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The Ill Communication

Overview for television

Scrambled eggs all over my face

September 27, 2016 | 21:36 | Written by: snake911

All this weekend I was tied in due to house and dog sitting duties.  This is seen as a blessing because it allows me to disconnect from being constantly online and catchup on other things like reading.  So for the most part that’s what I was doing.

But while reading I had the TV on in the background so to, I don’t know, keep the dogs calm by having sound constantly flowing into their ears.  I’m sure some pet owners get what I was trying to do.

Anyways, while flipping through to see what was on, I saw there was a Frasier marathon happening on a channel called Cozi TV.  I left it on that channel, but man I didn’t know I was going to watch pretty much twelve continuous hours’ worth of Dr. Crane!  So for Saturday, I mostly read during the commercial breaks, so as you can probably tell, I didn’t get to read as much as I was planning to.

I liked watching Frasier back when it originally aired, but I haven’t seen it since then, so with about a 20 year gap, I had pretty much forgotten everything that happened on the show.  The marathon included the first season so I was able to get familiar with most of the characters by having the show introduce them.  In terms of replay value, I would have to put Frasier on the same level as its "Must See TV" cousin, Seinfeld.  It’s a really entertaining show which crams a lot of into a 30 minute program.  There’s plenty of dialog with the snarky remarks between the characters being fast and furious.

I now need to check to see if it’s on any streaming services because I now want to go through the whole series.  With having PlayStation Vue, I don’t have access to these weird second (possibly third) tier channels like Cozi.  The next day I noticed they had a Miami Vice marathon.  I skipped that one, though.

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The boys of summer

July 18, 2016 | 20:29 | Written by: snake911

My most recent binge-watch fest was sitting down and checking out Big Windup!, a 25 episode show centered around high school baseball.  I’ve been planning to watch this for a while and finally decided to pull the trigger when I had some free time.  In short I loved it, even though I’m not the biggest of sports fans.

What I liked about it (and what anime does in general) is how they take the minutia of a subject and spread it across over two dozen episodes of a show, to pull you into that world and give you a sense of what it’s like to be in the character’s shoes.  For Big Windup! It’s being a player on a baseball team.  Now for me, the most experience I have in playing baseball was when I played in a tee-ball league for just one season.  At that point in time, you’re playing mostly by yourself along with 8 other players that wear the same uniform as you do, so the experience of teamwork was MIA.

Big Windup! gave me a new appreciation for the sport as there is so much strategy that is occurring under the surface of baseball that you’re unaware of when you’re just a spectator.  Sure I know of the call signs the catcher gives to the pitcher, how coaches from the dugout give commands via hand gestures, and paying attention to the first and third base coaches, but when you tie them all together by showing them all occurring during a single game is when you can tell what a team effort it takes to win a game, and how the strategy has to spread to every player across the diamond.

It’s very in line with Initial D, another show I love a lot.  They are the same in regards to all of the inner monologue that occurs in an episode; and for Big Windup!, most of it takes place between the catcher and pitcher.  Because of this, you get to hear the mind processing a strategy that considers all that is occurring on the field (like who’s on base), in addition to knowing the opponent’s batting stats, the batting roster, the current inning, balls, strikes, and outs on the board.  Man, there’s so much to keep track of!

It’s all a fictional story, so they can set it up to be a game with a lot of drama, but I was surprised at how I reacted to the games that they played.  There were some highly intense moments for me and it felt weird that I even cheered when the team’s strategy worked, and flinched when the opposing team hit a win.  The games were of fiction, so why did I even act that way?!  I guess that shows just how good the writer is at setting up how a game would playout for the reader -- or in my case since I didn’t read the manga -- the viewer.

I also liked all of the scenes that occur off of the field, where we see the kids as students at high school or what they do at home.  I also liked how they began bringing in the parents, more specifically the mothers, by having them sit and cheer for their team.  It was kind of fun trying to pick out which kid belonged to which mom only based on facial features alone.  Then finding out which of the kids have the same classes together and knowing who grew up with who and figuring out that someone on the team knows someone on the team they are playing.  All of this just expands on the universe of the story and gives it life, as opposed to just focusing solely on the sport.

