Category Archives: Logistics

Not Dead; Iteration 70-something

Recovering RyukoAs usual, reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.  With a new year upon us, I am forced to pronounce CBR5 an abject failure, with more than 20 books unreviewed and a complete halt of my anime review project.  That being said, 2013 was a tremendous year for anime and I feel compelled to write about it in some fashion.  So, what’s coming in 2014?  

CBR6

A new year means new book reviews.  I’ll be starting off with some intriguing holiday gifts and then onto my normal slog of fantasy, speculative fiction and occasional pop psychology book.  Less comics this year and, with any luck, more reviews completed on time. 

LAB Notes

While the acronym is still a woeful relic of days gone by, I hope to actually do some anime reviews this year Before I stopped, I had plans for  a series examining magical girl shows as both classic anime genre and modern subversion.  I’ll also resume reviews of series that have strong appeal in the U.S.

Odds and Ends

While I don’t have any explicit plans to expand the commentary section of the site, I hope to continue my Op-Ed series with Geek Outsider in some form or another, and maybe add another recurring feature about video game storytelling.  No promises though.  

In the meantime, Happy New Year to my few regular readers and stay tuned to this space.  

 

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Things I have been doing other than writing reviews:

A List.

1. Watching more Gundam than can possibly be healthy.  Fucking Ribbons.

2. Trying unsuccessfully to finish The Malazan Book of the Fallen #4.

3. Vidja Games.

4. GATECRASH!  EVOLVE FISH BITCHES!

5. Netflix.  All of the Netflix.

The sad thing is normally I’m perfectly able to do the above things (minus the Gundam.  That’s fairly unusual) and still crank out reviews.  Not so much this month.  Looks like it’s time to knuckle down, put my nose to the grindstone and any other work related cliches that come to mind.

LAB Notes Update 003

Just taking a moment to explain the lack of LAB Notes posts.  Aside from having to crush through the last couple of books in this year’s Cannonball, there isn’t really a good excuse.  I had intended the next series to be Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, but after working my way through the first half of the series, I found that it hadn’t aged well at all.

The animation, which wasn’t top quality to begin with, looks jittery and cheap and the flow of the story is lackluster.  Large sections of individual episodes are either blank scenes with SFX or voice-overs, or three or four key frames on a randomized loop.  There are literally minutes that go by without plot advancement of any kind, either episode internal or series story arcs, and even the ‘budget-busting’ musical numbers don’t hold up to the production values of contemporary shows, like Nodame Cantabile.

There’s certainly a worthwhile story here, but it’s aimed at a niche market of independent rock enthusiasts, so there isn’t a lot to bring other viewers to the table.  Combine that with the lackluster production and you have a show that borders on unwatchable.

I might  flesh this update out into a full review, but for the moment, I can’t see myself getting through the series.

Thanks for your patience.

Travel Delays

I was supposed to have written today’s anime review last Friday while I was in Chicago, but a flight got canceled and the six hours I had there turned into six really unproductive hours in the Denver airport without access to a Torrent client.  So that’s been delayed.  Probably to next week, as I’m spending the next few days in Texas for Thanksgiving.

CBR 41 is probably going to go up sometime tonight though.  If that’s something you care about.

Expansion/Reconstruction (LAB Notes)

Back in the the heady 2000s, (or the Aughts, as Wikipedia informs me) I wrote and managed a rather uninspired anime blog called LAB Notes.  The LAB stood for Lyrinoir (my primary screen name) Anime Blog, and it was mostly just a place for me to complain about how most American anime fans were hurting the local industry by refusing to recognize quality anime and promote it.  I wanted to prove that there was a significant segment of Japanese anime that could stand side by side with American primetime television and come out looking better, if only the entire genre wasn’t being dragged down by the misconceptions and stereotypes that anime has acquired.

At the time, I was marginally in charge of a college anime club, which I managed with more or less the same philosophy.  Much to my chagrin, most of my membership didn’t care about what I perceived as quality and were just as happy watching shit as they were watching the the high quality stuff.

All of this is tangential to the fact that I really enjoy anime.  While it is true that the weaknesses of the format are many, and a majority of the shows are horrible experiments into the depths of fan service, there still exists a worthwhile core of programs that are not only worthwhile, but just as valuable as classic Hollywood movies, top notch live action dramas or even literature.

Read the rest of this entry

Back in the Office (Sort of)

Well, I’m back from Europe (like last week) and it was every bit as productive reading-wise as I was hoping.  Reading and trains are a match made in heaven.  I’m a rather large number of books ahead of the curve now, but hideously behind on the reviews.

I’m also in the middle of a giant road trip from the east coast to home in Colorado.  Plus side: no more reading for a while.  Minus side: still not writing reviews.  Ideally, I won’t be using hotels, but the houses (couches) of friends and family as I go, which also cuts into productive time (which, I should note I am currently using some of to watch TNG which just got added to Netflix insta-watch).

Such is life.  or; Derp.

About and Abroad

Generalissimo Fofo will be out of the office from June 13th to June 29th.  He is enjoying beautiful Europa with his Kindle and a Eurail pass. Books and trains.  A natural combination.

Blogger Revivification

I am not dead. 

Reviews forthcomming.  Read the rest of this entry

Commence the Attack

I’m off to a late start, but this is the official beginning of the Book Assault.  What’s going on?  Well…

This is one of the blogs for Pajiba.com’s annual Cannonball Read, a challenge to read a book every week for a year and write a review of each one of those books for perusal by the members of Pajiba.  All the real information is here.

But this is my (Fofo) hub for this delightful pastime.  While the blog is going up late, I have already started reading and wrapped up Iain M. Banks’ Use of Weapons on Sunday so a review on that is forthcoming.  Wish me luck!