is there in living, if not for the light shining through the silver clouds, after the storm has passed?

“This is what is inside your heart right now.
A sky that has become this beautiful will not always be stormy.
Rain will fall and storms will blow.
The scenery will change, and if left alone, it will stay that way forever.
For that, you must continue fighting.
Because that is…”

“Because that is…
… to live.”

Hmm, shoulda chosen a better quote. This one sounded good in Japanese though. But wow, I can type fast o-o

Anyways, the ending was… I’m not sure whether it was lame or funny. But it kinda ruined the touching conclusion. It was like a joke. Well… I guess that’s what it was intended as.

As sucky as the story was, the music was EPIC. AWESOME music (background music, I mean). OP and ED were ok, not bad. I had the OP stuck in my head a while ago.

(This post has been sitting as a draft for about a month already; finally got to finishing first season of Rozen Maiden to write my final remarks.)

People, please critique this blog post as much as you possibly can. Tell me how much it sucks, because your opinions can’t possibly be worse than an English H teacher’s at AHS.

## Anime day

September 29th, 2009

I spent my whole afternoon today watching anime. (Only because I had no homework, cuz I finished it all at school >_<)

Anyways, I finished Hayate no Gotoku!!. THAT WAS HILARIOUS. WHERE IS MY THIRD SEASON?

I’m catching up on Kanamemo and Sora no Manimani, and I started CANAAN again.

My god, CANAAN is getting epic. How do they fit this much awesome plot into 13 or so episodes?

Tsk, all the characters are so enigmatic, and Maria is so cute~~

And that weird girl who pops up everywhere, what’s up with her? She’s cute too ^_^

By the way, this anime is not in any way a “cute” anime (I just tend to notice and comment about the cute parts ><)

HD is too tiresome though (fixing gg’s subtitles to fit takes a good 10 minutes), so I’ll continue from ep 4 on, in 720p.

Agh, I wish I had time to take screenshots and make more pictureful posts. Tsk.

## Welcoming the new (anime) season!

September 28th, 2009

The worst thing about something new arriving is that something old must depart.

This season’s Summer 2009 animes were all very excellent (and I believe Fall 2009 will be just as awesome, if not better). Hayate2 ended suddenly, as did Saki (as expected, half of the final episode was devoted to yuri. meh, the ending/preview for next season was epic). Princess Lover is of the one-shot type, I think, although the animation was spectacular (especially considering it was a vn adaptation). The setting was good (something not commonly found in vns), and although I can’t say it had great themes, they weren’t bad (something about… what was it? the disparity between the filthy rich and the filthy (literally) poor? it didn’t make any impression at all on me). CANAAN also ended, although I haven’t watched past ep2 yet. Sora no Manimani and Kanamemo, etc, I also haven’t finished yet. Bakemonogatari is still webcasting for two more eps, I think.

This was a short summary since I already said my goodbyes in a previous post. Long, pictureful, awesome post, go read it instead of reading this.

Ranting about Fall 2009 will be left to another post, but I seriously can’t wait for the first week of October. Almost like every anime I’m gonna watch this season will be coming out sometime that week! Some highlights off the top of my head: Shin Koihime Musou, Nogizaka Haruka2, Seitokai no Ichizon, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, that one where a guy turns into a girl or something (cough soundslikeranma), etc etc etc. Some weird ones were that China-Japan collaboration one, and Inuyasha Final Season or something. Seriously, Inuyasha already has 500 episodes, do we really need 100 more? (no offense Rumiko Takahashi, Inuyasha was a good concept, it just got too long and fillery.)

Well, I’ve still got Umineko and a couple other things to watch while I wait for the Fall animes. And eventually I’ll get my Hayate3. Hehe.

## Limits

September 26th, 2009

Question from the tryout:

Find:

$\dfrac{\displaystyle\lim_{x \to 0} \dfrac{\sin \dfrac{x}{5}}{\sin 2x} \cdot \lim_{x \to 3^{-}} \lfloor x \rfloor}{\displaystyle\lim_{x \to 3} \dfrac{x^2 - 9}{x - 3} + \lim_{x \to\infty} \dfrac{3 - 4x^2}{2x^2 + 7}}$

This problem just looks scary, doesn’t it? Well, let’s split up the four limits.

First limit, the top left.

$\displaystyle\lim_{x \to 0} \dfrac{\sin \dfrac{x}{5}}{\sin 2x}$

l’Hôpital it! Bwahaha.

$\displaystyle\lim_{x \to 0} \dfrac{\dfrac{1}{5}\cos \dfrac{x}{5}}{2 \cos 2x} = \dfrac{\dfrac{1}{5}}{2} = \boxed{\dfrac{1}{10}}$

Now for the top right:

$\displaystyle\lim_{x \to 3^{-}} \lfloor x \rfloor$

The limit of the floor function approaching from the negative side is the lower number, so this equals $\boxed{2}$.

Bottom left:

$\displaystyle\lim_{x \to 3} \dfrac{x^2 - 9}{x - 3}$

Indeterminate form (zero over zero), so once again we can use l’Hôpital’s rule on it.

