Monday, January 15, 2007

Team Rocket origins, 2 job ops, fanlisting craze, I'm thirsty...

I have sort of liked Team Rocket since I first got into Poké fact Jessie (one of the members) was my favorite character at first. The cool thing is that more and more about their origins (how they met, etc) has been coming out over the years. One episode that really does that is "Training Daze," an episode of the Pokémon spin-off Pokémon Chronicles. I just watched it online via Toonami's online cartoon viewing spot, Toonami Jetstream. It's a great little ep which shows how Jessie couldn't keep a partner, and then when she got James as a partner things finally worked out.

You can watch the ep here:

Speaking of Toonami Jetstream, I don't know if I already mentioned this, but I've been getting into an anime called The Prince of Tennis. It was originally only available legally in the U.S. via Toonami Jetstream, but just before Christmas 2006 it made its debut on the Cartoon Network's Saturday night Toonami lineup. The show is basically about this 7th grade kid named Echizen Ryoma who is really good at tennis. That's the best I can figure out at this point. It's an interesting anime to bring to the U.S., since sports anime like Prince of Tennis, while very popular in Japan, don't usually get legally brought stateside. But I guess the Japanese animation companies have decided to take a chance on us and bring it over.

More than likely it has been brought over because of a trend. There has been a recent trend of success with shounen (young boy-targeted; animes like Outlaw Star that are targeted for teenage boys and older are called seinen) anime, like Naruto, Inuyasha and Fullmetal Alchemist, in the U.S. Hence the market is ripe for more shounen anime, and The Prince of Tennis, being shounen, fits the demand. Plus, since it is a sports anime, the likes of which haven't really been seen in the U.S. before (the Slam Dunk manga, which, like the title suggests, is about basketball, is the only other example I can think of), that makes things even better. To please both genders, Toonami paired The Prince of Tennis, which is sports and action (the kind of things boys like) with another shounen anime of the fantasy variety called MÄR in the same hour block.

I think the anime appeals to both boys and girls though because both boys and girls watch tennis, and tennis is a sport played by both men and women, unlike baseball or football. The action and great use of animation effects like slow-motion, use of greyscale frames, stills of characters with voice-overs of their thoughts, and the like are enough to attract someone of any gender, even if they can say, as Sakuno does in episode 1, "I don't know much about tennis, but I love it!" You could not even like tennis or know a thing about it and still like this show.

Now, in my case, I do like tennis and have had for a long time a basic idea of how the game works. Now, thanks to having done a speech about tennis, I know far more about types of shots, scoring, positions, and other tennis stuff than I really need to to understand the game from poring over about 8 books on tennis for research. Having knowledge of the game helps me appreciate The Prince of Tennis even more.

Personally, I think the animators make it relatively easy for even the tennis novice to understand the show; after all, although Japan has many good pro tennis players (mainly women) and even hosts its own pro tournament (the AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships, held in Tokyo), tennis is still a imported sport in Japan. It's not like sumo, for instance, which is distinctly Japanese.

Anyway, I have 2 job opportunities that have gone as far as the interview stage and beyond. I am just waiting for a drug test result on one, a job as a General Merchandise Clerk at Stater Bros., working in the Service Deli department. The other I had an interview for and am supposed to hear back from early this week. That's as an employee at Babies R Us.

I have gotten back into the craze of joining fanlistings, having joined enough to fill about 3 or so Microsoft Word pages just in the last 2-3 days! (I keep a list in a Word file of the fanlistings I've joined, so I know when it comes time to put the link button on my site what to link to, and also so I don't try to join one I've already joined). There are so many fanlistings listed at that it's almost overwhelming. Most of them are rather random, like the ones for the program Notepad, for breakfast, or for DVD commentaries. Some are really specific, being for certain characters from books, movies, or TV, or certain relationships (platonic and romantic) from the same. There are even ones for items, from Nausicaä's Mehve (flying contraption) from the movie Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind to the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal) from Sailor Moon to Zakuro's Cross Whip from Tokyo Mew Mew.

I may create a fanlisting for the Sailor Moon live-action show Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, since there doesn't seem to be one though there are many Sailor Moon senshi-related fanlistings that include the senshi's PGSM incarnations under their subjects, and fanlistings for some of the actors of PGSM (I joined the ones for Kitagawa Keiko, Komatsu Ayaka, and Chieco Kawabe, who play Rei/Sailor Mars, Minako/Sailor Venus, and Osaka Naru respectively). The only problem is that fanlistings are tough to keep up, and I've got two sites, a blog, and a video hosting account to attend to. Plus making one requires at least one page with a form, the script for which (JavaScript I think) is not exactly easy to do.

I'm thirsty and jittery from sitting so much at the computer. I'm going to go for a walk. More later.

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