Archive for July, 2010

yet another anime post

July 29th, 2010


Seitokai Yakuindomo Episode 4

I like the intro song.

I don’t like the outro song.

Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z Episode 01

what is this i don’t eve– Blossom is cute.

*dropped* why did I even pick this up

Hitohira Episode 01

The main character is really original.

Hm, how would I describe this first episode. It’s like CLANNAD, without Tomoya and co.

Inukami! Episode 01

Somebody assassinate the lead male for not being in love with somebody voiced by Yui Horie.

Youko is cute though, so maybe I won’t drop this one. Hocchan~ >< damn this reminds me of how I failed to get her autograph at AX2010

Summary: Everything sucks about this anime but Yui Horie and her character. I think I’mma drop after all. I hate the main character’s guts.

Fairy Tail Episode 39

Yay, Mikuni Shimokawa’s ED single is out today! Back to the anime; last episode left us on quite a cliffhanger.

Etherion turned out lamer than I thought. The idea was cool.

“Breaking things happens to be Fairy Tail wizards’ specialty!”

Damn, cliffhanger.

11eyes Episode 13 [OVA]


Kanokon Episode 01

Wtf awesome, Kawasumi Ayako voices the lead female. WTFFF awesome, Mamiko Noto voices the lead… MALE. WAHAHAHA ok I’ll stop here

The awesomesauce voices and art are awesomesauce, but what is with the rapid plot development. And sudden outbreaks of histronics. And the shouta little 5-year-old boy who’s “in high school” voiced by Mamiko Noto only complicates things. I keep imagining “ecchi-na-koto-wa-ikenai” Mahoro from Mahoromatic due to Kawasumi Ayako’s voice as well. Anyways, concerning the plot…

That made sense.

… NOT.

Asura Cryin’ Episode 01

This anime looks extremely promising. Watching with high expectations.

Damn. Best first episode of an anime I’ve watched in AGES.

Asura Cryin’ Episode 02

As epic as above.

Kanokon Episode 02

“I may get pregnant if I get too close to him.”

#include <stdharem.c>

Asura Cryin’ Episode 03 to 06

This is getting boring… wahh, why can’t I find any exciting animes anymore?

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 04

Best anime this season, by far.

On an unrelated note, why doesn’t CoreAVC’s postprocessing get rid of that horrible debanding? Is free software really better than commercial software? I’m pretty sure ffdshow’s postprocessing far surpasses this horrible crap software. And plus, CoreAVC crashes like every other time I try to play a video, dammit.

anime is depressing.

July 22nd, 2010

Been reading manga, something rare for me.

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 01

It’s Negi!

After getting past that… this anime seems to be interesting. Also, my computer is actually having a bit of trouble decoding this video… that’s a testament to the AWESOME. ANIMATION. QUALITY. Or maybe it’s just that this is a really HQ rip. Really really HQ.

Oh my god… the high quality animation!! Aahhhhh! IT BURNS! SO DETAILED!!!! SO BRIGHT! SO BRILLIANT!

WHY IS EVEN THE EYECATCH SO SCINTILLATING? This animation is totally world-class.

The opening was awesome, but the ending animation annoys me. Nothing wrong with the song, but annoying animation.

You know, after all of this, I never caught the main character’s name. o_O

I approve of this anime's lead female.

Shakugan no Shana S Episode 03

Why is this so sad? My life is already sad enough without depressing anime.

That was very depressing. Oh, and sucky music.

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 02

I can’t believe I just noticed that Yui Horie voices Yuki-onna/whatsherhumanname. I fail as a Yui Horie fan.

Anyways, more surprisingly: the (other) lead female is voiced by none other than Aya Hirano, of Haruhi fame! That was pretty interesting.

As usual, the lead male is voiced by Jun Fukuyama, whom I’m sure everybody is most familiar with as Lelouch/Zero from Code Geass. He also voices every other male protagonist ever. Seriously.

Oh yeah, I remembered her name. It was Tsurara, which is totally a portmanteau of Tsuruya (Haruhi) and Durarara!!.

Shakugan no Shanatan Tri

what is this i don’t even

Seitokai Yakuindomo Episode 01

Here’s my generic harem anime of the season.