$\displaystyle\lim_{x \to 3} \dfrac{2x}{1} = \boxed{6}$

Last limit is the bottom right one.

$\displaystyle\lim_{x \to\infty} \dfrac{3 - 4x^2}{2x^2 + 7}$

This one is $\frac{\infty}{\infty}$, so once again we must use l’Hôpital’s rule. This time we apply it twice in succession (because I’m not sure whether or not you can just cancel out the $x$s or not since it’s technically dividing by infinity; ask your local calculus teacher).

$\displaystyle\lim_{x \to \infty} \dfrac{-8x}{4x} = - \dfrac{8}{4} = \boxed{-2}$

Now, we put these solved limits back into the original problem:

$\dfrac{\dfrac{1}{10} \cdot 2}{6 + (-2)} = \dfrac{\dfrac{1}{5}}{4} = \boxed{\dfrac{1}{20}}$

Andy? We both fail. XD;

## Exercises

September 24th, 2009

Find the number of ways you can ascend 10 stair steps, if you can make any length step you want except zero.

Simplified version of that problem on the tryout. After this is found, try the actual problem again.

Find the number of ways you can ascend 10 stair steps, if you can only make steps of one or two.

If you want to get more hardcore:

Find the number of ways you can ascend 10 stair steps, if you can climb as many steps at a time as you want, but you can’t climb the same number of steps twice.

(Example allowed sequence: 1, 2, 3, 4. Example not allowed sequence: 2, 2, 4, 4.)

## Dear Diary,

September 24th, 2009

Today, I wore a skirt and wig and crossdressed as a girl to entertain my English class.

Just this once.

## Recurrences

September 23rd, 2009
In the sequence $2001, 2002, 2003, \ldots$, each term after the third is found by subtracting the previous term from the sum of the two terms that precede that term. For example, the fourth term is $2001 + 2002 - 2003 = 2000$. What is the $2004$th term in this sequence?

I know that nobody cares, but here’s my solution anyways.

This problem defines a linear recurrence $x_n$ such that:

$x_n = x_{n-3} + x_{n-2} - x_{n-1}$

Replacing $x_n$ with a constant in order to find the characteristic polynomial, $\lambda^n = x_n$:

$\lambda^n = \lambda^{n-3} +\lambda^{n-2} - \lambda^{n-1}$

Thus the characteristic polynomial of this linear recurrence is:

$\lambda^n - \lambda^{n-3} -\lambda^{n-2} + \lambda^{n-1} = 0$

Rearrange, and divide by $\lambda^{n-3}$.

$\lambda^3 + \lambda^{2} -\lambda - 1 = 0$

This is our characteristic polynomial. Factoring it:

$(\lambda^3 - 1) + \lambda(\lambda - 1) = 0$

Difference of cubes.

$(\lambda - 1)(\lambda^2 + \lambda + 1) + \lambda(\lambda - 1) = 0$

Combine like terms and factor $\lambda^2 + 2\lambda + 1$.

$(\lambda - 1)(\lambda + 1)^2 = 0$

The roots of the characteristic polynomial are $\{1, -1, -1\}$. The root $-1$ has a multiplicity of two, so the general solution to the recurrence $x_n$ is given by:

$x_n = c_1 \cdot 1^n + \left( d_0 + d_1 n \right) (-1)^n$

We can plug in the initial values given in the problem, $x_1$, $x_2$, $x_3$, and $x_4$ to find the constants.

$2001 = c_1 \cdot 1^1 + \left( d_0 + d_1 \cdot 1 \right) (-1)^1$ $2001 = c_1 - d_0 - d_1$ $2002 = c_1 + d_0 + 2d_1$ $2003 = c_1 - d_0 - 3d_1$

Solving this system of three linear equations gives the following values for $c_1$, $d_0$, and $d_1$:

$c_1 = 2002$ $d_0 = 2$ $d_1 = -1$

Therefore, the formula for the $n$th term of this sequence is given by:

$\boxed{ x_n = 2002 + ( 2 - n ) (-1)^n }$

And, finally, $x_{2004}$ is:

$x_{2004} = 2002 + (-2002)(1)$
$x_{2004} = 2002 - 2002$
$x_{2004} = \boxed{0}$

Hey, Andy, you must have solved it intuitively (instead of actually solving the recurrence and finding the general formula), could ya tell me/us how? =D

## Back from Math Team’s tryouts

September 23rd, 2009

Somebody told somebody else that told me that there wasn’t going to be a time limit on the tryout, but there was.

Okay, I guess it really isn’t Dun’s fault. ^_^ It’s Pallavi’s fault for saying there wouldn’t be a time limit at the informational meeting.

Anyways, I can still say with confidence that I got in. I’m pretty sure all of the problems I did manage to fill out were correct. (My calculus was a little fuzzy though, not sure about those ones.)

The test was a bit harder than I expected (of course, when I’m captain, the median score will be ONE! mwahahahaha!)