So yeah, Big Windup! is a really cool show.  I watched it on Hulu, and they have both the subbed and dubbed versions, so you can watch it whatever way you prefer.  I only watched the first season as that’s the only one they have.  In fact, I don’t believe the second season has been dubbed yet.  Someone needs to get going on that as I needs more Big Windup!!

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Charting the course

July 12, 2016 | 22:34 | Written by: snake911

Watched the episode of Pre-Flight where Gill and Jason were hosting the Toonami panel at Anime Expo 2016, and holy crap was it jammed packed with information!  For starters, right off the bat they announced the latest show they acquired and are planning to begin airing very shortly: One-Punch Man.  I’ve heard of the name, but I never delved in to get more intel on it, but apparently it’s really popular.  Glad they picked it up so I can at least check it out to see how it is.  Looks cool, though, so I’m looking forward to it.

Next they announced they are doing Intruder 3!  This was a shocker for me as there was a 15 year gap between 1 and 2, but only a year between 2 and 3?!  But it makes sense there would be a third one based on the events of the second one, so I’m definitely looking forward to this.  They said it would be November-ish when it would air.

This one I remember them talking about a few months back, but this time they actually were able to talk about it a little.  It’s the return of Samurai Jack!  And they actually had a long, like 10 minute produced video to talk about the deet.  Genndy wants to finish Jack’s story, so he’s begun production for the latest season of Jack.  I really liked the video and it shows how the whole team is behind it, and with it on Adult Swim as opposed to Cartoon Network, there’s sure to be more rad violence than before.

After that they noted they are doing a miniseries led by Mamoru Oshii from Production I.G.  They told him to do whatever he wants.  That’s bold.  To give someone permission to create whatever they want could lead to some awesome stuff!  They showed a teaser for an Adult Swim ID he made, and it was wwaacckkkyy.  They said the show he’s making will debut in 2017.  I’m excited for this to see what kind of output can come from someone with total creative freedom.

And then they talked about them making a new season for FLCL.  I know they mentioned this before, but I have mixed feelings regarding it.  On one hand it’s not necessary to have a second season for FLCL.  But on the other, it would be interesting to see what other stuff they can pull out from that universe.  This one is a tall order to fill, so they need to be on the nose when it comes to creating more content for it.  For this, I’m cautiously optimistic about it.  I still need to watch the FLCL panel discussion about the show at AX16.  They should have more details about it there.

So yeah, looks like a lot of rad stuff is coming down the pike for Toonami fans. Woooooooooo!

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The fourth dimension

April 18, 2016 | 20:55 | Written by: snake911

It was a rough middle patch, but I’m beginning to like Dimension W. The first episode started off well, but the couple of episodes after that was starting to get annoying as it was focusing attention less on the main guy Kyouma, with his awesome ninja-like skills, and was focusing more on his partner Mira, a mysterious lady robot.

What I didn’t like about it was the fact that it was getting too moe for my taste. It seemed like some of the story was just focusing on her so she could keep making confused looks, staring at the camera, and wiggling her robot rabbit ears up and down. No thank you!

The story is now picking up speed, turning attention back to Kyouma, and drawing on his past about why he doesn’t trust the -- almost mandatory -- technology called coils. I think we’re around the mid-point of the season, so here’s hoping the remaining episodes are a solid bunch.

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Showing some respect

March 30, 2016 | 21:10 | Written by: snake911

My last post knocked a guy who interviewed Tim Schafer. Now even though it was bad, I do have to give the interviewer some respect as I didn’t know how influential of a person he was for the tech industry back in the day.

Stewart Cheifet, the man who conducted the interview, also did a previous show called Computer Chronicles that aired between 1981 and 2002. It was during the mid '90s when he did Net Cafe after the World Wide Web began to explode in popularity. In contrast, Computer Chronicles main focus was on the personal computer and all related hardware and software from the industry.

A few years ago, Stewart was a guest on Leo Laporte’s show Triangulation. It was fascinating to hear some of his stories, meeting with pioneers from the tech biz, and getting a bit of inside baseball on how it was like to create a television show for an industry hobbyist of it would only know about. In addition, he was the one who sent all of his shows of Computer Chronicles and Net Cafe to the Internet Archive and that’s why those copies are so good looking (as opposed to someone recording an episode from a VCR).

So in closing, Stewart Cheifet is a pretty good dude. Even though that one interview was pretty bad.

Just sayin'

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