This season’s is pretty good. I can’t say anything for originality (the prez reminds me of Kaichou wa Maid-sama), but… excellent animation, great character design and, damn good humor.

Actually, there are too many perverted jokes. You know, this is exactly like Seitokai no Ichizon! Except the jokes are ecchi(er), the animation is better, and the lead male isn’t a loser.

Seitokai Yakuindomo Episode 02

The chibikko looks and feels like Nagi with stupid bangs. The ending theme is pretty bad.

Asobi ni Iku yo! Episode 02

Nice action! The sci-fi counts me in, but again, the female contact scenes make me want to drop this.

CIA + US Army VERSUS cat-girl with big hammer. Winner: cat-girl with big hammer.

Awesome plot. Now if only they’d ditch the fanservice. Oh, and they should make the alien weapons look less stupid.

The Japanese impression of Americans speaking Japanese always cracks me up. ><

Illegal Chinese cellphone dealers, AT&T, and dammit why is it so hot today

July 17th, 2010

Tomorrow marks the release date of the Samsung Captivate, AT&T’s new flagship top-of-the-line Android smartphone, for $199 with a two-year contract. I was looking forward to getting my hands on one, but the $200 price completely threw me off. And what’s more, I found out that the Captivate is just a dumbed-down version of the Samsung Galaxy S i9000 phone, which costs less yet has more features, and was released worldwide months ago. In another example of AT&T’s selfish money-grubbing evil tactics, the (AT&T) Captivate does not have camera flash or a front-facing camera (one of the most important features of the (international) Galaxy S: video chatting! over 3G! ha, iPhoners!), and only operates locked to AT&T’s 3G network.

However, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that’s why a multitude of illegal Chinese cellphone dealers have popped up in areas heavily populated with Asians. This crop of mobile service merchants import phones from Asia and Europe, which is quite a profitable business, because the same phone in Asia or Europe usually costs less and has more features than the locked-down US version. Of course, AT&T frowns on this practice, as they like their industry monopoly, and would like to keep their tyrannous control over what phones we’re allowed to buy, and what prices we’re allowed to buy them at.

So I went through my latest copy of some random Chinese local newspaper, ignoring the news and scouring the ads for an i9000 deal. The latest and greatest deals all seem to involve the HTC Aria and the Motorola Backflip, the only other Android phones AT&T’s CEO likes enough to let you use. After a few phone calls to many of the more prominent dealers, I found that none of them offered the imported i9000, but all of them would have the AT&T Captivate in stock for its release, and many even offered to sell it to me today (a day before the official release date) for $199.

After scouring some older newspapers, I finally found an ad from Tuesday (half a week ago) from Banana Wireless. If you live in the area, there’s one next to the 99-cents store on Duarte, and there have never been any customers, ever. I go to that nearby 99-cents store a lot, and the saleslady always sits there facebooking every time I pass by. It turns out that they were T-Mobile dealers, so I couldn’t get my 99-cent Galaxy i9000 as advertised in the newspaper (quite amusing considering the store was right next to a 99-cents store). The phone itself, unlocked, costs about $550, but the subterfuge contract that saleslady wanted to sell me would probably put $2000 in T-Mobile’s pockets by the time the contract was up.

I would’ve given up on getting a new phone, seeing how the only phone offered by AT&T that almost suited my tastes was the Captivate. Knowing that there was a better version out there made me obstinate about not getting the US version, and as there are no other phones that are good enough for me, I had only two choices: fork up $550 or live with my half-decade-old Motorola RiZR Z3. Now, I absolutely LOVE the Z3’s design. The case is sleek, rubbery, and comfortable. The sliding mechanism was perfect, and the buttons offered excellent tactile feedback. The operating system has always sucked, however, and I’ve probably spent over 40 hours messing with the firmware and flashing custom versions from online forums in an attempt to make the Z3 work for me. However, every firmware hack that fixed a problem introduced a new problem, and soon the Z3 became near-unusable for me. The stereo A2DP Bluetooth audio was a plus that I was able to achieve, but the ELF audio player was totally a hack, and crashed every five minutes. Some other hack messed up my speakerphone, rendering it unusable. And the Z3’s CPU is fundamentally slow, and I need speed when it comes to this kind of stuff. The Java support was sketchy at best, and all my attempts to fix it were fruitless.

