(And why it could be the last)
I’m not feeling terribly motivated to cover this subject these days. It’s not the lack of readers (I assume you’re all spammers, bots, and hackers, leaving the actual reader count at 0), it’s the lack of subject matter. Waves of figures are released more and more infrequently, with anything other than launch waves released in quantities so small that you have a window of two or three days to find them before they’re gone forever. It’s gotten to the point that Toys R Us employees commiserate with me for no apparent reason. Do I really leave there empty-handed that often?
Yeah, I guess I do. Why even bother looking if there’s no chance of finding something to buy? I don’t even bother with Wal-Mart anymore, they’re stopped carrying so many toy lines that it’s not worth it. Well Target, looks like it’s just you and me, and I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be in this game. As insurance against my impending disinterest, I’ve split my annual recap into quarterly recaps so that I only have three months worth of material at most to finish off when I throw in the towel. The awards are still annual, if I make it that far. And now, The First Quarter of 2012: Waiting for Restock.
I considered blacking my web sites out today, but since I was the only person likely to visit them and I don’t need to be convinced that SOPA is a very bad idea, it seemed rather pointless. Instead, I thought it would be more productive to summarize why SOPA and legislation like it is a bad idea. The argument boils down to three main points:
1. Overly broad powers to block (censor) content are almost certain to be abused by government and/or corporate entities.
2. Altering the technical underpinnings of the Internet for political reasons without understanding how they work is likely to cause major problems for the flow of data, regardless of its perceived legitimacy. This, however, is likely to be routed around, leading to the third point:
3. Any effort to stop piracy with legislated technical measures is likely to be rendered ineffective by pirates almost instantly and will only inconvenience legitimate users (see also: Macrovision, CSS, etc.).
2008, 2009, 2010… Why I keep doing this is anyone’s guess. It’s been a frustrating year, with distribution (or lack thereof) making it difficult for grown men to spend money on toys. As the stores try to recover from yet another holiday shopping stampede, here’s a look back at 2011 in a meager 15,000 words (if you’re the TL;DR type, FO;DC).
Yes, that’s the actual title, though I’m sure they meant Awakening of the Trailblazer. For a franchise that can’t sort out whether the name of the main bad guy in the TV show is Ribbons or Reborns (among other names with multiple official translations), it’s actually remarkably close to something intelligible. Is it too much to ask for Bandai to spring for an English language consultant or two?
So here we have it, the big finish, a movie about “the dialogues to come” that have been hinted at with the subtlety of, well, pretty much everything on this show. Seriously, the writers don’t know the meaning of the word. Do they have an equivalent term in Japanese? So yeah, aliens. Finally, this is where the plot kicks in, right? Not so fast.
2008, 2009, and now 2010. This year marks my tenth year since getting back into toy collecting, so screw the whole “when does the decade begin/end” argument, I’m going with 2001-2010 as my arbitrary decade boundaries. As such, here are a bunch of decade awards, mostly having to do with Transformers, since everything else has been a diversion during the times when the Transformers line has sucked. Much of this is just an excuse to rant about petty perceived injustices over the last ten years. The rest is a bunch of random text cleverly disguised as something with a point to it. Links are provided where appropriate; more links may be added at a later date.
2008, 2009, and now 2010. This year marks my tenth year since getting back into toy collecting in one form or another, so screw the whole “when does the decade begin/end” argument, I’m going with 2001-2010 as my arbitrary decade boundaries. As such, I will throw in a bunch of decade awards, mostly having to do with Transformers, which has been the only real constant for me over the past ten years. Links are provided where appropriate; more links may be added at a later date.
On October 1, 2010, Ngee Khiong shut down his blog covering upcoming anime product announcements. His reason wasn’t a lack of time or interest, but an inability to put up with all of the bullshit in the fan community. It wasn’t an easy decision, but his lengthy explanation gave numerous examples of supposed “fans” shitting all over a guy who was just trying to share his passion with the world, expecting nothing in return. All of this was a total shock to me, since I only knew of him through his blog, which stands as one of the most complete and impartial sources of niche product news that I have ever seen. The very idea of this guy getting dragged into flamewars or rallied against or behind in fanatic crusades is absurd, and yet that is the reality. I certainly can’t find fault with his decision, though the Gundam fan community will be worse off without his blog.
Four years after the Gundams brought the world together by pissing everyone off (That was the mysterious hidden agenda? The most obvious possibility?), people in the military have used popular support to crush all resistance and impose their will on the world (yes, it’s the Titans all over again). And the Gundams are back to fix things after realizing that their actions royally fucked the world. Most of the characters who were left for dead at the end of Season 1 are back again, except for one Gundam Guy who is replaced by his essentially equivalent brother. The gang is back together again for another round of pointless giant robot mayhem in snazzy new matching uniforms! (And the uniforms are conveniently made a size too small for anyone with breasts too large for the animators to draw realistically, so no attempts at fanservice this time around.)
Let me preface this by saying that I’m more than just a casual Gundam fan. I suffered through all of Wing (heck, I have it on DVD along with just about everything else released in Region 1), I’ve read a few of the manga series (well, the beginnings at least, they never seem to get finished over here), I’ve built tons of the model kits, etc. I even have Japanese Gundam postage stamps (thanks, Makiko). I’m sure I would have even visited the themed restroom (well, one of them at least, maybe the other one if nobody was looking) in the Gundam Cafe if I had ever been in the area (or at least anywhere closer to Japan than New Zealand). So why the hell can’t I get into this show?