Archive for October, 2008

This entry is part 26 of 43 in the series Nanoha GamerS

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Nana Mizuki sings.

A psychiatrically-minded (pun unintended) reader might infer from my frequent rants about the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Original Character creation community that I have some sort of grudge against certain people. I don't remember if I've said it before, but to be safe, I shall reiterate: I am but one side of this multifaceted story. Others may have different viewpoints, and several are probably more convincing than mine.

In short, the obvious: don't take just my word for it.

I don't actually have any grudge per se, at least consciously. My primary distaste is with the habit of forceful arguments, using loaded words and condescending dismissals; it gives me an actual physical headache, possibly through some psychosomatic influence. There is the unnerving feeling that the debate is not being conducted logically; the participants are not playing fair.

This also explains my decreased presence in the AnimeSuki thread. The rules of the forum state that there is one, and only one, thread per topic, and "Original Characters In The Nanoha-verse" counts as one topic. So if I encounter friction with other regulars of that thread, or at least their debating technique, there's not exactly anywhere else I can go other than "away".

I also have no illusions that this post will make me in any way popular with the community. So it goes.

In such an emotionally-charged situation, possibly no other collection of three words can cause as much ill feeling as "suspension of disbelief". We all know that the Nanoha-verse is not a place with especially stringent physical laws, at least as we understand them in Real Life. While endless entertainment can be had in speculating whether characters would act in a way claimed by a fanfic, human behaviour being somewhat unpredictable, natural laws are supposed to be marginally consistent. (On a macro level, as a rule of thumb, and several other disclaimers to satisfy the nitpicky out there.) The Nanoha-verse, however, asks one question first and foremost: is it cool?

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This entry is part 25 of 43 in the series Nanoha GamerS

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Sally Reed is dead.

As a heads-up, I feel obliged to remind everyone with literary aspirations (and pretensions) of National Novel Writing Month. This is largely because I shall be participating (again), which implies a change in the posting regularity (or lack thereof) of this blog.

This year, I will be writing about a girl (pictured above, as run through 3D Custom Girl; I don't think I used any custom parts, but you'll probably have to update to SP2r1 if you want the linked character save file) who gains special powers and has to interact with her male childhood friend, who's a non-threatening and wimpy sort. There will be other girls present, and they will not be all that impressed with the guy at first, but they will soon accept him as a friend. There will be a highly implausible uberplot behind it, involving lots of magic and goofy tricksters with dark pasts and darker ambitions.

Let the deluge of cliches wash over you. Let it pass over and through you; when it is gone, only you will remain.

This is not the first year I've encountered a certain problem inherent in my story idea: despite the cliche-storm it is (always easiest to copy existing plots when going for quantity, as I've discovered over previous NaNoWriMos), I can't seem to classify it neatly in one of the provided genres on the NaNo forums. I don't have to, but when someone asks me "so what's your NaNo about?" I find myself at a loss.

So we have magic, which would make it Fantasy. It's set in the present day, which shifts it into the subset of Urban Fantasy. The magic is important, but it's more a means to an end than the theme of the story, akin to the mysterious hyperspace mallets that Akane popularized (at least among the Western fandom) from Ranma 1/2: it's there and it's used, but nobody really cares about how it works, and life would go on just the same without it, albeit probably with less collateral damage.

There is a smidgen of Romance, it being a harem comedy, but I've already decided that the guy will not get any of the girls, and he's not even going to try, especially since all the girls will have blasted him magically at one point or another in the story. Emphasis on comedy, not so much on romance.

It will be Humourous (or at least I will try), but that's just the way I write, and it's certainly not going to be a Parody or Satire. No, not even of the harem comedy generic plot; I actually like it too much to deconstruct it more than a token amount.

The whole thing, as generic though it may be in the world of anime, doesn't seem to have a suitable equivalent genre in the "normal" world. I can say "Magical Girl Harem Comedy", but I'm not sure where such a thing will fit on the hypothetical bookshelves. Actually, I'm sure it'll be tossed into the "SF&F" section fairly quickly, but still.

