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Friday, March 28, 2008

Dead Fantasy

I'd like for you to turn your heads over to these two videos. Normally, I embed them, but since they're user made movies, gametrailers doesn't do that. (speaking of which, are you annoyed that you have to pause the two mabinogi movies on the bottom of the page yet?)They're done by a guy who rips models and then reuses them for his fan movie.

Honestly? It's really good. I don't care if you're not into this kind of thing, but he has done an amazing job customizing and redoing everything. The only thing that is really ripped are the model details and general backstory/premise information. Basically, his characters have a justification for being there (though no justification for fighting, but let's ignore that). A friend showed this to me and I was absolutely impressed. Yes, I saw cutting of corners and almost direct animation rips from the respective games, but they were well implemented. The use of environment is what I liked most.

Review with spoilers:

I'd like to point out some odd details that seemed to strike out at me.

In the first one, there were some lighting issues, it can be most clearly seen 1:27 during the rotation where the stage is very bright but the background seems to lack light, and on 2:33 (notice the floor, or lack thereof). They're minor but all of these have been improved and fixed upon in the second one. There are still some remnants of it but not as much.

Dead Fantasy II:
2:19 Ayame has white eyes
3:37 The way Yuna is holding her guns is impossible. Notice her hands...
6:17 The bottle says Ether on them, just in case you're confused
7:11/7:21 The background lighting issue I mentioned earlier.

The amount of detail placed in this was astounding. You always see everyone fighting except for when the "camera" is zoomed into one-on-ones, and the motion blurring was used just right and very well. His ability to direct is what really gets me though. He knows how to not only choreograph fights, but to calm it down, or add amusing parts to it. The use of the environment, like I said is what I love the most. Fighting isn't just on the street and taking what you have around you and using that is a grand load of brownie points.

Oh and uh... Wall-fighting rocks. That is one huge tower though...

I'm not going to go into detail about "who should've won" or "This balancing is unfair," rather I'm actually still confused about certain parts of the animation. For example, I still don't understand the use of Kairi. While I understand predictability, Kairi is from Kingdom Hearts and the square characters were brought over, not the other way around. I don't I've ever seen Sora in FF XII. So when he was talking about trying to extend the DoA universe, I didn't really understand the "restriction" he may have felt as he seemed to do it already. Rather than surprising, I kinda feel Kairi was random, there was a chance to use Yuffie from FF7. Doubling shouldn't have been an issue since Rikku and Yuna were in it anyway.

I wish he didn't name it "Dead Fantasy" as it seems to limit what he can do. Despite my distaste for Soul Calibur, that would probably made a better candidate for weapon battles. Regardless, this was amazingly done and if you're into well choreographed fight scenes, watch it.

I'm more of a fan of multi-man fights. One on One is always great, but multi-fights show coordination and teamwork. That's what makes the choreography amazing to me.

Plus, I wanna see what he does once FF XIII and FF Versus XIII comes out.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A.D. Anno Domini, After Death, Another Deceased, Ardent Doom, Anonymous Description?

Sorry, boredom caught up with me. It's not that I didn't run out of stuff to review, I still have a good 600 Gigs of stuff remaining, just I wasn't really into making another review today.

I could talk about how some kid was hospitalized after asking his friends to bury him head first into a sandbox, but thats completely the kid's fault. I don't care if he was 10, that is one stupid kid.

Being the utterly creepy Atlus fan that I am, I'm gonna talk about some developments to look out for.

Baroque for PS2 and Wii - 4/8
Arcana Heart for PS2 - 4/8
Rondo of Swords for DS - 4/15
Persona 3 Fes[tival edition] - 4/22
R-Type Command - 5/6
Summon Night: Twin Age for DS - 5/20

Disgaea for DS and Disgaea 3 for PS3 coming in the summer.
There's gonna be a burning hole in my wallet next month. I can't help being one of their creepy stalker fans who love their games.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mabinogi - Review

Prior to reading I'd like to notify current readers of this review that this post is well over a year old. This was posted around the time Open Beta for Mabinogi opened. This review has been updated by Seuro who has taken the time to write a response. His review follows mine.