So, it’s either wait-for-illegal-chinese-AT&T-dealer-to-import-i9000 which may or may not happen ever (probably leaning towards “may not”, as most dealers probably wouldn’t bother importing something so similar to the Captivate), or get a different phone. Which led to me reviewing some other AT&T phones.

First up is the heavily-lauded HTC Aria, which every other AT&T reseller is advertising as free. Considering the phone only retails for $300-some, of course it would be free with 2-year contract. AT&T makes a few thousand per contract, after all. Compared to the i9000, which sports a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor (which is probably faster than a high-end desktop not long ago), the Aria clocks in at 600MHz with its Qualcomm MSM 7227, a little over half as fast. Both come pre-installed with Android 2.1, and both should be upgradable to 2.2, Froyo, in the near future. While the i9000 will definitely be upgradable when Android 3, Gingerbread, comes along, the Aria will almost surely not be upgradable. The Aria weighs in at 115 grams, while the i9000 is not much heavier, at 118g. The Aria’s camera is 5 megapixels, the same as the i9000, but the i9000 (international version) has flash and HD video recording (at 720p), both essential features for a heavy phone user. The i9000 can completely replace my digital camera, with nighttime shooting capabilities and better video quality than the average point-and-shoot, while the Aria is only good for quick snapshots when you forget to bring your camera. Reviews have indicated that, along with low camera quality, the Aria’s speaker was very cheap and low-quality, making music and speakerphone difficult to use, especially in situations with large amounts of background noise. The Aria also does not have a front-facing camera, so no video chatting here. Also, HTC Arias only support dual band 3G: UMTS/HSPA 850/1900MHz, as compared to the tri band 3G supported by the i9000, which adds the 2100MHz band that nearly all European carriers and Asian carriers use. The Galaxy S line also supports Bluetooth 3.0 (as one of the first, if not THE first device to do so), along with Wireless-N technology, none of which is built into the Aria. Surprisingly, for all the shortcomings I have listed, the HTC Aria is rated five stars out of five on The Aria is very small, which is a crucial feature to me, but in every other field it is stumped by the Samsung Galaxy S i9000.

The second phone I considered was the HTC Tilt 2. I like the sexy slide-out hardware keyboard, but I don’t text much, so I don’t see myself putting much use into that keyboard. It would probably end up as extra weight, but I still like it nonetheless. The Tilt 2 is not an Android device: it runs Windows Mobile 6.5, and god knows if it will be upgradable to Windows Phone 7. It does have tri band 3G, but the two main points I am concerned with are the massive weight (178g, compared to i9000’s 118g) and the lack of a 3.5mm stereo port for headphones. Without an audio port, I would have to either use A2DP Bluetooth all the time (which is a horrible waste of battery, and I don’t always have my headset with me all the time anyways) or carry around HTC’s massive 3.5mm adapter with my earphones, which, owing to my absentmindedness, I could never remember to do. The Tilt 2 has 3.5 stars on Amazon, which is pretty bad, and the CPU is slower than the HTC Aria, clocking in at 528 MHz. It also has no HD video recording, no front-facing camera, no BT3 or Wireless-N, etc. But… that sexy keyboard ~_~

So those are my top three choices for my new phone. The HTC Aria is generally free, and with some digging I can probably get the HTC Tilt 2 for free too. AT&T’s Captivate costs $199 with contract, but maybe some haggling can bring that number down a little (not much, as the Captivate is a brand-new release). I’d rather import an i9000 from Singapore or Australia, though, so I’m still searching for an illegal Asian dealer that will sell me an i9000 on contract for cheap.

