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“There are 2 main voices in your life. So which is louder? The Crowd or the Cross?”

Between the world we know
and the things we fear,
there are doors.
When they are opened,
nightmares…become reality.

-from Discovery Channel’s “A Haunting” Documentaries

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This right here is your first taste of probably my favorite band of all time; Symphony X!
Accordingly, this song is one of my absolute favorites by them. It’s called, “Evolution (The Grand Design)”. It’s the first song off the 2000 album “V: The New Mythology Suite”; an album where each song is a chapter in the story of Atlantis. Here we learn about the creation of Atlantis by the great beings of wisdom as they forge a beautiful utopia housing a highly advanced race of people.
I love the focused yet raw sense of creation and energy this song creates, as is appropriate for its subject. =)

Friday, August 18, 2006

   I Have Returned! And Guess What!
Hey everybody. How’s it going?

Before we get going, I just want to ask and make sure that everyone has seen the post below this one with all the screens from Dead Rising and such.
I need to get those off my page because they may be causing loading problems for some people. BUT, I wanna’ make sure everyone’s seen em’ before I do. ~_^
So, if you haven’t already, please, please, PLEASE check out the previous post before I delete all those screen-shots.

OK, onto an overdue post and update on my current status.
I’ haven’t posted for a while on here, mainly due to the fact everyone seemed absent for a while.
But, guess what happened in that duration between now and last post. =^_^=
I got the new computer installed in my room! And you know what that means; I now have Photoshop at my access!!! ^o^

I haven’t done anything profound with it yet (mostly because it took me until now to get my Artwork folder transferred from the old computer to this one), but that’ll change soon. ^_^

I’ll tell you right now though, there are a lot of glitches & kinks in my new computer that need to be worked out by my mom.
My e-mail doesn’t work, MS Word isn’t working properly, I “don’t have authority” to delete files I don’t want, and my Desktop’s loaded with extra junk I don’t need and can’t use (and can’t delete! O_o ). In addition, about 1/3 of my music library isn’t working because I “don’t have a license” to play that media. There were some glitches transferring all my stuff from the old computer (which is now in my little brother’s room) to this one, and apparently one of those glitches was it not transferring the licenses for a lot of my music.
Here’s what I can’t currently play in Media Player:
-My 1 Black Label Society (Zack Wylde) album,
-My 1 CKY album,
-My 2 Dream Theater albums,
-3 of my Iron Maiden albums (my other 6 albums work, though ~_^ ),
-My 1 Rammstein album,
-All 4 of my Symphony X albums ToT,
-And my 1 Yngwie Malmsteen album

My Metallica, Dragonforce, Guns N’ Roses and Flogging Molly albums seem to be working fine, however. ^_^ So I luckily can make due until I can find the license info on my old computer and get it transferred to here.

Alright, now that I’ve bored you with listing what music I can and can’t listen to (sorry about that ^_^; ), I’ll move on to more important stuff.

I got my schedule for this school year the other day in the mail. I’m happy with all the classes I got, but the new horrendous scheduling being implemented by CMS this year (which I’ve already whined to you about) still has me depressed. -_-; I can tell you right now guys: The new schedule is going to suck for everyone. (For those new to this issue, you’re probably saying “that’s a horrible attitude to go in with”. But remember, as I explained, lots of students and teachers have left to go to other schools just because of how much this new schedule will suck.)

It also doesn’t help that school begins on the 25th. >_<; We were told the one up to this new schedule would be 3 extra weeks of summer! *sigh*, another lie from CMS.

I’m really, really depressed about how this new school year is going to go, guys.
Are the PM’s here on The Otaku finally working yet? I may just need to chat with one of my close friends here and get advice on what to do and all (the PM system here’s been busted since March as I recall, so it’s been a while since I’ve PM’ed one of my buddies here for help when I feel depressed).

OK everybody, now that all the news and explanation is out of the way, my next post will be a lot shorter and hopefully happier.

I’m gonna’ go visit and comment on all your sites now. ^_^
In the meantime, when you read this post please tell me all that happened that I may or may not have missed since my last post on the 8th.

Here’s today’s Art-Feature…
“Deep In The Forest”, by MakiHosaku:
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I love this girl’s facial-expression.
She has that air of innocence, and it appears that she’s receiving and feeling some sort of emotion at the moment. I’m not sure what that is, but it seems to me to be something like a sense of awe (“surprise” of “shock” don’t seem to describe it, as they’re a tad too strong).
What do you think about this piece?

