[personal profile] jtniehof
Interactive Data Visualization for the Web, Lord Foul's Bane, Chance Pop Session, Star Trek: TOS, Bungo Stray Dogs, Pan de Peace!, Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou, Flying Witch

Interactive Data Visualization for the Web (Scott Murray): I did a read-through, rather than work the examples, which may have impacted my opinion. The book is example-oriented and quite rich in that regard; unfortunately, it lacked a bit of depth. Obviously this isn't "learn Javascript," but the "interactive" angle was lacking---I don't think I could make a truly rich presentation given the material. There was also no treatment of reading data other than simple text files. A lot of this might have been out of scope, but some pointers to references would have helped. The further reading at the back had nothing that sounded like it would hit those points.

Lord Foul's Bane (Stephen R. Donaldson): Pretty interesting for about the first twenty pages, before the plot arrived, along with a persistent feel of apeing Lord of the Rings. I know it's a product of the time, but seriously, names and places and even backstory read like somebody turned the crank on a Tokienesque setting generator. The next paragraph gets into slight spoiler and maybe triggery territory, fair warning.

Again, this paragraph may be triggery and a bit spoilery. Can we talk about the rape? It's not really a spoiler...it happens early on, and it's the If You Know One Thing About This Book. Supposedly it ties in somehow with the whole dream/not-dream question, but I found neither much connection nor much development of that theme: Covenant occasionally pauses to wonder about the nature of his reality, without ever changing or making progress. He completely forgot about the victim, but apparently not the act (really, he's not worried about how it affected her), until suddenly at the end he goes "wait, I did what?" as if he had forgotten the act. Covenant is not so much antihero as ahero.

Chance Pop Session (ep 1-3): I gave this three episodes because I'd heard how good it was, but was bored the entire time. There's really only one of the three main characters who shows any, well, character, any interest in performing and drive to make that happen.

Star Trek TOS: On the whole, it's held up pretty well. Despite all the jokes people make, there's a fair bit of sophistication. The effects are surprisingly good, but I don't know which were redone, or how extensively. Season 1 is utopian and hard-hitting and a bit preachy. Season 2 smooths it out a bit with better plot and more subtle messaging. Season 3 has blackface, yellowface, redface, and a white man whipping a black woman.

Bungo Stray Dogs: I feel this didn't live up to its premise plot-wise, but the characters were interesting enough to pull us through.

Pan de Peace!: We just called this one "bread lesbians" because it's the Yuru Yuri genre of suspiciously close schoolgirls, but with bread. Cute.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou: The surprise hit of Spring 2016, probably attributable to Daichi's direction. Exactly the right combination of over-the-top and taking itself seriously. This is definitely one for trying the first episode...it doesn't change much in style from there.

Flying Witch: It's a slice of life, maybe not even a particular standout in that category, but was largely cute and pleasant.
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March 2017

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