So, I mentioned about Mabinogi in probably the most casual sense possible. So I will review it.

Mabinogi is a korean MMO (as if there are many MMOs that aren't korean nowadays)made by Nexon. This company is mainly responsible for bringing the official version of Maple Story (shudder), Audition, and Shattered Galaxy (Known as Tactical Commander in Korea). Generally, they're a big company and the localization of Mabinogi made me jump off my chair, fluff up the seat to fix the creases and yell out in joy.

I feel that Mabinogi is one of those games that pushes the MMO envelope of questing and click-grinding. There are many aspects to character development that make this game amazing.

I'll start off with all the casual "Life" stuff that is capable. In general, Mabinogi is a very freeform game that gives users a variety of jobs to handle. Here's the catch, there are no job classes. Your job is determined by the choices you make and what you want to do. You want to be a master cook and open up a shop? Do it. You wanna be a tailor and customize clothes for people? Do it. You want to be a musician and compose and play songs for people on the street for food money? Do it. You want to simply play casually, not really in the game, but need something to kill time? DO IT. What I'm about to say isn't a comparison. Rather, it's just a statement. If you liked RO, and enjoyed the open nature of it, you'll like Mabinogi just as much. With light ambient music, and decent graphics, it's the RO2 you wish happened but didn't.

Now for battle system. I can hear your thoughts. "Hey Zerreth, it's an MMO, it's just another point-and-click-grindfest. What the hell's the difference? If you rave on about skills, then isn't that just pointless?" Yeah, you're right. Funny thing though, if it were like that, then I wouldn't be talking about the battle system, now would I?
The battle system itself is actually very simple, and the general course of battle is straight forward. However, it's a bit different from a point and click. After setting battle mode to manual, you can control the attacks of your character. Generally, your character has a set of 4 or so moves. Normal attack, Smash, Counter, Defence. There's magic and other physical skills but if I told you all that, then it wouldn't be fun would it? Also, like some other games, these 4 moves generally have a Rock Paper Scissors element to them. Smash breaks defense, defense breaks normal, normal breaks smash, and Counter breaks other physicals (so magic is the key against counter). However, your weapons all have a combo number on it, for example, some weapons have a combo of 2 and others have a combo of 3. Depending on your timing, and your luck dungeon crawling can be easy and hard, but not matter what, it will keep you on your feet. Casting any skill besides normal attack takes time to prepare (aka casting time) and so you can't just pull of smashes and defense so quickly. Timing is key and with good strategy, and teamplay battles are.... fun. (Oh my god I said it. I said battles are fun in an MMO)

Another aspect of the game that's interesting is age. Unlike any other MMO (though if you can find one, I stand corrected) your character ages. Depending on the game server, and what they set it to, your character will grow one year every week or so. This is a really cool aspect of the game. You can create your character at 10 years old and after playing a year or so, you've got an old man, with a beer belly bashing monsters.

Character customization is really amazing. Besides being able to customize the weapon you own, you can hire tailors (other players who've dedicated themselves to tailoring) to customize clothes and change colors for you. It's like the paint dye system in RO, except you can modify everything about the clothes. This also helps in guilds where a dedicated tailor could tailor emblems and color sets for other members.

There's a subtitle for Mabinogi. It's "Fantasy Life" and I'll stand by it really. When you become a tailor or a muscian, your stats and additional skills don't help in battle. It's not like, when you become a bard, you learn skills to destroy monsters with music. You just play it, and so you can get by not fighting at all. It'll probably be harder, but it's possible. NPCs are programmed to have a "relationship" factor with your character. They remember who you are, if you've failed any quests, how often you've worked part-time for them and depending on what kind of person you are and your relationship with other NPCs, they can actually like you or hate you.

