tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse

Stretching is good

As you’ve probably noticed by now I’ve made the layout a bit wider, mainly so that the comment threads don’t get squashed smaller and smaller as more people reply. They still get compressed, but now it’s not nearly as much of a problem.

I’ve also added a new banner, which if anything emphasises my lack of creativity in coming up with something that actually matches my blog’s colour scheme.

And er, that’s all I have to say, so in the meantime have my favourite ending theme from the ARIA series.

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One small step for Aria shachou

NASA officially declares that it has found water on Mars.

Now all we need is some gondolas, blue-eyed Martian cats and a few hundred years of terraforming and I think I’ll be ready to move there! :D

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All 13 episodes of ARIA the Animation, in one box set for $50, being released on September 30th. I approve of this news.

In other news:

School Rumble manga is finally ending

I thought the later chapters of the manga were rather lacking, and from what I heard it only seems to have gotten weirder from there (Tenma and Karasuma appear to have been shunted off to the side with Harima, Eri and Yakumo as the main characters).

I still have volume 1 of the manga on my shelf…after seeing how the rest of the manga turned out I kind of lost interest in completing my collection. Now that I know it actually has an ending, maybe I should reconsider.

Reminds me that I never did finish watching School Rumble Nigakki and Sangakki is around the corner…


More DVDs for me to buy!

Right Stuf International has picked up the first season of ARIA! The box set with 13 episodes ships on September 30th, and ARIA the Natural as well as the OVA will follow thereafter.

This series was arguably one of the best I’ve seen in the fast few years…I’m picking up the DVDs for sure.

I’ve also been buying the manga, and it’s good stuff. It was pretty interesting to find out that some episodes of the anime actually took material from the ‘prequel’ manga Aqua. The background artwork isn’t quite as nice as that in the anime, but the character artwork is top-notch.

I should probably review those too, at some point.

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I found something else on my doorstep!

Aria figurines, which I bought last year, but which only shipped a couple of weeks ago :P
(Yes, my webcam is shitty, although that has more to do with the fact that I don’t have any lights in the corner of the room where my PC sits)

I like them overall, although I think Alicia’s face is a little too chubby orz

Man, with all this stuff I’m buying I’m turning into Fat Cat Lim.

In any case, I have a few extras (it was a pack of ten) – Alicia, Akari and Alice, so if anyone wants one, let me know.

(yes, I have two Aikas…one with pigtails and one without. I’m willing to give someone the pigtailed version if they don’t mind the fact that I opened it already)

EDIT 2008/04/12: Replaced the photo with a better-quality one from my cell phone.

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A slice of heaven

I'm not sure when my tastes changed, but I seem to have become a great fan of the slice of life genre of anime.

The term is usually used to refer to a series with no real continuity or ongoing plot, where each episode is a series of vignettes from the characters' everyday lives, usually with some elements of humour sprinkled in. Many people I know can't stand this genre, and sometimes put this question to me: “How can you stand to watch a 24-episode show where nothing happens?” And truth be told, I don't have a good answer. The root of this fandom probably lies in the great Azumanga Daioh, which I watched way back in my first year at college. Since then, I've made it a point to check out new slice-of-life series as they've shown up on TV, and have thus managed to enjoy series like Sketchbook, Lucky Star, Honey and Clover…and most recently, Aria, of which the final episode aired this week.

Aria is an interesting thing. While most series tend to get worse as new seasons are announced (y halo thar You're Under Arrest), it has gotten better over its 65-episode run, and this final season in particular has proven to be absolutely wonderful. Its only real fault is somewhat inconsistent animation quality. And yet, it features no conflict, no action, no violence, nothing that would attract your average anime fan to watch it.

Perhaps it's just that I find myself able to appreciate the subtleties of the world of Aqua that Aria manages to express, both through its great atmosphere as well as its characters. It's a quiet, laid-back world, yet in spite of this its nuances are always enjoyable when they're revealed. The show is definitely character- rather than story-driven, and I can appreciate this too, since the characters are all very distinct and have their own loveable personality quirks (with a lot of hidden depth).

Anyhow, I guess my point is that if you're one of those people who doesn't mind watching a show without giant robots, epic battles or intense human drama, I heartily recommend Aria. There's a lot of it (65 episodes spread over three series) but if you're anything like me, you'll enjoy every moment of it.

…still can't believe it's over ;_;

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Aria the Origination episode 9.

I loved this episode to pieces.

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