This may all be filed under Idle Musings anyway. My real worry is that during the month of November, I will spend far too much time making characters in 3D Custom Girl than writing about them.

That, or I'll be thoroughly irradiated.

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Nice axe.

One of the things I've often been told to capital-C Consider is my capital-A Audience, which means you. You, the reader, and those who, like you, are reading this blog at this moment for whatever reason, all lumped together in one statistical bundle, where you might find yourself sharing your personal space with people who do not yet exist, mere hypotheticals who may or may not read these ramblings in the future, but have the potential to do so. Like Schroedinger's famous feline, we will not know unless we actually take a look.

When I started this anime blog, I had in mind an Audience of One, namely myself. This was supposed to be just a repository of all the random thoughts about anime I happened to have, where I can actually wax enthusiastic about my primary hobby and interest, without appearing too creepy to the non-anime fans on my Livejournal friendslist. (There are a few, surprisingly enough. They know of anime, but they're just not interested, and I can understand entirely.)

Almost twenty months later, I have to finally admit that there are actual flesh-and-blood people out there who are interested in what I have to say. I'm not sure what you see in this blog, and I'm not sure what I'm doing right (or wrong), but it's pretty good for my ego.

Now that I have an Audience, I must Consider this. I could just ask "so what are you here for?" and sift through the comments, but apparently this will be a biased sample, of only those who care enough to leave a comment. Also, I've been told that this method is too anecdotal. I dunno, I never scored very well at Statistics.

So we'll just have a look at what WordPress.com Stats tells me. This will presumably include the hits by spambots, so there's the grain-of-salt thing and all that.

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3D Custom Girl, version Ivey.

I've picked up 3D Custom Girl from somewhere (don't ask me where, I really haven't a clue; that DVD had been sitting forgotten in my collection for who knows how long), and on a whim, I decided to install it to see what it's like.

The basic idea is that you get to dress up a faux-3D anime-style girl (with limited variation in body shape, sadly) in various clothes, starting from a base of no clothes at all. After you're done (or if you want to just jump straight into it, I suppose), you can boink her. Supposedly the main appeal here is the cosplay boinking, although I have my suspicions about that.

This is because I have yet to even really explore the boinking parts of the game, apart from clicking on the icons and going "oh, so that's what those are", and then ignoring them for more important decisions: loose or ponytail?

To me, this isn't so much a game as a dress-up doll simulator. The idea of "so after you're done, you can boink her" feels somehow tacky, like the embarrassing end of a quest that everyone would rather not talk about. But I started at nine pm trying to decide what hairstyle to give the girl, and when I looked up again it was four in the morning, and I hadn't even finished with the costume yet.

I don't even care much about fashion in Real Life, with a closet full of near-identical plain black or dark blue shirts. And my sister's Barbie dolls held no fascination for me, mainly because the possibilities inherent in Lego blocks seemed so much more boundless.

But set me in front of something like 3D Custom Girl and give me a wide enough (and anime-esque enough) selection of impossibly cool clothes to create anything I like, and I will spend hours happily trying to replicate various original characters of mine. (The title image is the closest I can get to my Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS Original Character Ivey de Lorien. Still needs tweaking.) All the (allegedly) erotic squeaks and yelps when you (accidentally) click on any part of the model's body just seem like a distraction: "stop twitching, girl! I'm trying to design here!"

Tangentially, this is a large part of why I'm still playing City of Heroes/Villains. It still surprises me that over four years after the game has come out, character creation in most other MMORPGs still seems so limited.

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This entry is part 24 of 43 in the series Nanoha GamerS

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This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Rhyme Time

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Since I'm medicated and not in the mood for anything more strenuous than vegetation in front of cute anime girls, this seems like a good way to fulfil the post quota.

Last time, we decided to continue on the Rin route. Let's see where it leads.

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This entry is part 23 of 43 in the series Nanoha GamerS

Not a teaser image.

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