Now for the bad parts.

Since it is an MMO, there is grinding. Lots of it. Whether it's harvesting potatoes, milling corn, or bashing monsters, there's grinding. You may become more proficient because of grinding, but you're still grinding. There will always be grinding, no matter what form it takes. Get used to it. Mabinogi, in general, is a demanding game. Sure, it's a fantasy life, but it can also easily end up being a second job. Because of the "age" system, it may feel more like it than not.

You can technically get every skill in the game. It doesn't mean you'll be proficient at everything, but it's possible. Does that hinder me? Not really, but I know some who like having very defined specializations, and it really isn't a cakewalk from the start. Technically, you CAN start specializing your tailoring or music playing early on, but with such a low level, getting enough materials and money to support yourself while specializing is hard. You can do part time jobs, but the better ones often get filled up very quickly. Since it's still early in terms of when open beta started, everyone generally looks the same. You have many who have begun to tailor, but there's a lot of people who look too similar. Also, the newer generation skills haven't been unlocked yet and so, there's a limit to how well you can specialize a "job."

This ends my review. The following is a comment posted by Seuro, none of which are my words but I feel I should add, not to harass him, but for carefully wording out all the issues that have arisen between my post and his. You can continue reading or continue on to his review.

I honestly have to say I disagree. There are so many things wrong with this game that you do it more justice then it deserves. For those who would be otherwise interested here's a review which chooses to accept the glaring difficulties.

First of all. The economy. Because of the severe lack of itemization everything that shouldn't be, is, extremely overpriced and difficult to get. Most people go without armor, and armor generally remains useless to you for the entire game. (Unless you are, say, a master of defense, of which several I knew, and even then they needed fully upgraded armor and that's very expensive) what helps add to this problem is that rewards from chests and quests (and the lack there of) are not very rewarding at all. You don't get very much gold. You don't get good loot, and enchanting is extremely risky business.

Because of this, this makes going into high level dungeons extremely difficult and unsatisfying. Why run Barri Advanced for four if I can just run Barri Normal for the same shit rewards/money doing two or three runs in a fraction of the time? Seriously.

I find your review to be further biased by the idea that skills being free to train as you please is a 'good idea'. It isn't. If you don't train all the necessary skills you will not excell. I have seen level 1000+ players complain about BOAL Final. Boal. G3. You do G1, that's not so bad, it has a good level curve, it's easy to do, and storywise it's rewarding. G2 is a bunch of running around and really not achieving much in due course of story, and G3? Forget it. G3 is a fucking joke. Finishing g1 and g2 doesn't take anymore then a month to do playing regularly. G3 requires you to be absurdly over leveled for the curve. That's not grinding, that's plain poor game making. Add to all that the absurd amounts of multiaggro from enemies and no real to control that aggro and you have shit sink full of fuck. And I mean that in the most non offensive way possible. Many dungeons are completely impossible without windmill (at least one person with windmill anyway) and that is not okay. That's BROKEN. That is BROKEN gaming. It is 'literally' the only skill you will 'ever' need in a party.

In other words you will always be trying to get stronger but you'll never quite be there. No matter how strong you get you will rarely venture into harder dungeons. The few people who do exceed level 2000. I know, I played for well over a year cause I kept praying and hoping things would change cause I generally adored the way I did combat. It wasn't all point and click, and honestly? That's it's only redeeming feature.

I think you need to get out and play some different games. Mabinogi is a great concept but everything about it is extremely poorly executed. The leveling system takes ridiculous amounts of time (even with free rebirth)

Your review refuses to point out the glaring faults in this game. The dedication it takes to level up just to run certain KEY dungeons goes beyond rational thinking. Again, I think you should reconsider what games you have played and are playing. I know, I know. Sure it has a place in your heart. Good feelings and cheer at all. Still, the best part of this game is the beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed that, but that was all, and that is not enough. In the beginning the rewards and story will pull you in but it will never be enough and the gear you have will generally always feel useless unless you have leveled it up and are fighting enemies which simply won't one hit you. Most dungeons will always have enemies which can do so.

