Wild Moon Swings

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

RPG - D&D - GM - DM - Dang Them!

Last night I had a nightmare about role playing games. It was awful. I don't remember a thing about it except that I was frustrated ... which is the predominiating emotion whenever I think about role playing games.

When I play an RPG - it has to be a single player video game. Other than that, I can't play an online RPG or Dungeons and Dragons or something like that. I think they're a waste of time.

First when you role play with a manual, you have to make a character. It takes everyone two hundred years to make a character because everyone wants to be something cool. They can't just be an ordinary human and they have to come up with a weird character. And for some warped reason they feel like their actual identity is somehow connected to the character they create. Thus, no one is ready to start the campaign until after midnight. I don't like just hanging around. If we're going to play then lets play.

Next problem - it's almost impossible for to me to enjoy the story unless I'm the dungeon master. Otherwise, I have never been on an adventure that I thought was interesting or exciting. The last time I played a role playing game with a game master I literally fell asleep on the knee of the guy sitting next to me (lucky guy). However, it wasn't three a.m. It was the middle of the afternoon.

Now for online games - I almost think they are immoral. Anything that doesn't have a pause button is almost immoral in my mind. There is no way that a game should distract people from the important/pertinant things in real life. The second a game does this - I believe that it becomes immoral. I know that attitude makes me extremely unpopular with online gamers, but I don't really care. A single person can never understand the demands of family or the absolute rudeness of placing such a time consuming, unproductive, activity ahead of what's really important. If someone wants to do it, then they have to put it in perspective and if they can't then - it's just as bad as being addicted to crack or gambling. I know this has become a real problem in MANY families, and it's not a joke.

I've tried to play them and yeah - I think they're time consuming, unproductive and a terribly unnecessary strain on my typing digits.

Now, I may not be much of a gamer, but I like to play the occassional consul RPG. I think I play about one a year. That's lots considering that they take 50 hours or more to beat. In 2006 I played 'Final Fantasy VII: Derge of Cerberus', and in 2005 I played 'Magna Carta: Tears of Blood'. The further back I go, the more I've played. This year, I bought 'Final Fantasy XII' which is actually pretty boring. Vaan is such a loser; I can't root for him at all. So, to ease the pain I bought 'Drakengard II'. I hadn't played the first one, and I'm not very far into playing it, but I have to say that if 'Eragon' had turned out to have this plot instead of the polly-wolly-crappy one that it had - it would have been a good watch. However, 'Drakengard II' is rated M for violence and blood. So, none of the little boys who want to see 'Eragon' will be able to play it for another 10 years (assuming that 'Eragon' is only suitable for children under the age of eight). It's another story about a boy and his dragon - except these ones aren't panty waists and because it's rated M - they keep a kill count. And it's not like 'Lord of the Rings' with their '17, 18, 19'. You often kill over a hundred people in a single fight. Oh, well - at least they don't show any tendons ripping or rib cages splitting. It's just a little ketchup on the cobblestone.
I never played an M rated video game before - the ratings are a LOT harsher - but I think that's a good thing.

In conclusion - pause buttons rock!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Colour Wheel

Since I've had this blog, I've talked about what certain colours mean to me. I talked about red - the colour that I hate. To me it symbolizes the worst the female sex has to offer. I talked about orange - my colour of confidence. To me orange is the essense of empowerment. Today I thought I'd go over the remaining colours.

A long time ago I had a poster of a daisy surrounded by red roses in a vase. The caption reads 'Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful'. I have to point out that the daisy in this picture is absolutely shining and white, but for some reason yellow was the colour that stuck in my mind. The idea of the poster is that a woman's beauty should be unique. It discourages following popular trends in order to be everyone else's idea of beautiful and encourages young girls to find their own styles. But putting the exact intent of the poster aside, I always felt that there was an undertone to it that glamourized lighter beauties. During that time of my life, my best friend was a girl who was clearly a 'sunflower' type. So, whenever I saw the poster, I would have mixed feelings. I would feel the shackles of a consumer driven society fall off me in one case and in another I would feel sorta like I had a wedgie. With strict regard to only the colour wheel - I'm more like the red rose than probably any other flower.

