A Few Thoughts on Springboard
A few of the TGWTG people have moved away from Blip.tv in favor of Springboard, a similar video hosting service.
… This has been a terrible development for me.
The phone line in/around my house is shitty. Terribly shitty. In the last two years, we’ve had the phone company out here to fix the same exact problem over a dozen times. They keep claiming that our issue has been resolved… but, that is not the case.
At the moment, my land line cannot make or receive phone calls and my DSL speed is crawling along at about 10% of what it should be.
When I have a low speed, it’s hard to stream videos. Even short ones require at least ten minutes of loading time, and if the video is longer than 6-7 minutes, the video won’t load more until I start playing. The playback speed is faster than my connection can load the file, and as a result watching a 20 minute video can take up to an hour. Sometimes longer.
I skirted around this annoying bullshit by relying on Keepvid.com. I’d download the video (after first loading it enough to play the ad, I want the producers to make money after all) and watch it from my hard drive so that I could view the work as intended. Keepvid does not support the Springboard platform, so as of yet… I cannot find a way to download the videos.
Since Sage and Lupa have hopped over to Springboard, I’ve been unable to watch their videos without wanting to break something. Every two minutes I have to pause it and wait 5 minutes for another two minutes to load.
This wouldn’t be a problem if AT&T would get off their nutsack and FIX MY GOD DAMNED LINE, but since I’ve been battling with them for more than two years, I feel this is unlikely to come to pass any time soon.
While I’m glad Springboard is offering my favorite producers better opportunity, it’s incredibly frustrating to not be able to enjoy their work.
Don’t Touch Junky Boy
Obscuuuuure anime song reference in that title, so don’t scratch your heads too much. It’s Engrish to begin with! Oddly enough, it’s not from ‘Junk Boy’.
I’ve already written about how Sage is one of my reviewer heroes, as I really identify with where he’s coming from in Anime Abandon. While Junk Boy is one of a handful of titles that Sage has reviewed that I haven’t seen (that Dracula crossover he did with Linkara was one that escaped me, for instance) … that isn’t what made the review so impressive.
Someone finally came out and beat the buttfuck out of Vic Mignogna with a baseball bat.
For those that don’t know, Vic Mignongna is very popular voice actor that is a fundamentalist Christian, a homophobe, and a hypocritical ‘straight-edger’. He lambasts his fans for drinking too much, claiming that he doesn’t… then gets shitfaced at the hotel bar and then feels up a couple of 14-year-olds cosplaying as characters he plays.
I have worked several conventions where he was a guest, some as a volunteer, other as straight-up con staff. He treats the staff like shit. He treats the volunteers worse. He only cares about you if you’re inflating his already bloated ego.
Worse yet, he happens to command a legion of fangirls the likes of which I have never seen. They’re generally 13-18 years old, and they seem to be carrying on some sort of weird vicarious romance with the characters he plays through him. It’s fucking bizarre. He has this weird hold on them… Like the Pied Piper leading the village children to slaughter…
And if any of you out there want to run to his defense, I don’t want to fucking hear it. The man told me, PERSONALLY, that I was going to burn in hell because of my homosexuality. And he didn’t say it with concern. He said it with that simpering self-righteousness that most Christians carry with them when they tell OTHERS they’re going to burn in hell.
He also has too many teeth. I know that’s not a good reason to dislike him, but it’s just another thing about him that annoys me.
Even his fellow voice actors have a low opinion of him, and he is often reminded by the companies he works for that he needs to stop preaching on company time. Make no mistake, conventions are company time.
Vic has gained quite the hate-following in the anime community, but as I said… he does command a disturbingly large fanbase. They will run to his defense at any opportunity.
Here’s the kicker: I don’t mind Vic’s voice acting. I think he did a good job as Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, for example. But I’ve come to associate that voice with so much negativity that it’s hard for me not to roll my eyes whenever I hear it come up in a dub.
Long story short: Sage? Thank you so much. For saying what I never could. With a baseball bat.
