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Monthly Archives: March 2008

Sakura-con 2008 impression

*sigh Youtube is still logging me out. Oh well, I’ll start my impression of Sakura-con 2008.

This is my first time attending a convention like this. Overall, it was awesome! It’s amazing how many people came. What’s even more amazing is the dedication of the otakus in the US, and the amazing cosplay costumes.

1st day: I pre-registered, so going to pick up my badge on the first day was pretty quick and the line wasn’t bad at all. Opening ceremony was okay, but it was running late, thus delaying other panels/events too. Ali Project Panel was so so. The questions were not great, but it’s fun seeing the drag queens. They’re hilarious. Next to Penny Arcade Q&A session. I love their comics, but never see them in person. It’s great to finally see them. The questions were so so, but it’s great to hear their favorite things (mostly video games). Alas, I was expecting more info on their upcoming game, other than “It’s done.” Lastly Scandal autograph session. No raffle tickets, contrary to the poster posted outside. Line was long, and it went over the specified time, but I got my autographs and picture. =)

2nd day: Missed the Scandal panel. =( Went to a workshop about making a website. Disappointed. Knowing that many anime fans are students where money is not in abundance, I was hoping the workshop will show tools that are freeware and/or open-source. First thing I saw when I walked in was Dreamweaver on the screen. Sure enough, the next recommendation is Photoshop, another expensive program, overkill for simply resizing pictures. Adobe’s programs are the industry’s standard, but Dreamweaver is like $400. When asked about alternative programs, the answer was notepad. Well, at least he mentioned a hosting/blogging service called theotaku.com. Nothing is mentioned about Apple’s iWeb, free website builder softwares, free picture editors (picasa, paint.net, GIMP), various free hosting services by yahoo and google, blogger.com, etc. I dunno, it seems that the workshop opportunity was wasted. Next was ketchup mania/Ali Project concert. Very long line, and it was running very late. The concert itself was great! Next was the cosplay contest. As shown in my video, the line was even longer! The skits were okay. Some were funny, but others were only so so. There were quite a few audio glitches. I liked the Hanakimi skit with Bambino reference, though I had a feeling not many people were familiar with those doramas. Had to leave early due to snow. Oh, dubbed shin-chan sux.

3rd day: I came on the 3rd day only to attend the second Slants/Scandal concert. The line was much shorter. The room was not even half-filled. The concert was great, and the floor was really shaking!

Rants:
-This is an anime convention. Although I don’t mind the crossover with comics (Penny Arcade) and games (Microsoft research was there having their own room!), I don’t see the point of vendors selling Chinese movies. Nothing against Chinese movies, but I don’t see the correlation between that and anime, other than Hong Kong making a lot of anime bootleg DVDs.
-The staff need to at least learn to pronounce Japanese properly, especially if they’re the announcer (“How do you say Clannad?” Oh please).
-Another reminder to myself that US dubbing sux. (shin-chan, xxxholic).

Things to do for next year:
-Buy a digicam with at least 10x optical zoom and support for SDHC for taking pictures in concerts, and taking videos. My Canon SD700IS with 4x optical zoom without SDHC support (max SD card I could use is 2GB) just didn’t cut it.
-Pay more attention to the schedule. I didn’t realize there was a para para panel until a couple minutes ago! =(
-Maybe do a cosplay too! =D

Funny stuff: The guy selling yaoi doujins was hilarious! He’s shouting “Boys on boys action” and “It’s orgasmic!” Good thing Jack Thompson wasn’t here. LOL

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Pika pika yukai

Well, while youtube kept logging me out whenever I want to upload a video, I stumbled upon this. Very cool!

