Friday, February 28, 2014

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: La maison en petits cubes

La maison en petits cubes

Official Site: Japanese
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video: Crunchyroll (Subscribers only)

For a while, I had planned on spotlighting the 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Animated Short Film, La maison en petits cubes (Tsumiki no Ie), as this month's Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick, as the 2014 Academy Awards are this weekend. Unexpected, however, were the nominations of Hayao Miyazaki's final(?) film, The Wind Rises, and Shuhei Morita's Possessions for Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short, respectively, which makes this selection all the more timely.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - "On the Fifthteenth, or Fourteenth, Day of the Winter Olympics, Sochi Gave to Me…"

--Filip Flisar (Slovenia, ski cross) = epic mustache

--Didirk Bastian Juell (Norway) = epically big air

--The ladies' long program skate was no more short on surprises than the short program. Actually, it may have been even more so…to an extent.

--The night, though filled with very fine performances, was also bittersweet on some levels. The final outcome was both a surprise and not…

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - Days 13/12 - 14/13 (**Not to be Read as 1 1/12 - 1 1/13**)

For the slightly confused, the larger date number is my convention ("Day 13", which counts Feb. 6 as "Day 1"), and the lower one is the (*deeply, deeply flawed*) "official" designation ("Day 12", which counts Feb. 6 as "Day 0" (oh, you sad folks…)). In all, it's just code for "Feb. 18-19".

Now, that said…

Day 13/12/Feb.18

--Paul-Henri de le Rue (France) may have up short for the bronze, but knowing that he was in an induced coma a month ago, fourth in an Olympic final in an unpredictable event like snowboard cross must still be some slice of victory, however thin…

--Without context, you'd likely think that Alex Deibold (USA) earned the ire of some upset snowboarders. Funny…

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - Sure, They May Say It's "Days 10-11", But Somewhere Else In The World, It's "Days 11-12"…

 I mean, right?

Day 11? Day 10?

--Every cross-country distance ski event is an exercise in torture, plain and simple…

--Although, to be perfectly honest, I would love to see them compete in a swirling blizzard with low visibility…

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - Day 10 or Day 9…Whichever…

As of Feb. 15, a little over a week since Sochi 2014 Olympic Games started, and for all of the overblown budgets, questionable construction projects, the weather (which still played role), and the politics, this has been a pretty enjoyable and successful Olympics, thus far. The athletics have been high, there have been few, if any, controversies, the athletes appear to be enjoying themselves, and the officials have been trying hard to deal with the effects of hosting a (relatively, and sometimes literally) warm Winter Olympics, who have earned high marks from the participants.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - I Call It "Day 9", You Call It "Day 8"…

February 14, a.k.a. Flatland Valentine's Day, may have been the Day of Love, but it was also a day of lovely sports action *ugh*

--After the some (very) fine skating from the individual male skaters in both the team skate and short program, most notably from record breaker Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) and three-time world champion Patrick Chan (Canada), I was expecting an exemplary battle and display of skating prowess from them and the rest of the field. Instead, it was a rather tepid affair, maybe part nerves, part fatigue from back-to-back nights of competition (previous Olympics featured a day of rest in between). I was expecting to be wowed by Hanyu, based on his work thus far in Sochi, but he skated to a proficient, but also somewhat bland, long program, which saw two inexplicable falls.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - Day 8, or Day 7, Your Pick…

The Sochi 2014 Olympics. February 13. As according to HD…

--Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan) channeled some of that team skate goodness into a great, record-breaking short program. Just the kind of start you'd want to see out of someone who looked the way he did in that prior event. Unfortunately…

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - The Site Says, "Day 6", But My Heart Says, "Day 7"…

Sure, says that the Olympics "began" on Day 0, but why's that? I could get prelims not really counting, but since the actual team skate competition began that day, that should really be "Day 1". Is this going to turn into a "Year 0" argument, now? I mean, if zero means "nothing" did that day really exist? And when you really look at it--

[rest of post deleted]

All that said, here were the various thoughts and observations for Day 7 (for us rational thinkers) / Day 6 (crazies):

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - Days That Lie Somewhere Between 4 & 6…Or Is That 5?

Be it Day 5 or 4, Feb. 10 churned out a great day of Olympic action!

--The men's 500m speed-skating final was certainly something. First, the Netherlands' Ronald Mulder posted the fastest time in the medal run. Then, his identical twin brother, Michel, bested his time, leaving Ronald to sulk on the bench with his head down in his hands. Right after that, fellow countryman Jan Smeekers topped his time, and Michel was left to sulk on the bench with his head down in his hands. Ten seconds later, however, Michel's time was adjusted, and instead of hitting the time he needed exactly, Smeekers was now off by 1/100th of a second, leaving him the silver medal-winner and a re-delighted Michel Mulder the gold medalist (with Ronald still with the bronze).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - Day 4/3

Before we dive into yesterday's proceedings, let's revisit the Opening Ceremony, but not because I liked it so much…

Day 2/1: The Opening Ceremony:: Reloaded

--So I understand that NBC removed content from the OC. Some of it important. Again. I was wondering what happened to the Olympic Oath…

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog - Days 1-3 (Or is that Pre-day-Day 2?)

As big a fan of the Olympics I have been--enough so to all but shun anime, boxing, and anything else I normally watch--I really have not had the time to get pumped up for either the London 2012 Summer Games or this most recent one in Sochi. Regardless, I somehow managed to watch more of the former than I thought I would be able to, but still never had any real chance to write about it, Twitter notwithstanding (and I was chomping at the bit on the (mind-numbingly stupid) subject of Gabrielle Douglas' (just fine) hair and the-sport-that-was-boxing-in-name-only). I may not have been able to develop the kind of connection I had wanted to with it, but it was a great Olympics, nonetheless.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

:random: From Super Bowl to Super Blowout:: Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Sinks Denver

I was originally going to post this on HardDoor's Facebook Page, but I thought what I had to write was going to be lengthy, so I am posting here on the blog itself.

When making my Super Bowl prediction, I had chosen the Seattle Seahawks to prevail over the Denver Broncos. I considered them to be the stronger team overall, enough so that I thought that a blowout would not be out of the question. That was strange to think on my end, but given the way the Seahawks' defense had played--from their swarming tactics and speed to the way they totally entrapped runners with their aggressive tackling and pulled them backwards (lessening yards gained), as opposed to tackling forward with their opponent's momentum (and, thus, giving them that extra yard for a first down)--and the potency of their offense (which had yet to operate on all cylinders, but had two weeks to gel and was getting Percy Harvin back), I thought they were a better team on both sides of the ball than their Denver was. The Broncos had Peyton Manning, to be sure, and some good aspects to their offense and defense, but I never considered them to be beyond a "very good" team, however their records. The numbers said they were impressive, but their level of play did not show me they were that outstanding.