Fanime and Computer Science

It’s probably been about three weeks or so since summer break started. I’ve had a pretty good one so far. I already accomplished a lot, I guess I could say. I’m watching more anime, I’ve been writing programs, I’m building a website, I’m blogging lol, and all at the same time I’ve been able to spend some time with friends and family.

Ash & Tifa
Me (Ash Ketchum) with a Tifa cosplayer

I’ll begin with Fanime. This year’s FanimeCon in San Jose was the first one I’ve ever been to, and I was pretty excited, and overwhelmed I suppose. I thought I was a real nerd, but seeing everyone at the convention in their awesome cosplays and such actually made me feel out of place. I hadn’t watched a whole lot of anime prior to the convention so my knowledge on everything  was pretty much non-existent compared to everyone else; there is no way I would be able to hold any kind of intelligent conversation with anyone there, but regardless I got used to the vibe after a while. I had my friends and cousin show up so we had fun walking around and seeing everything. I even had some fun watching the Stage Zero events; I kinda wish I participated in the cosplay drawing contest. By the way, I cosplayed as Ash Ketchum, and compared to all the cosplayers over at Fanime, I was pretty damn confident that my cosplay looked just as legit as everyone else’s!

Along with my going to Fanime and watching my friends graduate, I’ve written some programs already. Two of them were written in Java and they’re desktop apps that rename your directories/files in bunches for you (so you don’t have to do it manually for each directory/file), and one counts how many files of a certain format you have on your desktop. Now, especially for the first program, you might be wondering how useful that might be. Well, for those of you that watch anime, you have a lot of unnecessary junk written in the beginning and/or end of each file/direcotry name, right? That program is EXACTLY what it’s for. The only thing is, I have to modify my programs and turn them into interfaces rather than have them execute fully through text. After that’s accomplished, I hope I can publish them as apps that people can use so I can say that I’ve made some apps at some point in my life.

My Website
Current color scheme of our website

And together with those programs, I’ve been working on a website project for the past two weeks or so. This is the current look of the homepage, and as you can see there’s still a lot of work to be done. But it’s making progress! If any of you viewers would like to give any feedback on the color scheme and such, then feel free to comment (or those of you who link to here through my Facebook or Twitter, just message me :P). I would greatly appreciate a lot of feedback because in order for this website to be successful, it has to attract viewers (much like any other website). Also, ignore the black text please. That’s just there for testing purposes.

Having said that, it’s pretty much a website dedicated to video game reviews and guides written by me and a friend of mine, but there’s no content published as of right now. The website will even allow for gamers to interact with each other through forums and chat rooms, and watch video streams conducted by the administrators. At the moment we’re collaborating with each other to decide what designs, color schemes, features, etc etc would look good on our finished product. For individual projects, I’m developing the website (the design, and the client/server-side related stuff), and he is writing the content. Whenever this website is officially done, I’ll be sure to have a link to it on here. In the future, we may even allow for a section dedicated to anime discussion and reviews as well.

As far as updates go on the blog, be on the lookout for another anime review soon. I already made one for Angel Beats! as you probably saw, the next one will be a review on Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai!

Angel Beats! – Forever Cemented in Our Hearts

Angel Beats!
Credit: wikipedia

Anime: Angel Beats!
Producers: P.A. Works, Aniplex
Director: Seiji Kishi
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Episodes: 13

Now to shed some light on my anime background, I didn’t get into anime until about last year where I was bored as hell at home with nothing to do. I’ve watched a little bit here and there (like Pokemon and DragonBall Z), but it wasn’t until my cousin told me to check out the hottest release last summer, Sword Art Online, where I officially entered the infamous otaku phase. From there on out I checked out some anime, including Fairy Tail, Hunter x Hunter, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, and several other shows. And now, after exposing myself to the wonders of anime this past year, I’ve come to write my first anime review, which will feature arguably my favorite anime so far: Angel Beats!.

Before checking this out, I will admit that my standards in anime aren’t the highest since I’m just basically starting out and experimenting with what kind of anime interests me. But I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that this anime is definitely one that needs to be on your playlist at some point, if you haven’t watched it already.

The anime stars a wanna-be doctor, Otonashi, who wakes up to the site of a young woman by the name of Yurippe (Yuri for short), who is on heavy watch with a sniper rifle. With no prior memories of what happened to him before he woke up, he is immediately greeted with the request to enlist in her Battlefront in order to rebel against God and to fight against their main target: Angel. In her short spiel, Otonashi is informed that he is dead, and that he is now part of an afterlife in which no one dies, and that he must fight in order to ensure that he is not “obliterated.”