Mabinogi just isn't that great man. There's just so much more and so much better out there. I hope you get something out of this.


It's spring break for me, which means I will do either two things.
1. Be more active, post more, find more stuff and generally add more posts to this board.
2. Spend more time playing games, watching anime, and being a slob.

Hopefully, the latter won't occur, but I'd like to just say in advance (as well as for this Saturday) that weekends as of now, will most likely be packed. Regardless of how much break I have over the weekdays, the weekends are when most events are planned.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


After playing extensively with my friend on his Wii (to be read as, after I was finally kicked out of his home since the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl on midnight, Saturday) I have a fairly good idea of how all the characters play and have a good sense of the stages and the Sub-space emissary story.

This might be the hype speaking, but I love it. Characters were given a run-through in terms of balancing issues and overall, all characters have noticeable strengths and weaknesses. One thing I found really nice was how every character has their own set of animations now. Ganondorf still looks like he's imitating Captain Falcon but much less. Every character's triple A combo looks different and generally the game plays much better.
There are some stylistic changes to the game. First off, many stages have interactive features to them such as the ice climbers stage where the tip breaks off and hurdles down a mountain or the handful of mini games on the Wario Ware stage. What the game moved was from a very strict fighter to a more relaxed game that really is there for fun. Characters deal less damage and are sent flying at higher percentages which entails much longer battles and more use for the final smash. The final smash really changes gameplay as the ball appears, it's a battle to break the ball and that could even turn the most conservative players into a reckless berserker.

There's a little bit for everyone. For those who loved the platforming style gameplay from brawl, rejoice, for there's about 10-15 hours of it (including beautiful cutscenes). You can either go head on, or for the RPG types, use stickers to modify your characters' damage/resistance and use stats to your advantage. Classic mode is the style we all know and enjoy including the two break the target stages. Master hand is more or less the same, but now even looking more fluid. More unique stages force you to play a different style from just sending your opponent flying off the screen and the interaction between the background and foreground was genius.

If there's one noticeable part in graphics, it would be the same thing you notice in the Pokemon games(if you've been following) and it's the beams and projectiles. My god, Lucario's and Samus's final smashes are just beautiful. Getting hit by those lasers is simply worth the loss. Another interesting take on graphics would be the alternate colors. Instead of just having a handful of blues/greens/yellows/reds/white/blacks some characters have alternate costumes from the multitude of games they starred in. for example, Samus now has (in addition to her colors) the fusion suit from the GBA game, the typical final purple power suit, and a black power suit (that kinda reminds me of robocop.) Wario and Luigi both have alternate costumes purposefully red/blue to look like Mario and hilarity ensued as we saw all the different "shapes" of Mario. Peach can look like Daisy, or appear in a "wedding dress" and there's an alternate for Link to look like his darker counter-part.

Now for the parts I'm not so fond of. (Yes, there are such parts)
This is me nitpicking, but the switch of Ike for Roy was not a good choice in my opinion. While I understand that characters such as Ike are to flaunt and promote the newer games, I honestly would've preferred someone different like Lyndis (though I appreciate her as a assist trophy) or Ephraim to be in Brawl. There can only be so much sword fighting in Brawl, which is something I totally agree with, and is why I believe those two characters may have been better to replace Roy. Lyndis has a quickdraw style of swordplay that I feel would be fun to play around with and Ephraim has a spear. I like Ike, but to attempt to have another unique Fire Emblem character and then to go halfway with it (Ike has counter and his own version of Dancing Blade)felt odd. Not only that he was very slow, which took some time getting used to.

