Several otherwise sane and sensible people recently have been posting their Champions Online or City of Heroes characters. I thought I’d check the games out. Fortunately for me, the former is Windows-only, but the latter does have a Mac client and a free trial period, so that’s how I spent a couple of lunch hours this past week. (Actually, I spent the first lunch twiddling my thumbs while the client downloaded nearly three gigabytes of additional content — if I had realized that it would do that, I wouldn’t have bothered.) It is fun to play with the character creator; you can make a (rather skanky-looking) schoolgirl, which isn’t possible with such sites as Hero Machine. The game itself, though, looks as dull as every other MMORPG I’ve visited, as far as I could judge from the tutorials (I tried both the heroic and villainous options). It’s nifty to design colorful avatars, but “jogging heroically” to fight random enemies is tedious. I’d rather listen to music —
— which is what I do in Second Life. My initial impressions of SL were rather negative, and if you want to find intelligent people to discuss anime with, you’ll do better hanging around Steven’s place. But there is lots of music there, some of it good, and there are other people with tastes as wide-ranging as mine. It’s possible to stream music from your computer to sites within Second Life, which I’ll be doing Saturday evenings for while. If you have a SL account, stop by Grizzy’s Café between 6 and 8 p.m. SL time (i.e., California time; between 8 and 10 p.m. in the central USA time zone). Tonight I’ll be playing very miscellaneous Japanese music, from Yoko Kanno to Hatsune Miku.
I’ve sampled some random examples from the fall anime season. So far I haven’t finished a single episode. Surprisingly, the one I watched longest was Kämpfer, this season’s attempt to create the ultimate anime. Let’s see … we have
• high school students
— with guns
— with swords
— with magic
(… but no forks)
• sailor fuku
• sexual ambiguity (question of definition: is a guy who actually changes to a girl truly a “trap”?)
• a meganekko
• absolute territory
• .4 Rushunas — and that’s the hero. He also runs like a girl.
I hesitate to say whether there are any moeblobs or tsunderes in the show. I think one character qualifies on both counts, but that isn’t my field of expertise.
That’s in just the first fifteen minutes or so. There are also hints of a developing harem, a ridiculously powerful student government and perhaps a vast conspiracy. I expect future episodes will include copious steam. There are unlikely to be nekomimi, mecha or winged people, but I wouldn’t put it past the writers — it really is a silly show. Sad girls in snow are probably too much to hope for.
My only hope for the fall season is Kuuchuu Buranko, or Trapeze, whose crew includes Kenji Nakamura and Manabu Ishikawa of Mononoke.
A couple of odd links: