Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The all non-gaming post
Let’s cleanse our gaming palette a bit and look at other items on the menu today:
Dark Horse just released another series from Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, the legendary duo behind the Lone Wolf and Cub manga. Path of the Assasin follows the story of Hattori Hanzo, a young ninja who serves an equally young lord Tokugawa Ieyasu. It’s quite different from Lone Wolf and Samurai Exectioner, but still great in it’s own way. Of course you need to start with the Lone Wolf series if you haven’t read any of the above though.
The Samurai Exectioner series ended recently with volume 10. It came before Lone Wolf and it shows in both good and bad ways. It’s more visceral at times (good), but also meanders more (bad). They really dialed it in once they started Lone Wolf though.
Eagerly awaiting book 11 of Negima. They stretch out the story sooooo much, but I’m already hooked. Volume 1 of the anime just got released here. Not interested in it at this time.
I’m a big frank Cho fan, but waited on getting his Shanna the She-Devil series until it got collected into one book. The hard cover is out now (which I finally picked up) and the soft cover comes out in November. The man is just a fantastic artist although the series feels overly censored at times. Still worth grabbing.
Another of my all-time favorites is Tsukasa Bullet. He just released his new doujinshi of sketches of random personal comics at the recent Summer Comiket 2006 in Japan.
I had no idea they were releasing domestic translated versions of ROBOT. It’s basically a high-end collection of short comics by the top manga artists around. I’ve only read the first two, but it’s fantastic stuff. There are five in Japan so far, three total released here.
Finally got around to reading Moneyball. It’s interesting how much controversy the book has sparked, but it’s absolutely essential reading if you remotely enjoy the game of baseball. You will never view a game the same again.
A little bit before that, I finished In Cold Blood. I saw the movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman first. Fantastic movie, fantastic book. Both different since the flick focuses a little more on the author.
With all that “reality” reading, I think the next book will be in the fantasy realm. Sean gave me the first volumes from The Wheel of Time series (10 books and counting) and A Song of Fire and Ice series (Game of Thrones, four books currently, maybe o 7 and 8). I usually like to read a series once it has finished since it’s so easy to forget what happened last. I do have a few completed sci-fi series, but not sure I want a futuristic tale right now.
Once again, ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker is first rate entertainment. It’s interesting the way they are presenting it this year, leading off with a ton more circuit events and straight into the main event. I haven’t checked the schedule, so not sure if they are going to play any of the other matches, like the one where Phil Hellmuth won his 10th bracelet. One of the earlier circuit events had my man Scotty Nguyen at the final table. I really wanted him to win, but at least he got some dough for his troubles. The event where Daniel Negraneu won officially made me a fan of this guy. I didn’t like him that much before, but ESPN wisely spread out their coverage to let viewers witness the nuances of his chatty game.
I’m glad Project Runway is getting the media attention it deserves. By far the best “reality” show out there.
Still watching Big Brother All-Stars. I hate this show, but also can’t stop watching and talking about it.
Haven’t been to the theater much lately, but I will be first in line for Nightmare Before Christmas 3D. How awesome is the poster? Way awesome.
I’m starting to think maybe I won’t get a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player this fall. Why not sit out the initial growing pains and jump in when things are settled (and cheaper)? I got hipped to this sweet upconverting Oppo DVD player. Similar players have been around for a long time, but most have been buggy and the quality has been less than satisfying. This one seems different. There is just no way I am re-buying most of the DVDs I own, so a top flight upconverting option is a must.
Sure, HD-DVD and Blu-ray players on the market now and in the future have this feature built-in, but how good is it? At $200, the Oppo player costs the same as the rumored price point for the HD-DVD attachment for the 360. If I were a betting man, I would say the attachment will have poor to average upconversion. Not that I’m in some terrible hurry to blow $200. I may wait out all DVD options until next year at this rate.
It was impossible to find this in theaters during its brief domestic run, but it’s out on DVD in a week or two. Select clips are everywhere if you’re curious. I’m psyched.
Last, but not least, I took in a company sponsored Giants game. It was the afternoon game against the Diamondbacks with Schmidt on the mound. Really great game with a clutch hit by my man Alfonso. I went to last year’s company game and the Giants won then too. Rad.
Posted by Wataru Maruyama at 5:56 PM