2x speed is gone. It was in the original and melee in training mode, but now it's just completely gone. My friends and I always used 2x speed training mode to improve reaction times and learn to adapt to a new character faster, but with it gone, the game feels very sluggish. 1.5x isn't very fast which means lightning brawl isn't very fast. Some special brawl options were interesting and produced funny effects, but were poor choices for gameplay. For example... I decided to screw around and made a invisible, bunny band, hot curry, speed, high gravity brawl. As funny as it was watching bunny band and high gravity attempt to cancel each other out and then try to differentiate one another with fiery invisible characters, there's something I have to say. We couldn't really play at all. Even if we were to set one option, things like infinite curry interfere with the attacks. I thought it was a great idea to have options instead of having that long list of specialized melees from the second game but some, while seemingly good in theory, doesn't seem to work well in practice.

I don't know about you, but I liked the arcade feel to Melee. With an extensive assortment of characters and stages, I felt like you could play constantly and not be bored. I don't feel that way with brawl. There's a weird feeling that theres very few characters in brawl compared to Melee, which is weird because the original has 12, Melee has 26 and brawl has 35. This is probably because, if you've played Melee extensively, then you really look carefully at the 9 new characters and notice the minor changes in the others. That isn't to say that the brawl characters aren't good, but I guess I was expecting something more. Perhaps I was expecting more since the difference between the first Super Smash bros and Melee was very large.

Some final smashes are hard to use, while others are easy, and some require no effort. This is all gameplay really but I found Pikachu's Volt Tackle exceptionally hard to use. He starts off with a lot of momentum which is hard to control and often had me spinning around the stage multiple times before he became more controllable, but by then the damage the electricity dealt was insignificant. On the other hand, Snake was too easy to use and often ensued in multiple deaths of all the other players. Pit's final smash is a bit lackluster. While his character is balanced his final smash appears to be more of a damage dealer than a crowd cleaner.

Speaking of final smashes, I noticed something very problematic in Brawl. The Smash Ball and the breaking of the ball often involves multiple characters bum rushing it with attacks. This is all fine, I think that's nice. The problem is, the smash ball is very prone to momentum, and will often be sent flying on the first hit. Then it just lingers as it loses momentum quickly. What often happens (and this happens too often) is that the smash ball is thrown into the air and hangs at the top or far sides of the stage for a good amount of time. What happens? All the flying characters get Final Smash priority. Now, for Pit, it's fine, but for characters such as Charizard, Metanight, Jigglypuff, Kirby and Pikachu (if you know how to exploit Pikachu's skull bash and agility really well, he doesn't touch the ground too often)they have highly unfair advantages, as it's more or less an instant kill. (I've rarely seen the smash ball knocked out from someone.)

Regardless. This game is very good. Of course there are choices that everyone doesn't like, but the good points of Smash Bros. Brawl heavily outweighs the negative aspects. It's much easier to write about what you don't like then what you do but in the end this game is a keeper. I don't really say this often, but to not like this game is to be crazy.

For a more extensive review. I'm going to hand you off to my friends and for more brawl techniques and info go to A good resource for videos as of now would be, and mooplet should pop up with some newer content once they get some sleep.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wau... Pt2

Link 1
Link 2

Summary: A student was "removed" (that's what they said, but you can read it as suspended) from school for carrying a notebook titled "Death Note" and contained the names of seven of his/her fellow students.

Here's my impression of Death Note. As an anime and story, it's good, but the directors don't know when to stop, so overall as an anime it's above average. I however, hate Death Note as a whole. It plays along in the playground of doom along with those other over-hyped shows that are ruined by American fans like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece (though I just hate that show regardless). It reminds me of that time in my generation when everyone wanted to do martial arts. So they went to the AMERICAN karate teacher and learned how to kill a tiger with your own hands (hypothetically, metaphorically speaking?) More specifically Tiger Schulmann's. But then when people wanted to learn "real" martial arts, instead of going to a Japanese Karate dojo, the "smart" people all migrated to another martial art (Jujitsu) in hopes of being "different." It's like that paradox: I conform with non-conformists. So what does this have to do with Death Note? Everything.

