Friday, 24 May 2013


Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.

The BBC is only showing highlights on the TV, but I'll probably listen on the radio.  I'm sure I'll do other stuff while I listen, as Monaco is not traditionally the most exciting to watch on TV.

It was the race I went to a few years ago with my family and I really enjoyed it while I was there, but it can produce some dull races on TV.  The problem is that it's incredibly difficult to overtake and of course fi you can't overtake then it's just everyone following each other around or you have to rely on clever tyre and pit stop strategies, which are okay but not very exciting to watch.

This year the tyres seemed to be very short lived so that could mean it will be more interesting or it could make it pretty chaotic.

It's also the bank holiday weekend.  As I posted the other day I'm pretty much skint until I get paid, which won't be until next week proper, so I'll not be doing much.  Indeed I have lots of anime on Blu Ray I need to watch, because it's all on e-bay about to be bought by people, so that's my weekend sorted.

In other news I've not heard anything from Customs about the parcel charges.  I've a horrible feeling I will have to pay the full fines once I've gotten paid and then have to try again to claim it back.  That won't help my finances any!  But then it'll be even more expensive if it gets sent back to Japan and I have to pay for it to be imported again.

Thursday, 23 May 2013


I've been watching some anime.

I know - shock revelation, what with it supposedly being one of my hobbies and all, but it’s been a long time since I really watched any anime.

I therefore thought I might revive my mini reviews:

attack on titan

I've read several volumes of the manga and basically enjoyed it.  The artwork is a bit rough around the edges and the story is all over the places, but I quite like it despite those.

It kind of goes without saying that the artwork in the anime is much better, but it is actually of quite a high standard.  They've also done a lot to smooth out the story - it's less 'high energy' because of that, but it also makes it easier to follow.

My only real criticism would be that the gore has been toned down - a lot happens off camera - and really it's this that's one of the key aspects of the manga: when the characters are whining about how scared you are, in the manga you've seen their friends be eaten alive, but in the anime you know it happened but didn't actually see how horrible it was, so you don't quite feel the same way.

But that's a fairly minor gripe - it's still worth watching.

flowers of evil

I've only actually watched 3 episodes of this.

It's drawn quite a bit of flack as it's actually rotoscoped.  I've never really been a fan of rotoscoping.  I think it's okay here, but I think much of what it brings could have been achieved with traditional animation.  Indeed, I think a lot of what people have been complimenting that they think the rotoscoping is the reason for is actually more to do with the sound design.  The sound is really creepy - there's a lot of bits that really ramp up the tension and atmosphere.

But the reason I've not really watched more than 3 episodes is I find he characters a bit annoying.  It also seems very unrealistic - and I think this is actually made worse by the rotoscoping.  You know it's been acted out in real life, so it's like a drama someone has drawn on, but it's therefore a very unrealistic drama.

gargantia on the verduos planet

I think this might actually be my favourite of the season.  It's certainly the most proper science fiction of the shows I've watched.  I like the premise, the plot and the characters and I think it looks great and has been done really well (it is a Production I.G. series, after all).

If I was pushed to make one criticism it's that it could have moved a bit swifter - there were some bits that could have been chopped out to move things along a lot quicker.  But even during those bits the show is entertaining enough.  Oh, and I suppose the fan service it has is a bit unnecessary too; given the overall SF nature of the show it can feel a little out of place.

majestic prince

I have to say my interest in this one has waned a bit over the course of watching it.  I think a part of this is that it's been quite samey.  I am actually a bit puzzled that this was listed as having 24 episodes where Gargantia was listed as having 13 as I'd have said the longevity of the two series feels the other way around (but not sure where I saw these listings so I don't know if they're true).

Another problem I had was that in the first few episodes I had the feeling that the show was actually a bit of a parody, or at least that it was making a few knowing winks at the story itself, but as the episodes have gone on I've felt this much less.

I did actually think it bore a resemblance to shows like GaoGaiGar - certainly the bad guys are the same sort of bonkers OTT bunch.  However, GGG had the advantage of a proper giant robot and a real sense of fun.  This tries to be a bit more serious than it needs to be to work properly.

