Monday, 30 July 2012

The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya- novel 2


Set in November. Its mentioned that the events of this book take place 6 months later from the first book. At the end of the first book its mentioned that its the last week of May / first week of June, so the fact that this book is apparently set 6 months later from all that is really confusing, because its not. If it were, it would be set in early December, but then towards the end of this book it says its October, so whatever.

The culture festival is around the corner, and Haruhi decides that the SOS brigade should make a movie as a way of proving to the school that the club should be legitimately recognised by the school council.

They walk to a shopping district and Haruhi barges into an electronics store to obtain a camera for free. next they visit a model shop and obtain a model gun, also for free. Its not until their revisits that it becomes apparent that they are taping commercials for the shops, hence why they got the goods for free. Asahina is also dressed as a waitress. This is for the film, but primarily because her class is organising a 'maid cafe' for the festival. Yuki Nagato's class is doing fortune telling, with Nagato doing the fortunes, lol that would be interesting. Nagato is wearing her custom made mage/fortune teller getup in the club room all the time and around school, and its also necessary for the film. I shouldn't really spoil things, but I must point out that the Disappearance arc takes place a few months after this, which focuses primarily on Yuki's emotions that she wasn't supposed to have. So Yuki walking around in costume, from her own free will, when shes not supposed to, clearly shows that she absolutely adores it.

The film is a funny idea. Its about the fictional Mis-adventures of Asahina the time traveler, Yuki Nagato the evil alien wizard, and Koizumi the esper. Yeah. Kyon really regrets telling Haruhi who they really were. Oh yeah about that, the last words of the last book was that he was planning on telling Haruhi exactly who they were and what was going on. In the beginning of this book, it picks up straight from where things left off and Kyon tells her everything, only for her to not believe a word. THEN the story shifts to November.

They revisit the shops and Haruhi forces them to film commercials for the stores. Mikuru is also in her bunny girl getup this time.
On another day they film some crazy scenes in a mountain park. Haruhi forces Mikuru to wear a contact in one eye, and act out a scene like she's firing a beam from her eye to Yuki, who is suppose to be the villain. Only a real beam fires out instead, causing havoc. Yuki uses lightning quick moves to jump onto Mikuru to take out the contact and bite her with nano-machines which neutralises the affect.
 Another day beings the same problems. Despite inoculating Asahina with nano-machines which will stop Asahina firing Photon lasers, it didnt stop her from from firing other forms of beams with a new contact, this time a silver one.

They film at a temple with some doves. Haruhi remarks that she would have preferred them to be pure white.

They film at a pond, and a new character is introduced, or rather, seen for a second time depending on what order you read these books. She is called Tsuruya, and seems to be a new background character who strangely could easily become Haruhis best friend as they seem to have to have fitting personalities for one another.
Haruhi is taking things too far during filming. First of all she makes Asahina fall into the pond. This leads to the cast visiting Tsuruyas mansion nearby so Asahina can be taken care of. Next Haruhi decides to continue filming in the house itself. The scene was going to be of Koizumi and Asahina kissing, but Kyon was seeing none of it and intervened. After learning that Hahuri and Tsuruya helped spike Asahinas orange juice with tequila, Kyon got so mad that he was on the verge of punching Haruhi, but was held back by Koizumi. Kyon then storms out, effectively ending the days shoot.

In the coming days, the shoot includes more strange things happening. The most prominent one being that Haruhi decides that they need a talking cat to accompany Nagato. The cat (called Shamisen) ends up really talking, but out of ear shot from Haruhi and the public. Haruhi decides that Kyon should keep the cat, so he does.

The blur between reality and fantasy dont blur too much, but according to Koizumi it all points to doom and gloom. Kyon sorts it all out by having Haruhi say words over the ending credits of the movie, which say that the events in the film were fictional. This is backed up by the cat not being able to talk and the doves retuning to their natural colour. Interestingly, they have only one night to edit the film together, and Haruhi and Kyon stay overnight in the club room to work on it. However they both fall asleep. Kyon is woken up the next morning by an expectant Haruhi asking if the movie is completed. Kyon plays the file and finds that it IS complete, with CG and everything. THIS IS AN UNEXPLAINED TIME TRAVEL EVENT! Better take note of that!