Phones I am considering, in order:

1) Samsung Galaxy S i9000
    * 1GHz Hummingbird (Samsung)
    * Tri band UMTS/HSPA 850/1900/2100MHz (international 3G OK)
    * Bluetooth 3.0
    * Wireless-N (802.11b/g/n)
    * 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording
    * 118g

2) HTC Aria (HTC Legend)
    * Android 2.1 with HTC Sense
    * 600MHz MSM 7227 (Qualcomm)
    * Very small and light
    * Five stars on Amazon
    * Bad speaker/speakerphone (too soft; distortion at high volumes)
    * Not powerful enough for Flash and many other Android features
    * Probably not upgradable to Android 3, and maybe not even to 2.2
    * No HD video recording
    * Bad camera quality
    * No flash or FFC
    * Dual band UMTS/HSPA 850/1900MHz (no international 3G)
    * 115g

3) HTC Tilt 2
    * 528 MHz MSM 7201a (Qualcomm)
    * Windows Mobile 6.5
    * Tri band UMTS/HSPA 850/1900/2100MHz (international 3G OK)
    * Internal GPS antenna (REAL GPS)
    * No 3.5mm stereo plug!
    * 3.5 stars on Amazon
    * 178g (HEAVY!)

4) HTC HD2
    * 1GHz SnapDragon (Qualcomm)
    * Windows Mobile 6.5
    * No HD video recording
    * Bad camera quality
    * AMOLED screen (too reflective to use in direct sunlight)
    * Great case design!
    * T-mobile exclusive

5) Samsung Captivate
    * Same as Galaxy S i9000, but without:
       - Front facing camera
       - Camera flash
       - Tri band UMTS/HSPA (only dual band 850/1900MHz)
    * Gyros (?)

Summer 2010 (Anime) is here!!

July 17th, 2010

As you can see, EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Has sucked. This makes me want to suicide myself in a puddle.

Ookami-san Episode 01

The hell?

… what the hell.

First thing I notice about the characters: the narrator is Kuroko (srsly), the wolf-girl is Mikoto, her roommate is Uiharu, and… hmm, we need a Saten. The lead male is a pitiful bum (the narrator said so herself, so it must be fact).

The hell is wrong with this anime. But screw it, this is funny, so it’s okay.

Final comment: my favorite character is the narrator.

Ok, now final comment. This lead male is the most loser-like protagonist I’ve ever seen.

Actually, actually. Now final comment. I really like the fairytale-inspired storyline of this anime. It’s so original, yet completely unoriginal. It’s original in how unoriginal it is. This episode’s Cinderella pun was laugh-inducing, for example.

Digimon Xros Wars Episode 01

What the hell, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? MY DRILL WILL PIERCE THE HEAVENS?? Oh wait, that was just a dream.

This year’s goggle-boy looks OK. The secondary boy and girl look really lame though. They remind me of Misty and Brock, actually. That’s rather unfortunate.

I appreciate the attempt at making pleasing 3d graphics, but mecha? really? really. By the way, lame music.

Whaa Taichi clone? I’m not sure what to say… “AWESOME!!!” or “kehh. lame.” He has a girlfriend in, what, he looks like a first grader or something. Less than thirteen. Haha. God. These characters are lame. laaaaammmmmeeeeeeee

I guess the even seasons of Digimon are destined to be lame. =_=

the hell. serious? gattai mecha…

bleeehhhhhhh. laaaaaaammmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeee

Asobi ni Iku Yo Episode 01

It’s like ToLOVE-ru all over again, except with Full Metal Panic! elements mixed in. I miss ToLOVE-ru. I highly doubt this anime will be able to surpass TLr. The animation/art quality are all pretty good… not particularly amazing though. Too many people with glasses in this anime.

I don’t like any of the characters. Not a single one. Not one. That just killed this anime for me. Ending song is pretty good.

SAT Essay 1

July 9th, 2010


Time—25 Minutes


The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express ideas. You should, therefore, take care to develop your point of view, present your ideas logically and clearly, and use language precisely.

Your essay must be written in your Answer Grid Booklet—you will receive no other paper on which to write. You will have enough space if you write on every line, avoid wide margins, and keep your handwriting to a reasonable size. Remember that people who are not familiar with your handwriting will read what you write. Try to write so that what you are writing is legible to those readers.

You have twenty-five minutes to write an essay on the topic assigned below.


Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

“No one is contented in this world, I believe. There is always something left to desire, and the last thing longed for always seems to be the most necessary to happiness.”

–Marie Corelli, A Romance of Two Worlds

Assignment: Do you think that people are capable of finding happiness or are they always searching for something beyond what they have? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.


You will receive credit only for what you write in your Answer Grid Booklet.