Death Note is the jujitsu of anime, with Naruto, Bleach and One Piece being Tiger Schulmann's karate. So what happens to my thoughts on Death Note? It gets crumpled up, thrown away and burned into ashes somewhere in a garbage fire. A fan base is important for everything, and to me, when the fan base is muddled with a majority of pathetic attempts at wannabe otaku who use "desu" (I would type the Japanese except the IME is installed on a different OS) more than Suiseiseki from Rozen Maiden, well, it kinda just turns me off the anime regardless of how good it may be. (I was about to say "good or bad" but I won't watch "bad" things. If I honestly don't like anything, I won't watch it... like Gilgamesh for instance. I stopped at the 8th...)

Now about the article...
Here's the thing though. This isn't the first time it happened. If I remember correctly, the "first" case happened around October or something (second link. I couldn't find the original article) where some Virgina teen was caught carrying a "Death Note" with the names of people who they wanted dead. This is sort of related but not really to the Naruto thing. How obsessed, and naive do you have to be to believe in such a thing happening? It's a problem in which the student can't honestly tell the difference between reality and fiction and then becomes very influenced by fiction, which then drives them to do things like write names down in a "Death Note" and attempt to commit the deed themselves knowing with the minimal realization of reality that it won't happen.

Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated case. These are fads. If i remember correctly, many multiple incidents occurred similarly with "The Matrix" and obviously, GTA. GTA is a bit less related as it's not the story that the audience is into. I remember reading a news article about some 18 year old and his two friends who were arrested because they believed they all were "The One" (No joke. Apparently there can be more than one of "The One) and had a healthy stash of firearms in their houses. Furthermore they had names of people they didn't like and made a hitlist. It had no relation to any story, they just molded The Matrix to fit themselves. As much as I want to, I'm not gonna bash on parents. These kids (I refer to them as kids as their maturity doesn't correlate with their age) are so caught up in fictional worlds that they are blinded by everything around them. Don't give me some existentialist BS about how they believe they can cross boundaries and that we as a society cannot accept them, I've done enough of that reading and discussing Dostoevsky.

What I wish though, is for school administrations to start reading the newspaper more thoroughly.
"“Regardless of the origin of the book, we take the situation very seriously,” Rogers said in the letter. “The safety of our school family is always our top priority.
“We treat situations like this the same as if a student called in a bomb threat or brought a weapon to school,” he said. “While there may not be any serious intent to do anyone harm, we cannot and will not take that chance with our students. We will take all steps necessary to ensure our students’ well-being.”
Rogers advised parents to talk with their children about what he or she watches on television and the Internet."

This is from the article on the South Carolina student removed from school. I wish there would be fewer of these general, vague blanket statements. While I commend Rogers for advising parents (though I wish reprimanding was in order) I wish he'd take it one step further. Advise them to talk to their kids and learn about their school life and pay attention.

If this is the letter he sent and the the parents of the students whose names were in the "Death Note" were notified, I get the feeling it will be one of those messages on your voice mail that you listen to while cooking or something. It have vague statements followed by the minimal details of the situation and the actions taken. No "we would like to talk to you and your child about this." or asking the child why he/she wrote the others names in a Death Note. Like I said, (or may not have) everything has a reason, and really, no matter what the reason is, I think we all should take some time and pay attention to it. The most common scenario is that the adults take this defensive stance and bring up their superiority complex to ignore the reasons as they are insignificant and "childish." The problem is, if a teen has a "childish" reason for violence, isn't that problem?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


The North American edition of the Korean game "Mabinogi" starts open beta tomorrow.
I find it to be slightly unique to the typical MMO which is why I'm mentioning it. Try it out, see what it's like, re-evaluate your opinion on my judgment, whatever. I just felt I should point this game out.