Although saying that it could have worked if it had gone the other way.  I mean, I think the main characters are meant to be kids who have had their memories wiped so they don't remember their families or anything, but it doesn't really examine how dark this is.


It's difficult to hate shows like this.

Yuyushiki is one of those girls in clubs shows like K-ON, only in K-ON the girls are meant to be in a music club but actually spend their time doing nothing, where in yuyu their club is basically searching the internet.

I dunno, as an example of the genre it's perfectly fine and I enjoy it, but it's hardly ground-breaking stuff.

This isn't all the stuff from this season; but it's the ones I liked the look of.  I might try sampling the other series from this season across the Bank Holiday weekend to see if they're worth watching.

I've also watched some stuff I bought (I was kind of forced to, because it's on Blu-Ray and, as my post earlier in the week said) I need the cash from selling them on e-bay.  I'll talk about those in another post.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


I am skint.

And I mean skint.  I can't currently afford to buy petrol for my car, which will need filling up on Friday.  I have exactly £11 worth of electricity on the meter and this won't last long enough if I have to turn the heating on, which seems likely given the way the weather is just now.  I'm even wondering what I will have to buy grocery-wise (food and toiletries, etc) and what I can put off until I get my next pay cheque.

That next pay cheque will turn up next week, but it will be kinda critical when it turns up.  I have a Direct Debit coming out on Wednesday for £110.  I don't currently have £110.  I should be getting about £100 for stuff I currently have on e-bay, but as with my pay cheque, there's no guarantee people will pay straight away.

If not I will have to use my other overdraft (my HSBC one is already maxed out).  I certainly don't have anything in my savings account I could transfer over.

I've even been toying with the idea of taking out one of these short-term cash loans.  I kinda know that would be lethal, though.

I have been taking steps to correct the holes in my finance, but the problem again has been the whole stag-do, wedding and Dad's PC combo, which has proven to be quite the

Indeed, I was making quite good progress and was getting to the stage where I wasn't having to use as much of my overdraft and the credit cards were starting to come down.  However, these recent events have wiped out that "breathing room" I had built up.

What I need to do is get more stuff on e-bay, but I've kinda reached a point where I have to watch/play/read the things I have in order to sell them.  In particular the stuff I could rip and flog has pretty much run out.

Well, that's not quite true - I've a lot of stuff I could sell, but I've a feeling most of it will fall into the "more expensive to sell than I will get back" category.  The few things I think might be worth a significant amount are kinda crossing a line - like selling your car to buy petrol :/.

Of course what I really need is a job that pays me a wage that's appropriate for my skill and value.  But then that's a whole other story.

Monday, 20 May 2013


It was Eurovision this weekend.

As per usual it took me somewhat by surprise.  For some reason I have it in my head that it is held later in the year.  I think this might be because the Eurovision's I mainly remember watching were either as a kid or as a Student and in both my memories are largely of it being warm and late light (the student ones often involved drinking).  Therefore in my head Eurovision is associated with summer.

Anyway, this year was okay.  It was held in Sweden and was much more "traditional" in the sense that they hadn't gone mega bonkers with the whole thing.  A lot of the Russian satellite states (who had quite a string of wins when they all joined and only voted for each other) seemed to get into a bit of a staging war, with ever bigger productions.

Sweden just put it on in a reasonably-sized hall with a single presenter on a fairly basic stage with a basic presentation.  Really it's about the songs, after all.

The songs were genuinely of an okay standard this year.  There were only a couple that stood out with Eurovision-weirdness, and this was mainly in the staging, rather than the songs themselves.

I thought the winner was okay.  I got a bit mixed up with what was meant to be the favourite, but I think a perfectly okay pop song won in the end.  Although I would have liked something like Greece to have won, as there's was more fun and definitely more memorable.

The UK did poorly, as has become the norm in recent years.  There is obviously the Balkan effect nowadays, but to be totally frank it was another largely forgettable and uninteresting song.

Just recently they seem to have decided the best tactic is to have a 'star' name sing the song, but a star name from the ancient past.  Last year it was Bacharach and this year Bonnie Tyler.  I'm puzzled by this approach - isn't it mostly youngsters (or at least families) that watch Eurovision?  So what youngster knows Bonnie Tyler from Adam?