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2008 in dance, hare hare yukai, pika, pikachuu, pokemon

 

Sakuracon 2008

 
 

Crayon Shinchan

Just watched the dubbed version of Crayon Shinchan at Sakuracon 2008. It belongs to the worst dubs together with digimon. Why? The word “Funimation” should give you a hint.
1. They localized it. How idiotic. Yeah, let’s pretend that Shin-chan is living in the US. This is what I really hate about US dubs. I mean what’s wrong for the anime to be placed in Japan, like it is originally? I mean what’s wrong with Japan? Why do they have to Americanized every dialog?
2. They bastardized the dialogs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Crayon Shin-chan is a kids show in Japan. The US dub version has Shin-chan talking about Viagra, meth, drugs, etc. I mean WTF? Another point that US dub is simply moronic. Yeah, I know that the original jokes might not translate well into dub. So JUST SUB IT! The Japanese Shin-chan is so funny because it’s a kids show. The dub completely ruins it by completely bastardized the dialogs into crap.
3. The censored it. Yup, even though they pretend Shin-chan to be an “adult” show by putting crap in the dialogs, they still censor it. WTF? I guess in the US, no humans have genitalia. Either that or Funimation thinks all Americans are pedophiles. Oh well, even the US government thinks every US citizens as pedophiles, so I guess it’s second nature for a company based in Texas.
4. Of course, after all that, don’t expect the original song to be intact. Nope.

And they wonder why people are doing fansub. Let’s see if we are even going to get the crossover between Shin-chan and Kamen Rider Den-O.

 

iTunes: Eurobeat Heaven

Simply awesome. iTunes is becoming a Eurobeat heaven. I mentioned earlier that Eurobeat labels like Hi-NRG Attack, and Delta. Now Vibration. The problem with iTunes that it is hard to discover Eurobeat unless you’re actually searching for it. Do a search for “para para classic,” and you’ll find the Vibration albums. Crappy covers (looks like it’s drawn by a kid), but awesome tracks.

C’mon A-Beat-C and SCP! It’s inevitable!

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2008 in eurobeat, itunes, vibration

 

iTunes + Eurobeat?

Who would ever guess, iTunes, a music service from the US, is becoming a Eurobeat heaven. More and more Eurobeat tracks that are previously only available in Japan are released on iTunes. 1st, there was Hi-NRG Attack. 2nd, Delta joined in. Now, NRJ Mania. Do a search for Eurobeat Masters for Delta albums, and Eurobeat Super Collection for NRJ mania. The Eurobeat Super Collection contains extended version of tracks found in Europanic! series, a compilation series released only in Japan back in 2000-2001. 99c DRM free tracks are much cheaper than $30-$40 per CD imported from Japan. I can’t wait for A-Beat-C and SCP to join iTunes.

 

Stereophile: MP3 vs AAC vs FLAC vs CD

Original article.

Just another “audiophile” ranting about compressed music for not being CD quality. So how did he show it? By using graphs. I’m sorry, but last time I checked, I (and most normal human beings) listen to music using my ears, not my eyes. My guess is the author just find out about frequency response graphs. There are proven methods to compare sound quality using double-blinded test (most commonly called ABX test). Did we see any sort of listening/ABX test in the article? Of course not. Because that will show that many people cannot differentiate the sound quality between CD and a compressed version (MP3, AAC, etc), not the author’s agenda.

Several quotes:
“sonically compromised, lossy-compressed music on it.”
Well, I don’t see any listening tests to proof that lossy-compressed music are “sonically compromised.”

“all compressed file formats, both lossless and lossy, effectively have zero data redundancy, they are much more vulnerable than uncompressed files to bit errors in transmission.”
WTF is he talking about? Bit errors transmission? What the hell? Might some audiophile technobabble. Again, despite of the frequent usage of graphs, I don’t see him proving this “bit errors in transmission,” whatever that means.

The only good thing about this article is the recommendation of lossless compression, which are useful in backing up your music. Oh well, if there are no people like this author (audiophiles), then manufactures like Bose or Monster Cable would be out of business. Think about the people loosing those jobs… Oh, and don’t forget those $5000 cables.

Moral of the story, instead of buying these kind of magazines, go to HydrogenAudio and learn about listening tests, ABX, and the facts about audio compression.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2008 in aac, audiophile, cd, mp3, sound quality, stereophile