P.S. I know you noticed the pt1 on the previous post. Yes, there's more coming up. Just let me rest a little please?

Wau... pt1

Say what you want about how corny spelling "wow" is in that fashion. I only use it in moments where I feel that sense of "I think I just lost braincells listening/reading/watching that and deserve (insert amount of alloted time) of my life back."

I'll bring your attention to the first string of articles.

Link 1
Link 2

This first link is an article about how a 18 year old guy (You can find his name in the article, but I'm gonna withhold it regardless just to give him a bit of respect) who was arrested because he posted a video on Youtube that is composed of the following:

"The video — which was still posted on the Internet Monday — is a message scrawled in red lettering against a black background and plays to the words of “End,” a World Wrestling Entertainment theme song.

“The end is here/ The game is over/ No more pretending,” the lyrics state.

In the video, which Brown addresses to the students of Grasso Tech, he writes, “The Corpses Crimson Bitter Tears Will Flow And Mingle Through The Endless Sand Feeding The Chaos In Me and Making Me Stronger.”"

The article then continues with the following.
"The quote is taken from a fictional anime series about a character named Gaara who, according to several fan sites, claims only to feel alive when he kills."

To anyone out there who watched even a little bit of anime, I'm pretty sure what this is linked to: Naruto.
Congrats, you deserve this "Wau...." for uploading something so ridiculous.

This has nothing to do with the message. This has to do with the guy's tastes. Excuse me for not liking Naruto, but I think it's a horrible show, it's over-popularized, and sits on the shelves with other works such as "One Piece" where the american audience attempts to convince themselves that "they're actually good shows... and that Viz Media and 4kids are ruining it by censoring." No. It's bad because the show itself is bad, not the editing. Further more, there are keywords here that make me feel like I've wasted my time reading the article.

"is a message scrawled in red lettering against a black background and plays to the words of “End,” a World Wrestling Entertainment theme song."
"“The Corpses Crimson Bitter Tears Will Flow And Mingle Through The Endless Sand Feeding The Chaos In Me and Making Me Stronger.”"

To be able to make that, admit to making it, and use it to threaten a student body with a straight face? Further more, on that abominable site known as YouTube? That's impressive. Those two or so sentences being riddled with some indescribable dirty feeling make me feel like I've died a little inside. I honestly don't understand how he expects to believe that people will take him seriously if he makes such a typical video and then quotes a show. Now, normally, I'd just pass by this without a second thought, but look at how old the culprit is. EIGHTEEN. I mean, this is something the stereotypical internet 12 year old would do. This guy's going to college in the fall for Christ's sake. You'd think he'd be more mature about it. Better yet, you'd think his parents/teachers/friends(?) would notice something. But now that it's out, we're gonna have Connecticut parents wailing on the american anime fans for influencing children to violence, kinda like with video games. Thank you. You have made us anime fans one step closer to being on the same level as the "potential serial murders" that FPS gamers are....

Enough wailing on him. Let's talk about the actions taken now, shall we?
He "is free on $2,500 bond after being charged with threatening and breach of peace after police learned of the video from a Grasso parent Sunday. Police went to Brown's house to seize evidence from his computer, and they said [name] “readily admitted” that he had created the video."

"In the meantime, Bell said, visitors to the school are being asked to check in at a security desk before entering the school. No metal detectors are being used, said Bell, who was an administrator in Colorado during the Columbine shootings. She said school would go on as normal."


"Grasso switched over to school uniforms this year in an attempt to quell violence at school, which stemmed in part from a group of about 17 girls who had formed a local gang that identified its members by wearing certain colors. In October, the school was locked down after a student brought knives, brass knuckles and a facsimile handgun to the school."

Where to begin...
I'll start from the top and go slowly down.

"In the meantime, Bell said, visitors to the school are being asked to check in at a security desk before entering the school."