Indifferent and somewhat confused, he leaves without enlisting and walks toward Angel to announce that they are aiming a gun at her and to inquire about who she is. When she speaks, she supplies him with the same information that Yuri gave him about the world that he is now in, and what it means to be here. Now irritated, Otonashi demands Angel to prove that he is dead; and thus is struck by Angel with an artificial blade.

Further through the anime, we are introduced to the rest of the Battlefront’s members and witness some of their backstories about how each of them came to this afterlife. Consequently, we learn that the reason why they came to this afterlife was because each of them was unsatisfied or devastated with events in their prior life and thus possess lingering, self-defeating emotions prior to their death in the real world.

Through the events that transpire in this anime, I guarantee that you will discover several likeable characters thanks in part to their unique personalities and heart-breaking backstories. While there are many characters in the show, the show mainly focuses on the development of only half of the characters. Though this has been seen as a major flaw in the anime, it makes up for it by the emotions and feelings that we develop for each of the main characters.

The main thing that this anime does perfectly is entertain you. At times, you will laugh at the actions that your favorite characters take and the dialogue that they spit at each other. At times, you will even think to yourself about how stupid some of the characters can be at times. But, it’s a funny stupid.

And that’s not even the best part.

What really made this anime memorable to me was how it could easily reach out to your heart and make you feel sad for a particular event/character. Coupled with great writing and music composition to match the tone of each event, the anime evenhas the potential to make you cry. And I’ll tell you right now: if you don’t cry at any point in this anime, you’re one heartless individual.

As far as music goes, I’m not really one to ask about music. There are some songs in here that I particularly enjoyed, but I think it’s safe to say that you will enjoy some of the music on the basis that it you’ll be moved and may even be overcome with emotion; mainly because you’ll be reminiscing over the scenes that each song was matched with. And that’s another reason why I think this anime is so great. The music in here is memorable because of how well it tied in with the action in this anime, and because of that you won’t forget about either the songs or the events that took place in this anime.

Though one flaw of this anime is clearly outlined. This anime is short, and consequently the character development for some of the characters is completely non-existent. You probably won’t even care for some of the characters in this anime, and that could be particularly disappointing to some people. And since you can deduce bits and pieces of each character’s backstory, whether or not it was touched upon, you might even feel saddened that some backstories weren’t covered at all. But as I mentioned earlier, the build-up for each of the main characters, in my mind, makes up for the lack of character development for the second half of the cast.

In short, this anime is guaranteed to find a place in your heart. I don’t care what your expectations are, or how much anime you have watched in your life. Whether this is your first anime you’re looking to watch or your thousandth, you will not forget this show. With a fantastic pairing of music composition and writing, you will be thoroughly entertained and may even shed tears. At the end of the day, it is one anime that you should check out if you haven’t already, and I promise that most of you will even recommend this anime to another friend too.

Final rating: 9/10

Anime Queue: Revision #1

1. Hunter x Hunter
2. Angel Beats!
3. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
4. Tamako Market
5. Kokoro Connect
6. Suisei no Gargantia
7. Naruto
8. Psycho Pass

One down. Just finished Angel Beats! yesterday. I cried. That was probably the first time I’ve ever cried at an anime. A review will be up for Angel Beats soon, so be on the look out for that! I haven’t watched a lot of anime but I think it’s safe for me to recommend it to anybody. It’s only 13 episodes long, so definitely check that out. Also, my brothers have pushed me to finally watch Naruto, so I’m adding that on my Queue. I’ve also heard a lot about Psycho Pass, so I’ll be checking that out too.

Other updates:
I’m currently adding more content on the blog, but it’ll take me some time because I’m currently on a website project and I’ve been working on that too a long with this blog. If you’re a computer science guy, you can check out my program that implements Dijkstra’s Algorithm in the “Code” section of the blog :D. I’ve also finally gotten around to writing a brief summary about me and what I intend to do with this blog in the “About” section.

Anime Queue

In an attempt to expand my knowledge on anime, I’m looking forward to hopefully finishing the following anime in the next few weeks (maybe lol. I might not even touch a few of these in favor of some other anime):

1. Hunter x Hunter
2. Angel Beats!
3. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
4. Tamako Market
5. Kokoro Connect
6. Suisei no Gargantia

Not too much shonen here, as you can see. Gotta be open to everything! Reviews and discussion on each of these will come soon on the anime page. I’m currently on episode 10 of Angel Beats!, and I’ve gotta say that I’m pretty satisfied with what I’ve watched so far. The characters are really likable (Angel, Yui, Ooyama, the Vice President guy and Yuri are my favorite), and I love how it can be humorous and sad at the same time.

Anyways, just a short preview of my Angel Beats! review I suppose! Look out for an in-depth review of Angel Beats! and others in the next few days.

P.S. The blog is definitely gonna see a lot of improvements too. I’m just working with a basic foundation right now, it’ll definitely look a lot better as time rolls on.