When I was in my late teens and early adulthood, I used to say that my favourite colour was grey. No one believed me when I told them this. They thought it was just my natural contrariness coming out ... and maybe that's what it was. However, when it comes to style in my home and on my body - my tastes take a strong turn towards colourlessness. But there was one person who believed me. It was my very best friend. She was painting me a little ceramic frog (the kind that holds the scrubbers for your dishes) and she was contemplating what colour she ought to paint it. After some thought, she remembered how I love the absense of colour and painted it a light cream with blue-green spots. This is one of the my most treasured items. Someone who caters to my contrariness is definitely someone who loves me.

When I was about 13 I tried to start a club at school where the club members took turns making little trinkets for all the other club members. It was supposed to be a craft club. In order to differentiate between us, each club member had a colour assigned to them and the trinket made for them each month would always be their colour. One would think that a club like this would not be popular, but I had a lot of people sign up when I said that I was starting it. It didn't take long for all the colours to get used up. I think we even resorted to peach and some light and dark colours. In the end, there was no colour for me. I wracked my 13 year-old brain until I finally decided that I would be white. Because I was starting the club than I made the first trinket. I made plastic canvas bookmarks for everyone. I think I made another craft too, like keychains or something like that before I got annoyed that no one else was doing their stuff. The club disbanded because no one did any work, but me. But I'll always be the white one.

I always think of Indigo and Violet from 'Rainbow Bright'. Those were their names, right? I think purple is an extremely beautiful colour that has the power to be more beautiful than almost any other colour if used appropriately. I always thought that I would have liked to paint my bedroom purple, but when I went into a friend's room who had done it, I stood there and realized that it wasn't what I wanted. I wanted great purple sparklies and different tones of purple and splashes of gold and silver. What I like in purple is elusive. It's a real pity.

I don't think I have any other strong attachments to any other colours, so I'll have to sign off now. I'm a rare bug, aren't I?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Star Wars Remake

**Spoiler Warning**

I thought it was a little early to do a 'Star Wars' remake, but apparently, it wasn't ... as long as you dress everyone up like they're pretending to do a 'Lord of the Rings' knock-off. Well, that's what I thought 'Eragon' was going to be ... a 'Lord of the Rings' knockoff, but oops - I was wrong. They were ripping off 'Star Wars' this time.

Now I'd like to apologize to any fans out there if the novel is much different than the movie. But if they bare major similarity then it's impossible for me to be impressed that it was contrived by a 15 year-old. Yeah, a 15 year-old could have thought of this. They wouldn't even have to be a genius, but just someone with the stamina to write.

Okay, so the film starts out with our Princess Arya (not exactly a rebel princess, but working for the cause anyway) who's on a mission to get a key item from the evil king (isn't she a bit like Princess Leia who just stole vital information about how to destroy the death star?). So, once she's attacked by the Galbatorix's minions, she teleports the dragon egg away from the battle scene (Princess Leia getting R2D2 and C3p0 in an escape pod). Then she's captured by the head minion and taken back to their base for torture (exactly like Leia). She doesn't give in when tortured (just like Leia). Then the egg goes to a remote area where it is stumbled upon by a young boy with blond floppy hair (no insult to Mark Hamill - he rocks - and had WAY more personalty than this loser). Eragon (our floppy haired loser) is a young boy who lives with his uncle (like Luke). Once the egg hatches, he realizes it's signficance and goes out to find Brom - the last of the dragon riders (like Luke who goes after Obi-wan who happens to be the last of the Jedi when all the others were killed by Vader) because all the other dragon riders were killed by Galbatorix. Then Eragon's uncle is killed by an evil minion of Galbatorix (like how Luke's aunt and uncle were killed by storm troopers) and he has nothing left to lose except to go with a washed up old dragon rider in an attempt to make a difference with their dragon (except there were no cool bars full of wacky aliens). Okay, so they don't get to go to a bar, but they go to a villiage where they get a saddle for the Dragon (get transportation from Han Solo, except that we get no one as hot as Harison Ford). They're chased out of the town by Galbatorix's minions (so was Luke and Obi-wan). So, along the way Brom sort of starts teaching Eragon how to fight and how to use magic (just like Luke and Obi-wan practicing with the force). Then, Eragon has a dream about Princess Arya and he has to go rescue her (so, at this point, again there is less story than Star Wars, and we skip being captured by the death star and go straight to rescuing the princess). Eragon goes into the prison headstrong and is almost killed, except that Brom throws himself in the path of the spear that's headed towards Eragon and slain (just like Obi-wan, except less cool because Obi-wan was holding his own against Vader instead of being used as a disposable bullet like Brom). After that, we get introduced to the Han Solo character (except a guy with much less personality - he didn't even call one person 'Your Worship'). His name is Murtagh and he needs much less convincing than Han Solo to do what Eragon wants (makes things much simpler). So, then they meet up with the rebels and prepare for war. So, Eragon learned from Brom before he died that the only way to kill the Shade (Galbatorix's sorcerer) is to stab him through the heart (much less complicated than what Luke had to do flying up to the death star, but there is a target established that isn't impossible to get). Now since Eragon is the only dragon rider they've elimated the need to talk about other fighters (so, there's no Gold Leader and we start off rooting for only Eragon). So, Saphira is injured in the battle and you think there's no hope that Eragon will be able to win, but then he chucks himself off her back at the right moment and lands smack on the shade to stab him through the heart and he didn't even have to switch off his homing system, but I think you should be able to see how those two things are similar. Then the battle is over, Eragon is a hero and the movie's over.