That's great. You pump up security so that you bring an overbearing presence to the school and attempt to pressure the students into not doing anything irrational. Sorry, but something irrational already happened. You can talk about the "safety" of the students all you want, but you have to nip it in the bud. As much as I hate those who take a profession in "psychology" or "counseling" I think they're needed for places like Grasso that seem to have a "few" issues. Whatever happened happened, but just taking temporary measures won't do anything, and you can fool all the parents you want because they're just that stupid, but if anyone wants to make progress, you need to know WHY he did it.

"Grasso switched over to school uniforms this year in an attempt to quell violence at school, which stemmed in part from a group of about 17 girls who had formed a local gang that identified its members by wearing certain colors."

Again, temporary fix. This isn't going to accomplish much. It's not like people are blind, and it isn't like these local gangs don't have meeting places. Gangs would generally be able to recognize other members by face and considering and it isn't like the girls are going to go to their meetings in their uniforms. They're still going to change and go out at night and be what they are. If anything, this may incite more anger or the girls just may wear their colors regardless. Acting strict at this point in time is a bit too late. If the community wants to do something, it will take more than schools switching dress codes.

"In October, the school was locked down after a student brought knives, brass knuckles and a facsimile handgun to the school."
NNNNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCCCCEEEE. I simply pointed out this quote to link everything together actually. This school seems to have a history with school violence including the principal. With something like these things happening, and the administration being somewhat familiar with the situation, one would expect a constructive action that would have useful long term effects, but I feel disheartened that people are nitwits.

Here's the thing though.
“I was in the Denver area and it's hard to go to school the next day, but you do,” Bell said of Columbine. “If not, you give the fear the power."

Kerry Bell is the principal of this school and I agree with her philosophy. You have to keep pushing to show that you're not going to let them affect you. At the same time, you can't just idle around, ignore them, let them slap you across the face and take it for no reason. Actions must be taken to counter this, and I'm not talking about these stupid "qwik-fix" solutions that end up accomplishing nothing. As hard as it is, you have to take it head on. Notify not only the school community but a local newspaper and work with the community and neighboring communities in getting local bills passed.
My Economics teacher taught me something interesting when he was informing us about universal health care. He first posed the question "Why would you call 911 if your neighbor's house is on fire? It's not your house, so it shouldn't be your problem." Forget about compassion and kindness for a second and think selfishly and the answer was actually very simple. "To prevent the fire from spreading to your house." What these small acts of switching to uniforms and more frequent checks is like tossing buckets of water onto the fire to attempt to quell it. It's not going to die down but perhaps it helps you lie to yourself that you're doing something constructive. Despite school taking up approximately eight of sixteen hours (about half the time one is awake if they were to wake up at 7 and sleep at 11.) it only takes a few minutes to bypass security and cause violence. I keep trying to pound this concept but I feel it's the most important.
You can't even think of trying remove ivy from your garden if all you do is lawn mow it. Everything has deeper roots and those roots are strong. You're going to have to dig deep to take care of the problem. It's more effort, it takes more time, and it sure as hell is much harder, but it's that effort that would make success taste much sweeter.

P.S. Kudos to those who find the video and post it. Which reminds me, I'd like to know how the students and parents find that video in the nameless masses of trash that is youtube... They said it was uploaded on Feb 27, and complained to the authorities on Sunday, March 1st. They must've had some really bored kids.


After a lengthy ski trip to Stowe, Pennsylvania, something interesting came to greet me as I returned. A crashed modem. So, for about half a week now, I've been waiting to get our connection repaired with much stubbornness, mind you, of doing it alone since the providers would charge us who knows how much for one of their techies to come by. Sorry, our cable bill is as expensive as is, no need to pay an inflated charge for some guy to look at our modem, say "hmmm" for a moment with the knowledge of already knowing what the problem is, and reset the connection.

Anyways, I found some nice tidbits from the front lines that I could talk about, so hopefully my next post should be able to compensate for the huge inactivity.