The movie is scheduled along side the movie societies, and its never explained what the reception was like. The story of Haruhi singing in a band seems to be like its going to continue in a short story down the line. God I hate how this series seems to jump here and there. Its all out of sequence. The next book is going to be set directly after book 1, so whats up with that!?

The great dictator director
Ehm, anyway, Kyon notices that some guys that were dressed in battle armor in the weeks leading up to the culture festival around school never showed up in the festival. THIS IS AN UNEXPLAINED TIME TRAVEL EVENT! Or is it?? The worst thing about this book though was just how lame the story was. It works so much better as an anime as books tend to give more detail to a story, and in this case, the more detail doesnt help. The story dragged. The other annoying thing was that this book is set soooo many months after fantastic key events take place. Why couldn't this series follow in a proper continuous timeline, instead of chopping and changing all the time? Erghhh im just repeating myself.


6-10. Meh. It was OK. Not as interesting a story as the first book. There needs to be more things going on in order to keep my interest. Maybe this series would work better as a collection of short stories, as long as the time flows in continuity with itself.

Up next: The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina Episode 00.

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Thursday, 26 July 2012

RANTS: Modern earphones

What the hell happened to the good old fashion earphones for Walkmans/ipods/Mp3 Players/phones/handhelds/etc??? You know, the hardy ones that sit just inside the ear? OK so i know that they didnt always fit everyone, and that something had to be done about it, but the outcome from design teams were to create something that act more like earplugs, giving consumers a choice of rubber fitting. I cannot fathom for the life of me why real music lovers would appreciate these. But more about this in a second.

I have always used the old 'hardy' (? How else should i call them) Sony earphones, mostly because they would last for years unless you did something stupid like get them crushed upon closing a car door (yeah that happened) or something else. In recent years (like, the last 10 years) I have been relying on the Sony MDR-E 818 LP which are slightly inferior to my favourite, the Sony MDR-E808 that sported the gold jack. The main reason why I appreciate Sony rather than the others is how the jack is bent, meaning the cable can easily wrap around the Walkman without jutting out too much, which would otherwise cause the wire to bend too much to the point that it breaks and you need a new set of earphones. And yeah, this happens. A lot.

Well, my Sony MDR-E 818 LP are finally starting to fail me after 6 or so years since my even older pair of identical earphones, which I still keep. And you know why? Because the only problem with these earphones (both sets now), hear me, the ONLY problem with these earphones is that the jack is silver. Thats it. Nothing else. Because its not gold, the jack needs to be twisted minutely a thousand times before you kick out the static which distorts the sound. Slight taps or knocks on the jack can distort the sound and you need to twist it again to get it working fine. This is not a problem with gold jacks.

These days it seems like the only earphones you can purchase are ones that plug directly into your ear, with differing sized rubber bits for 'comfort'. These are all extortionately priced, with some apparently being better quality than others. After reading extensive reviews I took the plunge on a pair of what were apparently a 'good' pair, the Sony EX210. Let me assure you, they are crap. But not for the reasons you may think. My gripe is with the modern ear plug design. Yes i know it caters for more consumers, but they are ALL CRAP. EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE. Doesn't matter about manufacture or price, and heres why-

Ear wax. on the old style can you put them in and take them out and pack your walkman away instantly. On these the ear wax gets EVERYWHERE. You have to CLEAN THEM before packing them away, and some wax gets inside the ear phones to places out of reach. Yuck.

All sizes of ear plugs hurt. I tested out my new, first and last pair of these 'modern' earphones for about half and hour and both ears hurt. Like hell. They still do.

swallowing doesn't help. Your ears are blocked and want to be set free.

The plugs have to be inserted at the exact minute length inside your ears to get the sound and bass 'right'. thus ensues constant readjusting.

You cannot sing, hum, eat or even use your teeth as the drums as you jam to the music, it instantly distorts the sound.

You cannot hear the real world. this poses a problem if someone is trying to talk to you. Who cares about car noise with the old style, its more of a nucense not being able to hear a THING other than music. Music that sounds off anyway because you need to readjust the left or right phone to get the music to sit central in your head.

I have always trusted Sony in terms of Quality. But the only good points i see from the Sony EX210 are the legnth of cord and the golden jack. Oh yeah another thing, the wire is incredibly thin. It feels like it could snap if tugged or pulled by accident.

So overall I hate these with a passion. I have never had a problem with the old style and wish i could find a pair with a twisted golden jack.

Bring back the MDR-E808!