I also realized that I forgot 100% of what I learned about solving recurrences. A lot of the people I know asked about the recurrence problem (the last problem); in fact, this is the problem:

In the sequence $2001, 2002, 2003, \ldots$, each term after the third is found by subtracting the previous term from the sum of the two terms that precede that term. For example, the fourth term is $2001 + 2002 - 2003 = 2000$. What is the $2004$th term in this sequence?

For those who didn’t try it or got it wrong, take your time and re-attempt it.

## Ben’s Terrible Horrible No-good Very Bad Day

September 21st, 2009

It’s not like I actually have time to write about how much my life REALLY sucks, so I’ll just provide a short summary of today.

1. Period 1 (Sophomore English Honors/Villalobos) – This class wasn’t that bad, except that we have to present on Thursday so I’ll be stressing out for four days instead of just one day.
2. Period 2 (Sophomore P.E./O’Brian) – UGH! Mr. O’Brian (who is the coach of our school’s award-winning Cross Country team that places 3rd nationally, yes NATIONALLY) made us sprint a mile today.When I finished and finally arrived in the locker room, I had a horrible stomachache from sprinting so fast. (Protip: Don’t try hard in O’Brian, because your life sucks afterward, and Mr. O’Brian is going to expect more of you the next time.)
I could barely get changed and leave the room (with my five-ton backpack and binder). Took me about five minutes (oh, and O’Brian already let us out five minutes late) of painful undressing and redressing. I just wanted to curl up in a fetal position and play dead.
3. Passing Period – I decided that since there were only like 3 minutes left until the bell rang anyways, I would go to the Nurse’s office and lie down for 10 minutes and get an excuse for Period 3. However, when I came in and explained my situation to the nurse, she spoke to me sarcastically and with a mean, uncaring tone, simply told me I could have a cot.I felt unsafe since she didn’t promise to write me an excuse or anything, so after one minute I decided I should probably go to class (because it was Orchestra 3, after all).

So, I sprinted across the entire campus in like 30 seconds.

4. Period 3 (Orchestra 3/Forbes+England)  –  UUUGHHHHHHUUAAAARRGGHHHHLLLFFFTTT my stomach pain was unbearable at this point (and I did barely make it on time btw… somehow…), and I don’t know how I managed to find and get my violin. Afterwards, since NOBODY BOTHERED TO GET/SAVE A CHAIR FOR ME, I had to go get one myself and lift it over ten people’s heads before I found a spot to place it down. And then I got my violin out.

And then Mr. Forbes and Mr. England came out, and in the end we didn’t need to get our violins out, and that they were reseating us today (when they told us they would do it tomorrow).

So, while they gave the basses, celli, and violas their new seatings, I curled up on the big red chair that I didn’t need to haul across half the room and tried not to feel bad for myself.

And then they told us the 2nd-violin seats.

Guess what chair I got?

Last chair? Well, no. Close. I got third-from-last chair, second violin.

You know, “third-from-last chair” sounds really awkward. It makes so much more sense in, say, Chinese (“倒数第三”), literally “counting backwards, number three”.

5. Period 4 (Pre-Calculus/Daniel) – By this time I stopped caring about anything worse that could happen. Maybe that made my stomach feel a little bit better. This class went without problems, and I made a bit of progress on USAMTS Round 1 Problem 1 too, during class (haha, yes, I almost never pay attention — I don’t need to anyways).
6. Lunch – I didn’t finish my homework. That really sucks. That always sucks.
7. Period 5 (Mandarin 4/Hung) –
Mrs. Hung: Ok class, turn in your homework for this weekend!
Me: … … ……….. there… was homework… over the weekend? … oh. shoot. I… completely forgot… *ZERO ON HOMEWORK*
Mrs. Hung: Ok class, here are your tests back from Friday!
Guess what I got?

I GOT A FREAKIN B! AND ALL OF THE MISTAKES WERE TOTALLY CARELESS AND PREVENTABLE! UGHHHH

I was too dazed to pay attention to the lesson, so I can’t tell you anything more about what happened in this class. I guess the horrible day pretty much ended here though.

8. Period 6 (AP Physics B/Zhang)  – Awesome class.
It’s the ONLY AP Class I am taking.

AND it’s the easiest class I have. Mr. Zhang is awesome and funny. Physics is easy to me. Just look at the test I got back today. 103%! *beams*

Just for your information, the class average was like 60 or 70 percent or something. (Of course, an A in this class is 75% and above… I don’t really get that, but apparently it’s wholly necessary XD)

Maybe I should start doing physics olympiads? Hahaha.

Well, anyways, in Mr. Zhang’s class we also almost never have to do homework (well we’re supposed to, but I never bother because I know it all already). During class I don’t think he really cares if we’re doing something else either (although I try to only do AP Physics things in Physics, same in all my classes).

Some of you might have already had worse days this school year. Care to post and share your experiences?

## Variation of a previous number theory problem

September 19th, 2009

Lol, just saw this on the math team forum, was posted by like last last year, but anyways…

In the prime factorization of the expression $100! \cdot 99! \cdot 98! \cdot \ldots \cdot 3! \cdot 2! \cdot 1!$ there is a $7^x$ term. Find x.