Wednesday, March 11, 2009

G.I. Joe vs. japanese Godzilla: Ever wondered why?

One thing I've been thinking about is how 80's TV shows for americans involved saving the world from evil villains who wanted to dominate the world, while japanese cartoons involve saving the city from total anihilation by giant monsters (from space or elsewhere).

After watching a recent movie about the CIA, I realized it was all about war.

For Japan, it was Hiroshima. A city was completely destroyed and the country fell into chaos. On the other hand, the 80's were for the U.S. about the cold war and the cuban missiles looming like Damocles' Sword upon the free world (read-as: The U.S.)

So, we have G.I. Joe, we have the Marvel and D.C. Cartoons (including of course, Captain America), we have space operas, but all of them centered around an evil villain wanting to rule the universe/galaxy/planet/whatever, and a team of heroes wanting to counter them (He-man, Silver Hawks, Blackstar, Bravestarr, etc).

Meanwhile, the Japanese have Godzilla, giant robots fighting giant monsters (again, all in the city) or invaders from outer space...

Notice the difference:

East: The bad guys just destroy the defenseless city.
West: The bad guys want to destroy the government.

East: The bad guys are ALWAYS more powerful than the military (remember, who lost WW2?)
West: The bad guys are ALWAYS less powerful than the military.

East: The bad guys don't care who they kill - the more, the better.
West: The bad guys only threaten to kill - to lure the good guys into a certain death.

East: The good guys defeat the bad guys even at a technological handicap. They're SMART!
West: The good guy can only defeat the bad guys with greater technology (a lesson well learned during WW2: The gun is mightier than the sword!)

This philosophical difference is also appreciated during modern cartoons and TV shows.

East:

Robotech: Aliens come and destroy the planet - well, almost all of it, and the good guys defeat them using their own technology.
Slayers: Demons can only be defeated by summoning even greater demons (and we have to thank they can't destroy the whole world... yet)
Dragonball Z: The (insert your favorite enemy) wants to destroy the Earth.
Voltron: Aliens want to destroy the planet. How to fight them? With a giant robot, of course!

West:
He man vs. Skeletor and his evil henchmen...
Spiderman vs. (insert your typical villain)...
Batman vs. (insert your typical villain)...
Superman vs. (insert your typical supervillain)...
Knight Rider vs. your typical thieves...

Anime is often criticized for its excessive violence. But there's something we have forgotten: We may have been scared about 9/11, but it was the U.S. who put the bomb in Hiroshima and Nagazaki. Do we have the moral right to complain about the excessive violence in japanese cartoons? But I digress.

The main difference is that while we were worrying about the cold war and the russians, the japanese were still trying to cope with the destruction of not only two of their greatest cities, but of their whole civilization. The stigma is still there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How anime companies are shooting themselves in the foot

How anime companies are shooting themselves in the foot (oh, and I found a nice anime blog)

I may be preaching to the choir, but I couldn't resist posting about it... again.

This time it's anime companies. I recently found a cool blog dedicated to reviewing anime. It's located at http://vissione.wordpress.com/. So, it's a very nice place to check out for anime you might want to watch.

The problem? Almost all the opening and closing sequences I found were removed due to copyright reasons. Isn't that stupid? The guy isn't stealing anyone's media. He's PROMOTING YOUR ANIME YOU IDIOTS! (i'm talking to the anime companies).

And then I remember Peter's Principle and realize that the owners of anime companies are a bunch of incompetent dummies.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I quit my job, and I feel fine!

When I signed up for a C++ developer job at the company, the least I expected is that I would be testing webpages and have nothing else to do. I can't say anything more (I don't want to be sued). But I can't stand it anymore. I want a job where I can fully exploit my C++ abilities.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Amazon + 360 game + intl shipping + clumsiness = ARGH!

Last week something happened that really irritated me. Someone broke an XBOX 360 game that I had purchased online (with LOTS of difficulties).

The game? Guilty Gear 2: Overture. At first I had tried to purchase it through Amazon. No problem there, right? Wrong.

First difficulty: Export restrictions.

There was an export restriction that prevented Amazon from sending me the game directly.

So what did I do? I happened to have a US address so that they could send the package there. It's one of those international services that help you get packages sent to you across the border (legally). Normally it's not easy to get those, because you need to go to the U.S. embassy to sign some bureaucracy papers. A relative of mine happened to have one, so I used that instead.

Second difficulty: Shipping expenses.

Everyone would think shipping would have no problems. But I ended up spending over $150 in shipping for a stupid game. Wanna know how much the game costs? Less than $30. Obviously something VERY WRONG is going on.

Third difficulty: I can't send the package directly to my friend.

As if that wasn't hard enough, I needed to receive the package where I live, because that's a restriction of the international delivery service. Guess what, I had to wait at home to check if the package arrived. What would happen if nobody was home when the package arrived? Fortunately, my parents were home the day the package arrived. But that was a rare case.

What happens next? I have to send the package to my friend, and spend another $30 sending the package to my friend (we don't live in the same city).

The whole transaction took over 2 months.

The next week... my friend was playing the game with one of his pals, when the XBOX 360 fell, and the game got terribly scratched.

I can't ask for a replacement because that doesn't apply to international orders. So I wasted over three hundred dollars total.

What about backups? Now, if the XBOX 360 allowed one to make backups of their games so that they don't get scratched in an accident, everyone would be happy. but oh, no! Piracy!!! Gasp! We need to protect our billionaire investments!

And still, my friend insists that he wants to get ANOTHER copy. Original of course. (I still don't understand why can't we purchase a pirated version of the game, *IF* we could get one. It's for ONE person, only ONE license is needed, right?)

This is the reason why I don't support the videogame industry - or the music or film industries. They don't care about backups. They don't care about replacing your broken discs (even if making one of them costs only one cent). They just care about their money. They're RIPPING US OFF, and then they treat us like criminals.

Well, there's NO WAY IN HELL that I'm going through all that again! Want to get a game? Get some patience and wait for the game to get sold in here. Then, TAKE CARE OF IT!

The whole videogames industry is just a mafia. Export restrictions, anti-backup ("anti-piracy") measures, overinflated prices... I'm sick tired of it. I'm glad I already sold my PS2 and the games I had purchased (first-sale doctrine, hurray!). And I don't plan to purchase another console for me (or for anybody else) EVER.

Congratulations, Microsoft! Your just lost a valuable customer!