Alright everybody, thanks for reading!
I’m off to visit your sites! ^o^

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Tuesday, August 8, 2006

   When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Mall...
Hey everybody. Guess what’s released today. =)
That’s right. Today is the day that Dead Rising gets released to the public!!! ^o^

I’m so excited, even though I don’t have an Xbox360 (but, some of my friends do, so there’s always hope for that!).
I’m probably so excited merely because I’ve been anticipating this game’s release for so long. I first heard about it in the coverage of E3 in 2005, and when I saw that old prototype trailer for its earliest build I said to myself, “Man, that looks awesome!!!”.
Then it was pushed back in its release-date from lat May to early August of this year, which had me rather disappointed at the time.

But now, free-roaming Zombie-survival is now here, and it’s sure to be awesome.
Seriously people, I know I’m a tad biased toward zombie-related things, but my expectations are really high for this one. =) After reading gameplay descriptions, there looks like there may be a few things that might muck-up the gameplay a little. However, I’m hoping any problems the design might create (such as the odd idea for the game’s passage of time, as those who have been reading about the game might know about) will be small and easily smoothed-out by the game’s other good qualities. =D

I could talk your ear off describing all the aspects of this game that’ll make it so awesome, such as the graphics, mission-structure, premise, characters, photography system, free-form gameplay and creative design, but I’ve already talked loads about that stuff in previous posts. So, I’ll save my gushing for my next post or so. Plus, on the post before my last I talked a deal about the game’s creative idea for in-game photography, so if you’re interested and haven’t read that yet please scroll-down to the bottom of my page.

Speaking of that post, I had a massive amount of awesome screen-shots from the game on it, but took them down because they were distorting my site and might have caused some loading problems for some of you. However, it seems I may have taken them down too early, because a lot of you seemed to get to that post and comment afterwards.
So, to rectify this, I’ll post those awesome pics again today. ^_^

Before you skip these, keep in mind that these are the most awesome pics I’ve seen from the game, gathered from the IGN website. Those of you with dial-up or slow connections would go nuts trying to check out the pics they have at IGN since you have to load, return and re-load each page, so this is a much easier way to see all the awesome pictures for the game.
Logan’s always looking out for his friends that have to deal with dial-up. ~_^
So, here are the pics you may have missed. I want you all to tell me which ones are your favorites. ^_^

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(An example of how your camera will come into play.)

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Aren’t those awesome!?!? ^o^
For more information on Dead Rising, you can go to IGN.com for actual information and a few cool gameplay videos (but again, if you’re on dial-up I don’t recommend going there for pictures. That’s why I posted all the awesome pictures here in one swoop. ~_^ ).

Speaking of Dead Rising, I wanted to show you this lovely web-comic Rosa posted on her site yesterday in commemoration of the release of this wonderful game:
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XD That’s comedic gold right there. I just love seeing a piece of media that I’m already interested in being satirized and made the subject of humor. X) Thanks for posting this, Rosa-chan!

Allright, now that Dead Rising’s out of the way (for today at least), here are some other art-related news updates for you:

-Erin-chan has posted another round of photos of her new room after redecorating. ^_^ You can check them out on her site.

-Vankala 86 has posted a positively lovely new drawing of Sora in her gallery. Votes, views and comments are of course always greatly appreciated, so feel encouraged to check out her newest piece of artwork here.

-As of today, deviantART has launched the newer, slicker version 5.0 site-build. The new build features larger thumbnails, automatic imbed and thumbnail HTML, more emoticons, new sorting and selection categories and a slew of other new helpful features. Hopefully these changes will be well-received by deviants and will make their art-surfing experience all the more enjoyable.

-As for me, I did a slew of drawing last night, hopefully signifying the end of my recent Art-Block.
You’ll have to wait until later for more specific details as to what I accomplished, but I’ll go ahead and tell you my work last night encompassed work on Erin’s birthday-present, a zombie (thank you, Dead Rising….) and the start of a new project I think the female fans will enjoy. ;) More on that to come.

Alright everybody, I need to let my little sister on the computer for a while (she’s been a really good girl today <3 ), so I’ll o ahead and end this post with today’s Art-Feature.
“Lan’s New Obsession” by Lan Ishikiori:
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This piece is just too remarkably cute and too familiar to not take notice of.
Here we have Lan (as a chibi, of course), expressing her love for Edward as a character. Fangirls have become an integral part of anime-culture, and are a vital pillar of anime society.
I can tell you right now, there’s nothing wrong with being a fangirl, so long as you do it right. It’s perfectly OK to have a love for something your passionate about, namely anime. However, many people take the fangirl occupation way, way, WAY too far. Many tarnish the designation of “fangirl” by being truly obsessive and delusional about anime characters or smutting-up a respectable anime series and its fan-base with their twisted sick-fucker fantasies. It pisses me off when people like that call themselves “fangirls”, because their not. They’re “fanfreaks” and “fanfuckers”.

