Sunday, December 11, 2011

Casey and Andy - Ranma reference

I was reading webcomic called Casey and Andy yesterday and noticed a reference to Ranma ½. In strip 242, Andy has acquired water from the spring of the drowned girl and has the idea to sell it to transsexuals. I archive binged through the entire web comic and found it to be fairly enjoyable though it doesn't make it anywhere near the top of my list of webcomics to read (were I to have such a list).

Sorry about the long hiatus between posts. I just didn't feel like writing pretty much at all this year. I was browsing the web last night and found a few people have still been reading my blog. I encountered at the Ranma wikia (a site I was unaware it existed until just recently): Outside References to Ranma ½ which clearly had an editor that had viewed my blog since most of the references mentioned are mentioned by me in this blog and the same pictures, cropped the same way, were used. I also found out that Tvtropes has a few links to my blog as well as wikipedia (though strangely the wikipedia ones are not English language ones). Even though I have not been actively writing this blog for some time interest in it seems to be increasing since I'm getting more hits according to the stats and linked to more often and not just the Ranma posts some of my posts on Japanese culture and book commentary are being linked to quite a bit as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still more comments inspired by Harry Potter

- I do not like the idea of Hermione or Harry working at the ministry. The ministry is run pretty shabbily and is not really a good organization. Hermione (mostly through Harry since he's the one that would have the most influence) and Harry could capitalize on their popularity after the defeat of Voldemort to get the public to demand reforms. They could change more things from outside the ministry via politicking and their celebrity status than they could in a department position where they would have to deal with people who would want to prevent them making changes and would want to limit their influence or out right steal their work (so that they can advance higher in the ministry and to prevent Harry/Hermione from doing so).

Harry being an auror is extremely stupid. He hates following orders (and isn't really that good at doings so) and the aurors are regularly required to do things they don't want to. For example Harry could be ordered to lead a prisoner to a Dementor to have his soul sucked (that is an order that a minster of magic had given which the aurors had to do) or arrest someone even if he knows the person is innocent (for example how Hagrid was arrested for supposedly opening the chamber of secrets). Harry becoming an auror would most likely result in Harry being fired or arrested pretty quickly. I don't like Ron being an auror either but the dislike of him becoming one stems more from I feel he would abuse the power it gives him over others similarly to how he did so as a perfect and how he is shown to do so during the epilogue (Ron used magic against a muggle to pass the driving test for his own personal gain as an Auror knowing it was illegal to do so.)

Hermione entering the ministry is really a major waste of her talents. Fighting for peoples rights (things like get rid of the extremely inhumane prison conditions, improve education, make house elves lives better, etc.) are things she should and would probably do but unless she manages to get pretty high in the government she is not likely to be able to do much working in the ministry other means would probably be more effective.

- I see often enough in fan fics to really annoy me it mentioned that Hermione is a poor liar but prior to the 6th book in the series that really isn't true. She lied successfully to people on multiple occasions such as to teachers (such as Umbridge and McGonagall) and in one of the books (Prisoner of Azkaban) she spent most of the book lying so as to keep her use of the time turner secret. Though Hermione's personality did under go some changes during the sixth book bigger than suddenly losing the ability to lie (were book 6 a fan fic I would have labeled her behavior as out of character since it felt that way to me). Here is a very true quote from a fan fic I recently read:

"Boy, you really don't know Hermione very well at all," he claimed. "She's broken more rules at Hogwarts than pretty much any student at the school! And she's been lying to teachers too, from McGonagall first year all the way to Umbridge just last month!"

- Saw mentioned in a fic Hermione thinking about how Harry taught her how to properly stand while dueling. First thing I thought upon reading that was that dueling is not the same as fighting and it is not something that she really needs to know. Though the major questions that came to me when I saw that mentioned was: Who taught Harry the stances and when did that happen? If it was taught in class then Hermione likely already knows them (unless it was during a class she missed like when she was petrified) and if it was taught outside of class than who taught him? Remus taught Harry the Patronous, Snape somewhat taught Harry how to protect his mind, and Dumbledore watched Riddle's life with Harry but none of them taught Harry anything to do with dueling. Personally I was finding it to be slightly out of character for Harry to teach Hermione anything since other than the Patronous charm (and I'm not even sure about that since Hermione probably read about it and someone mentioned to make the use of the usage of the timetuner a closed loop Hermione would have to have done one - it was an interesting article I saw on a site I visited about the movie Donny Darko) every other instance was Hermione teaching him (such as in preparation for the Tri-wizard tournament, planning the DA meetings - which was her idea not his and I only bring this up because I've seen fics in which Harry created it when Hermione wasn't in the fic and fics that stated it was his idea- and even in his thoughts like at the beginning of the last book, Deathly Hallows, he thinks about how he should get Hermione to teach him some healing spells).