Wayward Otaku’s Lament (Also: Sage RULES)
In Sage’s review of Mezzo Forte, he takes quite a bit of time rattling off baseball stats for a joke about how such things go over most nerd’s heads. By the time the words ‘slugging percentage’ had come out of his mouth, I was practically salivating.
Because I was picturing what this star player could do for my team’s starting line-up. I have a 12 mile hard-on for baseball, and when Sage slips those kind of references into reviews? It’s fucking awesome. Oh, and his music nerd references too! I AM ONE OF THOSE FOUR PINK FLOYD NERDS THAT GOT THE JOKE IN THIS REVIEW.
Baseball and Pink Floyd aside, Anime Abandon is my favorite show of Bennett’s. I do like his style of reviewing games but I don’t often have time for gaming anymore, so it’s harder to appreciate those reviews. Like Sage, though, I am a bit of an otaku outcast. I’m one of the old-school 90s anime nerds that don’t quite fit in to the current otaku culture of k-pop and ‘moe!!’. Just about every single schlock title Sage has featured on Anime Abandon was part of my collection at one point. You new kids don’t understand, you bitch about a torrent not being up less than 24 hours after an episode airs in Japan. For us? Back in the day? We’d be lucky to come across a 5th generation VHS tape of one or two episodes of a show, and forget about subtitles. Fansubs did exist, but it involved a lot of mailing things back and forth and long, LONG waits while your copies were made. As for what was available to us in stores…? Well, if you’ve seen any episodes of Anime Abandon, you can see that the pickings were slim at best.
In the mid to late 90s, and even a bit in the early 2000s, anime nerds were part of the fringe nerd culture. ’The manga section’ at Barnes & Noble was a tiny corner of one of the graphic novel shelves, usually no more than 5 or 6 books, and most of those books were Dragonball. To this very day when I wander through the bookstore, I always find myself stopping and staring at the hundreds of different manga titles…
"It’s all right there … in English … they don’t have to shell out ridiculous bounties for copies of the original tankoubons… or pay thirty bucks for a dog-eared issue of ‘Nakayoshi’ … or take three hours to translate a single chapter … Jesus… they brought THAT over!? How the fuck would they localize that? Is this… yaoi? And what the fuck… I haven’t even HEARD of most of these! What … all of this … right here… right now… and after all the SHIT I … this must be some kind of purgatorial punishment for my Mokona phase. Puupuupuuu~ FUCK YOU!!!!"
(I may have forgotten… clearly, the universe has not.)
The moment I knew that I was truly out of step with what it means to be an otaku in this day in age was when I was at an anime convention singing karaoke. I got up and sang 'Give a Reason', the opening to Slayers NEXT. … And… nobody… recognized…the…song. Because none of them had ever heard of Slayers. Even thinking about it now makes a bit of a pit form in my stomach. To my kind of otaku? ‘Give a Reason’ is just one of those songs that everybody knows! And even if you hadn’t SEEN Slayers, you were at least aware that it existed!
I realized that I hadn’t really checked out anything new in quite a long time (I never know where to begin), and in an effort to try and reacquaint myself with anime I asked around the convention for some recommendations. I came home with a handful of titles to check out, which I did.
I was not impressed. While I can’t say that any of the shows I watched wasted my time entirely, I just didn’t find myself connecting with them as I did with, well, the older stuff. I thought I might be outgrowing anime, but… when I go back and watch older shows that I hadn’t had the chance to see previously, I find that I still can get myself worked up into epic levels of geekness. So, the new stuff just doesn’t do it for me. Whatevs. I still have the classics to enjoy. And if I look hard enough, I can bump into other old farts like me at conventions and we can sit outside and feed pigeons while we talk about the kids these days.
There are a couple of titles I hope to see on Anime Abandon in the future. Awhile ago I asked Sage on his Formspring if he’s considered doing one of my favorite guilty pleasures — Project A-ko. He replied that he has indeed considered it, and I’m REEEALLY hoping that maybe one day he’ll review those movies.