Human beings possess the unique and extraordinary characteristic of never being satisfied with what they have. This idiosyncrasy of human nature is what has led our species to greatness — we began with developing tools, and soon thereafter began to discover and understand the underlying concepts of the world around us. Even then dissatisfied, we eventually industrialized, and developed into the cosmopolitan information society we exist as today. This attitude not only pertains to humans as a race and society, but also to humans as individuals. Because we always seek more and better, we are never truly content with what we have.

Shinji, the main character in the international franchise Neon Genesis Evangelion that spawned from the eponymous hit television anime by GAINAX, is a prime example of this dissatisfaction. He lives a (relatively) peaceful, provided-for life piloting a big mecha and beating up bigger mechas. Shinji never finds a moment of satisfaction in the 13-some hours that audiences stare at the screen watching him for. True, most of the world’s population got wiped out by the Second Impact (an apocalypse event that changed the world’s seawater into fruit punch), and the rest of the human race might get wiped out any moment (by huge blobs that use spheres of crystallized fruit punch as their energy source), but his life would be envied by many less fortunate children in his era. He often attains goals that he has striven endlessly for, yet never does Shinji find a permanent source of satisfaction. In fact, he spends the course of the entire anime searching for meaning in his life, and, after having found one, immediately tosses it aside in search of a better one. Barring the fruit punch oceans and daily apocalypse events, all humans are the same; we continually strive for things better than what we have, so we can never let ourselves be content.

This habit of tossing the old in search of the better is most fervently expressed in Ash Ketchum, the polygamous so-called hero of Pokemon. This eternally-eleven kid (been eleven for what, thirteen years) spends his days arranging deathmatches between imprisoned animals, claiming that these bullfights strengthen character and build integrity. When not torturing small animals into submission, Ash beats up important people in the various towns he visits. Occasionally, he runs into Team Rocket, a branch of the Italian mafia headed by mafia boss Giovanni. They find one of Ash’s enslaved rodents sexually attractive, and have been continually pursuing him for thirteen years and counting. Ash’s cruelty belies his stupidity. He is a highly ambitious kid (you can tell he’s Asian) who aims for the ambiguous goal of becoming a “Pokemon Master”, and continually aims to win various Pokemon gladiator fights. However, even upon winning a championship, his happiness is extremely ephemeral. Not long after, he ditches all his friends (except for this one black loser he can’t seem to get rid of) and girlfriends (to find new ones; you get tired of seeing the same face in bed every day), along with all his powerful Pokemon that could easily win all his battles, and aims for a new championship in a new foreign country, with just his chained-up rodent in tow. This is another example of human nature. Ash is never satisfied with his wins, badges, championships, or girlfriends. Always seeking more and more, and never content, Pokemon personifies the society we are part of today.

The root of human nature is linked to our race’s continual drive for more. This rudimentary human facility has driven us to success, but it also prevents our species from ever achieving true, perpetual happiness.

Best Jobs of 2010

July 1st, 2010

I just got back from volunteering at my local community hospital. I ferry around hospital equipment and supplies, and restock bins and carts. My coworkers (paid employees) are always happy to see me, smiling and greeting me upon my entrance. I’m sure it’s not because I’m handsome, or because I’m fun to talk to. It’s more likely because, when I’m on the job, I do all their work, and they get to watch YouTube videos on the computer. Not that I mind (I mean, we’re not supposed to do homework on the job, but everybody always does it anyways). Having a low-level job can be quite relaxing. For example, I see the custodians going into the bathrooms, putting up a sign implying the restroom was currently undergoing cleaning… and then staying in that same bathroom for three hours, texting on their phones. The nurses go into patient rooms while the patient is asleep and nobody is looking, and text their buddies. The security guards probably head into some corner of the hospital and ring up their pals. (In fact, just the other day I saw one practicing his golf swing in the parking lot.) The hospital employees, for your information, are almost all Latinos, with the rest pretty much being blacks. Meaning, they got bad grades in school, never attended college, and will be working at this kind of job for their whole life. Not that it’s a bad life, one must reflect. Every night, head to the bar, get some girls drunk and bring them home, right? You get to slack off on your job, and not even the high school kid who comes in here to do our work for us cares that we play FPS shooters on the hospital computers. In fact, we even get paid for the work that kid does! Wow, brilliant. Screw college, I want to be a custodian.