- I understand using the mind control curse and would understand if Harry had used the killing curse but I really don't like or get why Harry used the pain curse particularly on the Carrows (for spitting on his teacher). Using the mind control curse makes sense since it is forcing the character to do what you need or want them to do and the killing curse makes sense since if they are dead they are no longer a threat and can never cause you problems again. The pain curse though is really the most evil of the curses since it really has no practical use and it doesn't make sense to use it since other than enjoying hurting someone a large number of other curses make more sense to use.

- It kind of annoys me when fics make muggles entirely helpless and completely ignorant about the wizarding world and what is going on in it. The main reason this annoys me is because it is likely that more muggles know about and have some type of access to the magical world and magical items than there are witches/wizards total. The reason I say this is because when you consider all the muggle relatives, squibs who have left the wizarding world, werewolves which go to the muggle world to find jobs because of the bigotry of the wizarding world, government officials and past government officials like the prime minister who are informed about the wizarding world, people who find out and aren't oblivated (because they don't say anything and leave the area for example), books and stories from before the muggle and wizarding world split, muggleborns who leave the wizarding world, etc. the number of muggles who know could easily exceed the number of wizards total. Also it is the wizards that are hiding from muggles not the other way around.

- How does anyone know what happened when Harry's parents were killed? Heck how does anyone even know that Harry survived the killing curse since Harry was the only survivor (it is mentioned repeatedly that he was the only survivor) and wasn't able to talk about it. Why doesn't everyone just assume that it was Harry's parents that banished Voldemort and Harry had nothing to do with it. Who told people that Harry went to live with his muggle relatives and his having a scar on his forehead?

- People were coming up and shaking Harry's hand prior to the first book according to the first book and when Harry had barely set foot in the Leaky Cauldron for the first time he was immediately recognized by all the patrons. How did they recognize him? Since Harry was in the muggle world cut off from the Magical world none of them should have known what Harry looked like and yet there is an entire industry with comics and books about the Boy Who Lived.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ubuntu 11

For the last nine months the primary computer I use has had Ubuntu Linux running in classic mode as it's operating system. I tried a couple other versions of Linux as well such as Puppy Linux via Live Cd and eventually decided on Ubuntu as the operating system of choice. For the most part I like Linux more than I did Windows. I have had several versions of Windows (98, XP, 2000, and Vista) and I had more problems with them than I have had with Ubuntu since I've been using it.

I do have two pieces of hardware that Linux doesn't run automatically. The first being the dial up modem, which I know I could get to run but would have to download a couple programs and a driver to get to it to run, the second being the finger print scanner which I don't know if I can or can not get it to run via Linux mainly because I never use the thing and have no plans on using it so I didn't even bother to find out. The dial up modem could be useful on occasion such as traveling to some places (but really a lot of places, at least around here, have wi-fi: restaurants, libraries, some parks, government buildings, stores, schools, some entire neighborhoods, etc.) and in a power outage (have several hours of battery power on the laptop and never have had the phone line not work during a power outage) but I don't feel like taking the time to get it to run. I have had hardware not work on Windows as well for example I have a scanner that will not run on Windows Vista, it is several years old and the company didn't update the drivers for Vista. That same scanner does run on Ubuntu just plugging it in though.

