Sunday, May 12, 2013

So the semester's over.

Not really relevant to the discussion, but an awesome image all the same.
Lately, I've been having a ton of trouble finding inspiration to write.  There have been more than a handful of games I've played that I felt I really wanted to write about, and would even keep notes on.  But when I sit down to write a full post, I just peter out.
It sucks.

I'm not really sure what to do about it.  But in the meantime, I've been reading some comics.  I started reading volume 2 of the Flash.  That's Wally West's run.  Written by Mark Waid, it ran for about 240 issues.  I'm a little over halfway through it.  It's really, really good.  Not just because Flash is my favorite superhero, but because they're legitimately entertaining, interesting stories.  And because Wally West shows more growth as a character than I'm used to seeing in a comic book.  The Wally West I'm reading about is very different from the one who first took up the mantle of The Flash in issue #1.  He's confident, he's experienced, and he knows exactly what he's fighting for.  All of these are traits that he gained, one by one, through various story arcs across Waid's run.  It's great.

I also read through Stephanie Brown's run as Batgirl (otherwise known as Batgirl volume 3).  While I adore Cassandra Cain, I've always been somewhat indifferent to Stephanie.  I don't particularly like or dislike her.  My introduction to her was in the later issues of Robin, and her frequent appearances throughout Batgirl volume 2.  Having finished Steph's run, I still don't think that as an individual she's a particularly great character.  Rather, I think that Stephanie is made a better character through her association with other characters.  The best, most entertaining parts of her existence have typically involved dialogue between her and other characters, like her consistently amusing banter with Damian, her friendship with Cassandra, and her partnership with Barbara.  If nothing else, Stephanie has a real penchant for bringing out better sides in the people she interacts with, and as characters, both parties benefit from it.

Next semester will the first in several years where I won't be taking a Japanese class (it's gonna be a general req semester).  So I've been looking for ways to compensate.  I figured it was about time I tried my hand at regular application of the language, so I picked up the visual novel Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, which simply means "Love, Elections and Chocolate."  I chose this one because I saw the anime recently and enjoyed it, but like many adaptations I felt like there should have been more to it.  So I looked up its source material and found out that was a VN, and one with rather pretty art at that.  I guess you could say the stars aligned?  Anyway, it took me most of the day but I got it rigged up and working properly, and I've actually been progressing pretty smoothly.  Granted, it takes me maybe six times longer to read through a sentence in Japanese than it would take me to read it in English, but I imagine these things take time.  Maybe if I keep at it, eventually it will only take me three times longer, instead.  The thing with VNs is that they have an incredible amount of monologue, which I usually don't like.  But in this case I suppose it's good practice.