Category Archives: Books

The Project Itoh Anime Movies and Reading Foreign SF

This summer hasn’t been kind enough to leave me with as much time as I’d like to watch/read/write about anime – with the passing of Labor Day and the gathering momentum towards winter, I’m not complaining, just explaining why it’s taking me almost two months to respond to a piece one of my favorite blogs wrote. The blog – Medieval Otaku – wrote back on July 25 this post: “Interest in Project Itoh: Empire of Corpses, Harmony, and Genocidal Organ”.  In it, he links to a very enlightening Youtube video and asks if anyone was interested in the noitaminA produced animated movies of Project Itoh’s books.

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The Sunshine Award – I Got Nominated For One of Those Blog Chain Letter Award Thingies But This One Is Pretty Cool So I’m Game

I wanted my next post to be about One Punch Man so I’d have all three of my stickied posts feature a screenshot from the show but Medieval Otaku nominated me for the Sunshine Award and … wait, I just had a good idea … continuing, Medieval Otaku is a great blog that I like to read. As a Roman Catholic, I enjoy reading a quality written blog that adds Catholicism into the mix of covering anime – I have never had the guts to do it much myself because I think I might have poor impulse control when discussing religion since we’d be dealing with something truly important (a person’s soul as opposed to anime) and I want my blog to remain a place that’s civil.

I also thought the questions were good ones so here we go …

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The Problem with Darker Than Black (and Many Other Anime)

The epic marathon reading of Brandon Sanderson continues – the latest to fall before my hungry eyeballs were the first two 1000+ page novels of The Stormlight Archive – which leaves The Alloy of Law as the last Cosmere universe novel I still need to read before being caught up.

Reading the various novels by Brandon Sanderson back-to-back like this focuses my attention on one of the parts to his writing that amazes me that might otherwise go unnoticed or under-appreciated. That is, how well he can create a magic system for each novel/franchise that is completely different from all his other novel/franchises, detail how it works, explore the societal and personal ramifications of this magic system, and show how the various characters can work around the limitations of the magic system to solve problems. This feat of writing excellence was on my mind as I recently finished Darker Than Black.

And not in a good way.

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Seven Question Book Questionnaire

Instead of apologizing for the lack of updates around here, I decided to use one of the reasons for my silence as fodder for a new post. This was made easy when I came across an entry on one of the science fiction blog/websites that I frequent that fit my situation perfectly. And since I’m being all meta right now, this upcoming summer season looks to be a weak one and I was starting to plan what I would do extra for The Null Set (maybe another round of anime quizzes, for instance) but I just received a letter saying that I’ve been picked for jury duty for the first half of July. This will not be conducive to spending time on a special project for The Null Set and might disrupt normal posting as well 😦 .

So, anyways, here’s my answers to a seven question ‘Book Meme’, found here.

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Book Reviews: Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis

Why does even the best laid plans seem to get thrown out the window so quickly? Right now I had hoped to be working on my year end anime posts (after finishing the seasonal one I have partly up) but I made the mistake of picking up one of the books I got for Christmas. This lead me to a second book and then to rereading Blackout by Connie Willis before reading All Clear, also by her.

I couldn’t put Blackout/All Clear down (each book was really half of a single novel, like LOTR); so, because I haven’t written about SF in a long while and because I think this novel has a much greater chance for non-SF readers to enjoy it then normal, I’m going to write my review up – hoping to convince someone from my huge readership (all couple dozen of you) to give this excellent novel a chance. 🙂

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Book Review: Samurai! and Putting Gurren Lagann and Kenshin in Perspective

Saburo Sakai

Subtitled: The Rise and Fall of the Japanese Naval Air Force by Saburo Sakai with Martin Caidin and Fred Saito

Every kid growing up seems to think they’re either extremely special, extremely plain, or extremely weird; I fell into the weird category. Almost from the moment I learned to read I sought books normally reserved for “adults”. By sixth grade that meant Tom Clancy novels like The Hunt for Red October, The Cardinal of the Kremlin and military history books. My focus eventually shifted onto greener pastures and I never picked up another book in either genre until just recently.

I had this book sitting around on my one bookcase for many months; it was a hand-me-down from my Dad, he thought I might be interested since I watch a fair amount of anime and am interested in learning more about the country and culture. I was slightly interested but this wasn’t the type of book I read anymore so I just let it sit there. Coming off a multi-day party at my sister’s house with people coming in from all over the state and featured lots of D&D, barbecuing, and fireworks over the Memorial Day weekend; I needed something to unwind on that didn’t require much effort and I decided now was as good as time as any to give Samurai! a chance.

When I finished reading Samurai!, I mentally kicked myself for not picking this up sooner and since I figure there’s probably at least a few people out there that would really enjoy this book as well, here’s my review.

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