Pretty much every program I used on Windows, other than the games, has a Linux program that is comparable though I do run a few windows programs on WINE. WINE is a great program capable of running most of the things I want that is not on Linux (though it doesn't play everything Windows does) including at least one program that I couldn't get to run on Vista (an older Star Trek Trivia game that Windows Vista just would not play even when set to pretend to be an older system). Programs I currently have installed via WINE are: Britannica 11 (I like having an offline dictionary and encyclopedia),  Fanfiction Downloader (there is an online fanfiction downloader that is actually better in that it can download from more sites but I like having the program on the pc), Iso Buster (even though there are several programs on Linux such as K3B that can make and burn Iso's I haven't found one that saves Playstation 1 games to the computer as well as IsoBuster does - I prefer saving the games to the hard drive to play them via emulation rather than playing them from the optical drive), and a few games (Linux has games as well but Windows has a larger selection and since the games can play on WINE I might as well - though not all games can or will play on WINE). Ubuntu software center is also pretty damn convenient for finding programs to do what you want them to do.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Blog not dead but very inactive

It has been a long time, nearly 6 entire months, since I last wrote a blog post. I did not intend to neglect this blog for so long it just kind of happened. While I have been reading fanfics almost none of them were Ranma fics. I still like Ranma ½ but the fan fics have far too much fanon and anime influence. I'm finding that they annoy me more than entertain me. I could have written about other things like Japan but with the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant problems thinking about Japan at the time was depressing.

I was reading volume 4 of A.I. Love you by Ken Akamatsu when I happened to notice that Hitoshi Kobe states that forty-chan has a Ranma complex. I find it a bit strange to call it a Ranma complex. Sure I suppose you could call a person who changes genders to have a Ranma complex but Ranma's personality doesn't change with the gender whereas this character's does.

A few things I feel like complaining about noticed in Ranma fanfics recently:
1. Stating that Chi and ki (sometimes though less often qi) are different things. They are the same thing. Similarly saying Chakra is different than ki rather annoys me since in Yoga chakra are the places where energy flows (prana -which is basically the same thing as ki) converge in the body. To be fair they are fictional universes in which the author can make it the way he or she wants but still I'd prefer if they did it in another way such as stating that there are multiple types of ki for example spirit ki and ki of the earth rather than using different languages/pronunciations of the same thing.

2. People complaining that Ranma is a god-like character. That annoys me only because Ranma pretty much is a god-like character in the manga. I wrote the post God like Ranma – writing about an over powered main character for a reason. That doesn't mean that Ranma is a faultless or incapable of making mistakes since he can. Ranma was overly skilled or powerful in the manga but he often limited himself in one way or another be it fighting defensively (defensive battles are generally harder than offensive ones); trying to avoid hurting, killing, or maiming his opponent (with very few exceptions mainly just on Saffron and that was only after he was running out of options since lesser force wasn't working); playing with his opponent or not taking his opponent seriously; being constrained by the rules of engagement (namely following the rules of the contest or limiting himself to the style); not using special techniques or his full abilities (for example he rarely hit people anywhere near as hard as he could since most fights do not have his opponents go flying with great force backwards like they did when he did hit them really hard - such as the time he hit Ryoga hard enough to go flying back into a cliff base with enough force to collapse the cliff onto Ryoga); hampered by his morals/conscience; using to little force (underestimating his opponents); etc.

3. This type of statement: Ranma wouldn't trust magic if his life depended on it.
- Ranma clearly trusts magic as much as he does anything else (Ranma is not a very trusting person though). In the manga it is pretty clear that he views magic as just another tool akin to a staff weapon or microwave. Ranma hasn't shown any reluctance to using magic (suggestion incense, magical weapons, girl repellent, etc.) That said Ranma is likely to be a little more cautious using it than say a nonmagic weapon or technology but that is only because magic is less known to him.

4. This type of statement in reviews just pisses me off: Ranma is way too knowledgeable in martial arts.
- Ranma's literal oldest memory is training. He has been training in martial arts for his entire life; religiously. He is devoted to martial arts to the point that it is the absolute most important thing he has. He'd rather die than give up martial arts and is willing to risk his life in the pursuit of it. That isn't even including that he is a very fast learner (stated multiple times).

5. I don't like the use of the terms master and grandmaster in Ranma fan fics because the titles really don't mean anything (often times people give themselves the title or they are given for some other reason other than ability level) and neither term really exists in Japanese or Chinese martial arts for that matter. They are western terms dating only back to around the 1950's.