On the plus side, who ever did the costumes was a genius - much more intelligent than the author of the screen-play. I don't think a chacter started talking when I couldn't finish their dialogue in my head. Oh, the dialogue was painful. Yeah - a 15 year-old could write something that cliche, but he might not have written the screen-play. Besides, I have to finish this off quickly before I turn into the comic book guy from 'The Simpson's'.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gokusen Drama

Last time I said that I was going to watch the J-drama for 'Gokusen' once I finished 'Goong'. Well, I finished 'Goong' and this week I watched the first season of 'Gokusen'. As you probably remember, 'Gokusen' is a manga, anime, and J-drama about a mafia princess who goes to teach school at an all boys school. That's the short version anyway.

The anime was relatively interesting, but only relatively. I thought that the art in it was pretty polly-wolly painful. I know I've said it before, but it looked shockingly like 'Bevis and Butthead'. The manga is the treasure. In the pages of the manga, an extremely interesting romance unravels between Yamaguchi Kumiko (our mafia princess) and Sawada Shin (one of her students). I promise, it's extremely tasteful and F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C. However, it's mostly left out of the anime, and I felt like it was completely left out of the J-drama. Honestly, I've read a lot of fanfic in which they pair Shin and Kumiko where the author says before they begin that their story is based off the drama (which included only a splattering of the original plot). I don't understand how they could get excited. Nothing happens between the two of them - nothing. There's a second season to 'Gokusen' where Kumiko starts working at a different school. Shin has already graduated and isn't in the second season at all - whoohoo.

The other thing was the kid they got to play Shin, how they dressed him up, how he acted and the lines they gave him. I know I shouldn't complain, but ... HOLY CRAP! That kid was NOT SHIN. Not even a little bit. I was actually able to buy a lot of the characters. The principal for instance was different than in the anime or the manga, but I found his performance totally charming (I thought he was one of the best characters). I was even able to buy Tetsu and Minoru - even though they were pretty different than in the anime or manga, but Shin ... it honestly hurt my heart. Everything that came out of his mouth was NOT Shin.

Basically, my verdict is - if you want to watch a light comedy about yakuza and high school life then go knock yourself out. I found parts of it really enjoyable, but I still maintain that the best part of 'Gokusen' is the romance that plays out between Shin and Kumiko and without it - the story is flat.

Oh, and just as a side note about 'Goong'. I really liked it. I found it a 100% satisfying watch. The manga was uncomplete, so they had to find a way to finish the drama. The ending of one plot arch was plotline was nice, but the ending of another one was not. It seemed like a cop-out. It's not like it matters much - they had to end it somehow and they might as well go that way as any other. Except there's one problem with it that has to do with the manga. The ending that they supply in the drama is not possible in the manga. They added an extra character part way through the drama and I sat there and wondered why. Then at the end I was sitting there going, 'Okay. If they want to."

I learned another thing about all this. I have become really lazy watching anything in Japanese. I had no idea that I was so lazy, but I am. I thought that I was a pro subtitles reader because of all the anime I watch. It's not true - it's only because I'm familiar with the language now and recognize words. When I was watching 'Goong' in Korean, sometimes they would have the Korean words spelled out at the bottom and I couldn't even identify what the actor was saying that translated into those letters. Seriously, I had to work so hard to watch 'Goong' compared to 'Gokusen'. As soon as Kumiko started talking I totally went from 'crouching tiger' mode to 'Hobbes lying in a sunspot'. Oh, easy Japanese! I was home.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Goong Drama

Okay, so my last post was about the manhwa for this series. So, I was a little curious about the drama. One of the most respected Escaflowne author's on fanfiction.net said that she was hopelessly addicted to Korean dramas. Well, I didn't want to start out with a story that I was unfamiliar with so I decided to start with 'Goong' instead of 'Gokusen' (that one has a Japanese drama to go with it). Maybe I'll do 'Gokusen' next week.

