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{ Category Archives } reviews

On the Beach

Just finished this book. It is a gem. Some stories are great because of the tremendous imagination of the author. Some are great because of the engaging tone and style in which they are written. This book is great because every word intensifies a single emotion: despair. Not one is wasted or counterproductive. I like [...]

Google Wave

I tend not to be an early adopter of tech. With software, it’s because most software in the world exists to solve problems that I don’t have. With hardware, it’s that and the fact that new hardware is expensive as well. Thus it is that I only recently joined Google Wave. My impression before joining, [...]

Review: Lain

Lain is an introvert. She grows up in a family which for the most part ignores her. She is quiet and uncomfortable in crowds. In many ways, she’s an utterly unexceptional girl. Only one thing makes her unique. She is God (of the Wired). Lain is an interesting series: it’s cyberpunk in the Gibson sense, [...]

Review: The Next 100 Years

Just finished this fascinating book by George Friedman. It fails my first test of a book that purports to be non-fiction–it lacks a bibliography, collection of endnotes, or any other source citation mechanism–but since most of it describes events and trends that have not yet occurred, I can see how including one may have seemed [...]

Liberty and Tyranny

I recently encountered an childhood friend. We started talking politics, and it turns out that our thoughts politically have developed in very different directions. In keeping with the grand tradition of proxy war, we each agreed to choose a book for the other to read and comment on. He told me to read Liberty and [...]

Review: Bakemonogatari

Realism is easy. Everybody knows and agrees on what reality is, at least in the visible details. Anime is never perfectly realistic; if that were the goal, it’d be simpler to film a live action series. Despite the fact that certain aspects might be highlighted, caricaturized, or extrapolated, simple reality remains the baseline of the [...]

Anna Karenina

I cannot deny that Tolstoy is a fine author. Still, I find myself disappointed in the book’s resolution, and happier at simply having finished than at having completed a good book. The problem is that I can’t like any of the characters, and the characters are all this book has. The philosophy is outdated, the [...]

Sita Sings the Blues

This is an odd film. It’s the Ramayana, illustrated in a dizzying medley of visual styles and set to roaring twenties blues. It’s narrated by a trio of people who seem to be modern Indians-on-the-street asked to tell the story collaboratively without reference to authorities. It’s also intercut with what appears to be an autobiographical [...]

Ponyo

I’m generally a fan of Miyazaki’s work. However, he exhibits a lot of variation in the quality of his films, and this is one of his poorer ones. A human-faced “goldfish” seems to be the natural form of the mermaid. One of these creatures is accidentally captured by a human boy, who in the course [...]

Review: Kimikiss (Pure Rouge)

Kimikiss wants to be a moving drama about high schoolers discovering romance. It is set in the real world, so there are no fight scenes, magical events, or characters who revolve entirely around some unrealistic aspect of the setting. Those things aren’t necessary because high school romance is complicated by its very nature, as people [...]