Dear Santa, thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you but... honest, it is an emergency. There's a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know its not cause at night there's voices so... please please can you send someone to fix it? Or a policeman, or...
Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.

Wednesday, May 12



Wait, what?  It doesn't suck?  It's by the same author and director as Baccano?

Okay, sold.

Update: Episode 12.  Roofle!

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Sunday, May 09


What I Don't Understand...

Is how anyone could run a video through a comb filter backwards and not notice.

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Princess Chuchu

Just finished watching Princess Tutu.  Quite remarkable.  Very highly recommended - for the story, for the music, for the characters, and for Nanae Katou's remarkable performance as Ahiru.  Of course it doesn't hurt that I'm a Tchaikovsky fan from way back.

Four ugly ducklings out of four.


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Saturday, May 08


The Power Of Awesome

Just assembling the videos for my decade in review thingy.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Haibane Renmei


The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Princess Tutu

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Friday, May 07




Mmf. Unfortunately, the video is laggy on my computer, even with the pre-release Flash 10.1. Going to explore other options.

Okay, with the latest version of the player (5.1) the latest version of Flash (10.1-RC4) and an MP4 (H.264/MP3) video file, it works beautifully.  I'll try it against older versions of Flash now.

Bleah!  Plays great....  Once it's downloaded the entire file.

Let's see if this version works better.

Update: Got it!  Here's the trick:

The source is a H.264 (good!) / Vorbis (not good!) MKV (not good!) file.  That's pretty common in anime land.

The encoders have alrady done an excellent job on encoding, and transcoding is going to be slow and probably produce a larger file with worse video quality.

So, here's what to do:

Download AviDemux.  That will read your MKV file just fine.

Set Video to Copy.  That will transfer the H.264 bit-for-bit to the output.
Set Audio to AAC (Faac).  MP3 will only half-work in an MP4 container; don't use it.
Set Format to MP4.

Save your new file.  This will only take a few seconds - it's copying the video data straight across, and the Faac encoder is pretty fast.

Now, get MP4 FastStart.  This is a litle utility that will tweak your MP4 file to make it streamable.

Then...  Then wait until I've uploaded Minx 1.2 - or at least, 1.13, so that the [video] tag actually works.

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Thursday, May 06


God Help Me

I'm starting to like the opening theme to K-On!!.

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Tuesday, May 04


Princess Tutu

Why didn't anyone tell me this show is awesome?

Oh, wait, you did.

Update: And it's even got an Australian release.  Tomorrow I'll check if my local store has it in stock, and order it otherwise.  It's $70, but well worth it.

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Monday, May 03


Ten Years, Ten Animes

After listening to Anime World Order's decade in review (which took five hours and twenty minutes and spanned two months, which is why I love them) I'm trying to make a list of ten anime series (OVA or TV, not movies) from 2000-2009 that I would consider the must-see shows from that decade.  Not necessarily my favourites, not necessarily even the best, but the ones that, if you're only going to watch ten shows from that period, these are the ones.

My list of primary candidates so far:

Azumanga Daioh (in the cute girls doing cute things category)
Black Lagoon (in the power of cool category)
Brigadoon (in the where did that come from category)
Haibane Renmei (in the every reviewer made the same joke category)
Haruhi Suzumiya (in the let sleeping gods lie category)
Potemayo (in the weird is good category)
Princess Tutu (in the narrative causality Möbius strip category)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (in the power of awesome category)

And alternates:

Full Moon wo Sagashite (in the shoujo squishies category)
Hajime no Ippo (in the mandatory category category)
Hand Maid May (in the robotics engineer recruitment campaign category)
Hidamari Sketch (in the cute girls doing cute things category)
Jungle wa Itsumo Hale nochi Guu (in the weird is good and let sleeping gods lie categories)
Kamichu! (in both the cute girls and sleeping gods categories)
K-On! (in the cute girls and best internal soundtrack categories)
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (in the weird is good category)
Midori no Hibi (in the cute girls and weird is good categories)
Moyashimon (in the weird is good category)
Nanaka 6/17 (in the youthful-romance-and-head-injuries category)
Popotan (in the better than it has any right to be and also ferrets! category)
Rizelmine (best show with the worst legacy category)
Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar (in the cute cute being cute cute cute aargh poit category)
Zettai Karen Children (in the power of awesome and cute girls categories)

It's been a long weird decade, so naturally I'll have forgotten heaps of good stuff.  Input is welcome.

Update: Steven has his own take.

Update: Mitch chips in with a list as well.

Musings: If we eliminate anything over 26 episodes or so (I add the "or so" as a loophole for Gurren Lagann) that knocks out Hajime no Ippo - and pretty much every other sports anime - Zettai Karen Children (which I really like but am still watching) and Full Moon wo Sagashite

That leaves me to find another shoujo squishy series, and I can't think of many.  In fact, I can't think of any, off-hand.  Kimi ni Todoke would be a good choice, but I've already disqualified that because it ran well into 2010.  Hmm.

The other fun thing would be to work out which shows would be the runners-up - given these categories.  So Kimi ga Nozomu Eien would be a nominee for the best youthful-romance-and-head-injuries anime.  (And lose, obviously, because it's a horrible horrible show where Nanaka 6/17 is insightful and delightful.)  And the various flavours of Negima and Nanoha could be nominated for the best better-than-it-has-any-right-to-be-and-also-ferrets! anime.  (Though Popotan arguably best exemplifies that genre.)

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