Anyway, I found this great website where it's really easy to find subbed Japanese and Korean drama. www.silentregrets.com

So, right now I'm on episode 11 and I'm really surprised at what goes into making a manhwa a drama. That must be a lot of work ... but at the same time the idea of working on the adaptation screenplay makes my mouth fill with saliva. That would be SO MUCH FUN! Since dialogue is my specialty, I just get all gooie thinking about it.

I'm also impressed with how different it is from English language T.V. Not that I should necessarily compare one piece of asian cinema with the bulk of ours. But the lighting seems to be a trifle more like stage lighting than what we use - even for soap operas. It's sort of like 'Absolutely Fabulous' in England. And when these people go through the trouble of getting extras - they show them. And I mean they really show them. What would normally be a shot worthy only a couple seconds in our world - they take minutes to film - showing the extras and sweeping landscapes. Also, I noticed that there is considerably less dialogue than in our stuff. Instead, people are silently thinking and their facial expressions are what you must read in order to understand. In english language stuff, we tend to make the characters talk to someone about their feelings, even if they are denying them. Also, the episodes in this drama seem long. T.V. shows here are probably only 45 minutes long with 15 minutes for commercials. I didn't realize how indoctrinated in that I was until I started watching 'Goong' and I realized that the episodes (with no commericals) were probably over an hour each.

Now I'll talk about how the plot is advancing and the adaptation. There were lots of aspects to this story that would undoubtably occur in real life, but might not seem like such a big deal in the manhwa world. For instance, our hero (Shin) is constantly being teased by his friends in the drama about how awful it is for him to be forced to marry a commoner. In the manhwa, his friends welcomed ChaeGyung like it was great to have her. Anyway, I thought this part of the drama was very well played out. Now as for how the plot is advancing. I'm not going to lie to you, so I'll admit that I'm used to something with more horns than this. Meaning, I think they could cram at least an episode and a half into each episode's time slot. It's those big sweeping shots of the extras that take up the time.

Anyway, I'm enjoying the experience. Go to the silentregrets and find something fun to watch - lots of it looks cute.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I've said before that I like Korean manhwa. This post is about 'Goong' (literally means palace). This is the story of an ordinary high school girl who has to marry the Seja (crown prince) of Korea (totally fictional - they sorta don't have a monarchy anymore). Anyway, the reason is that their grandfathers made a promise that they would marry. You would think that this would be quite fantastic and that the fun of marrying a prince would be 'Disney Magic!', however, it's not. The personal consequences and trouble that our herione face because of her marriage to this guy seem very accurate - as in, it would be a gigantic pain in the butt. She's seventeen and she can't live with her family or see them often. I know most 17 year-olds probably think that they'd cope marvelously, but I know that they wouldn't if they're used to living at home. She lives in her own palace (without anyone else living there who isn't a servant) and spends all her time either studying for school or for palace decorum. Suddenly, everyone is in her face and she doesn't get to do any of the normal things that a highschooler would get to do; like kiss a boy she likes, learn to drive a car, or go on her first date. And she's got this problem - she likes Shin (seja). It causes her no end in trouble.

I really like this story. I can't wait til it's licenced and printed and ready to purchase.

I love it when someone takes a traditionally generic sappy story that's geared at making people feel all fuzzy and transforming it into reality. The princexprincess theme is one that specifically grates on my nerves, too. So, this story is definitely special.

The only thing I have to complain about is the way the author depicts relationships with other nations. Maybe I don't know a lot about that sort of thing, and it seems like the author maybe didn't know a lot about it either. The only country they have any dealings with in this is England (one of the few countries left with a monarchy and I think that's the reason), but I would have been happier if they showed the interaction the royal family had with a government that had only elected officials. I think I would have found that a lot more satisfying. Naturally, I'm opposed to any system where the officials are not elected and of the glamourization of politicians. Al this is really meaningly though - background information that is completely unnecessary to the plot.

They show the cover for all 12 books, but I can get ahold of the final chapters, so I don't know how it ends. I'm excited though - tingling all over actually.