Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bad Firefox!

Funniest thing: I opened my blog and threw up in my mouth.

Yeah, there's supposed to be a blue bar down the right side and the text is supposed to be in a fairly tight little blue column on the left. On Firefox, the whole thing looks a bit like deep fried asshole. I checked my settings, and sure enough everything is just fine... so I opened 'er up in IE, and sure enough everything is where it's supposed to be and sitting pretty.

So, if you don't want my blog to look like a fart in a plastic bag I'd recommend using Micro$oft's rather evil and spyware-loving whore browser IE. I lack spyware, so you're safe to come and then can run back to the iron clad chastity belt security of Firefox when you're done.

Anyway, enjoy the AMV which I hope makes up for this mostly worthless Public Service Announcement.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hey there sexy mama, wanna' destroy all humans?

Not since Megumi OOGATA (Shinji. Yeah, that Shinji.) voiced a hot female character designed by the god of bronzed oily anime women, Shirow MASAMUNE, has my libido been so confused, but I'll say it anyhow: I'd do Genocyber 'till she tore my dick off. And yes, that includes both mute robo-loli and scaly green harbinger of death versions. Hopefully the above Youtube video I'm officially now pimping will explain why.

So what the hell is this? In higher resolution and better quality, it's one of the extras on the upcoming Kentai Films DVD of GENOCYBER I. Yeah, I know, including an AMV isn't much, but as I'm likely to never get up the energy to restore episodes 2 through 5 I figured I'd spare everyone else the trouble and condense down all the good stuff into 4 minutes... and then I found that there really ISN'T 4 minutes of good stuff in Genocyber 2-3, try as I might to find more head explosions and cyborgs being horribly mutilated. To be fair, Genocyber 2 and 3 aren't bad, in any logical sense: they just aren't perfectly calculated shrapnel bombs of shock imagery and nihilism like the first episode was and thus look a little limp in comparison. I'd dig Genocyber 2 and 3 if they were another title entirely too (often a good way to look at sequels that may not quite be up to snuff), to be sure just not as much as the original episode. Episode 4 and 5, however, can fuck themselves and the pretentious bullshit they rode in on. Even if it gave us a Genocyber Kaiju, it just isn't anything you should subject your brain to.

There will be a second music video compiled whenever the hell I feel like it, taking all the good stuff from episodes 4 and 5. To explain how little there is, I'm praying there's enough to fill out Confrontation, a track running just 2:39. Yes, the last 2 episodes were just that pathetic.

Does this mean Kentai Films is likely to turn into some sort of AMV studio? Eh, probably not unless I really, really want to play with gore footage. I had something like this prepared for the Amon: Apocalypse of Devilman DVD, but I seriously need to re-do that fucker from scratch I'm afraid. Lost all the work I did on it due to a failed cheap DVD-R... eh, the menus were pretty flawed anyway, and I should just hire a translator to tackle all that hard Go Nagai interview stuff I can''t get when he's smiling and muttering to himself in that adorably kind way he likes to do it.

Of course, I also stumbled across the realization that the bare-bones Genocyber DVD from Central Park Media did have a couple worth-while extras, including a bunch of still galleries including stuff I'd never seen before, like the models that were created for the live action gore pieces in the first episode. How the hell did I miss them? Easy: CPM stored everything as an executable DVD-ROM program instead of putting that stuff in the menus like, y'know, everybody else. The quality is... eh, not ideal, but it's better than nothing. That means I actually have way MORE material than I thought I did, which is cool. It also means more work, namely me figuring out how to "rip" images from the goddamn thing.

Reviewing the Kentai Films transfer, I'm also slightly - only slightly - bummed at the quality my DVD recorder is capable of. The LD source I'm using is pretty solid, with only minor dropouts to be found, but I find that the more critical I become of DVDs in general the more compression artifacts I tend to find. For a fair comparison, here's a look at a complex shot from both the CPM DVD and the Kentai Films transfer:


Honestly the comparison isn't a particularly good one for either transfer, but I'd call it a fair one. On the left is the R1 release from Central Park Media, which in comparison is rather... well, flat. The detail seems soft, the black levels are washed out, and while you can't see it in a screenshot it's a god-awful NTSC-PAL and then back to NTSC transfer, which makes motion rather jerky and introduces seemingly random ghosting. This was from the days when CPM would partner with Manga UK, which explains why the dub for episodes 1-3 were British and not American. Unfortunately, CPM never got NTSC masters in the days of DVD, and by that point nobody wanted to pay for new prints, so we got stuck with PAL masters. Awesome, huh? On the other hand, the Kentai Films recording has some rather visible artifacts on the bright yellow flames, and some more subtle blocking in the background. Even at crazy high 8mbps bitrates, my recorder just... blocks up. Seeing it side by side with a "professional" DVD, I honestly feel better about the transfer than I did prior, but it proves that I could do better if I ever get my PC healthy and willing enough to capture straight from an LD to my hard drive so that I could filter and then encode it with CCE. Even TMPGEnc could probably do better than that, assuming I could keep the bitrates through the roof. I will say though, the contrast on my transfer looks a little... well, bright. Not overblown, exactly, just really cranked in comparison to the PAL transfer, which likely was modified beyond recognition between being processed to new standards multiple times. If this is the LD, the player, or the recorder I haven't a clue. And frankly I don't care since I no longer have this LD anyway, and thus will spare it my Frankensteinian lust for experimentation for another title in further need of it.

Anyway, back to figuring out how to rip a non-DVD based still gallery.

Oh! According to teh John over at AnimeNation.com (and if you don't know who he is you need a slappin', boy) mentioned something interesting about our old friend ANGEL COP. He noted that while episode 3 was released in 1991, the rest of the series was actually delayed due to the controversy surrounding the Tsutomu MIYAZAKI case. While an interesting observation if true, he acknowledges that he can't find the source on the information he read so many years ago, and as Miyazaki was arrested and tried in 1989 that... seems a little odd. However, episodes 4, 5 and 6 were all released on the exact same day in 1994, so there probably was SOME weird controversy going on over the title none the less. Crazy shit, no?