However, there is a right way to be a fangirl, and I’ve met many people who do it in such a way, Kylee (“SonicRocksMySocks”) being a prime example.

Moving away from my philosophy and onto the piece itself, Lan seems to show some pretty serious digital skill.
The colors are extremely vibrant and bright, and the lining is clean and smooth.
Ed looks exactly as he does in anime, looking like he was drawn by a true professional who had worked on the show. His facial-expression is also wonderful. X)

This is a simplistic but professional-looking piece of artwork containing both charm and familiarity. It’s by a fan of Fullmetal Alchemist that’s about her love for Fullmetal Alchemist, namely its protagonist. XD

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Monday, August 7, 2006

   The First to Know and Understand.....
Hey everybody. How’s it going?

So, after months of neglecting to do so, I changed-up the intro to my site again. ^_^
You’ll be happy to know I finally got rid of that flash-gear poll that’s been there forever (thank you to all who participated!). I tallied-up the results for future reference. Hmmmm…it appears that “Female Fan-Service” won by a long shot. As reluctant as I am to draw such a thing, you may have just convinced me to try it. *giggle* Do you girls have any suggestions for specific ideas I could use that you would find entertaining? X)

I also put up a new Header for my site (don’t you just love my combination of humor and mastery of MS Paint? XD ). Yes, yes, I’m sure my new slogan for my site could be taken as something remotely dirty, but it’s meant to be funny. Josh certainly thought it was. X) What do you guys think?
By the way, did anyone here understand the humor of my previous site-header? You know, this one:
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I’m gonna’ be real miffed if nobody got this joke. =/ Surly I can’t be the only one here familiar with The Twilight Zone.

Another thing you hopefully noticed immediately was that I now have music available for you to listen to.
I’ve been talking about how much I love Symphony X for a while now, but now it’s time for you all to see why. =)
I have it on “Auto-Play”, so it should start playing as soon as you enter my site. Is the file working for you? Hopefully Videodesk won’t screw it up (as it has many times before).

So, if it is working, how do you like it? ^_^ It’s one of my all-time favorite songs by them; “Evolution (The Grand Design)”.
For those wondering, Symphony X is a neo-classical metal group. That means they’re considered heavy metal, but the metal is written with the style and influence of classical music (my favorite! *o* ). Hopefully you can hear that while listening to the song.
Also, Symphony X’s favorite subject it classic mythology, and pretty much all of their songs are written about a myth or something with a mythological texture. “Evolution (The Grand Design)” is the start-up song to the album “V: The New Mythology Suite”; an album where each song is a chapter in the story of the fabled continent of Atlantis. Thusly, “Evolution” is about the creation of Atlantis by the grand beings of wisdom. The first Atlantean was “Ptah-Khnemu”, high-priest of the temple of Ra and the wise ruler and hero of the Atlanteans (known as “The Bringer of Light”).

Like any of Symphony X’s songs, I love the lyrics to this one. ^_^ They also captured a wonderful, raw sense of energy and creation which fits the song perfectly.
Don’t you just love listening to the electric-guitar thunder away while the symphonic strings and brasses sing in the background? Personally, I think it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. ^_^

So, tell me if you like Symphony X and I’ll post more of them for you. =)

Allright, that’s about enough about my stupid site-intro. Now onto something more interesting.
In other Otaku news, Miyoko-chan has posted some lovely ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of her room on her site! ^o^
As you may or may not know, Erin-chan recently rearranged her room and is now ready to show us the final product (and compare it to what it looked like before).
As you also may or may not know, Erin-chan’s computer recently bit the bullet, but has now been resurrected thus allowing Erin-chan access back to The Otaku. As I’m sure everyone is, I’m glad to have The Erin-chan back. b~_^
Oh, and by the way, if you’re reading this, Erin-chan, I’ll be coming by to comment on those photos in your post later tonight. ~_^
Same goes for everyone else reading this; I’ll be by to comment either later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Speaking of Erin-chan, I’m still working on her birthday present.
I hope my mom can get Photoshop up and running soon. ToT I want to ensure the utmost quality in my gift-art (which I hopefully will be able to soon do a lot more of). Plus, I’m sort of at a stuck-point; if I continue working with pencil at this point I may mess it up beyond repair, so I wanna’ start coloring it digitally now and see if that looks good. Please be patient, Erin-chan, and I promise you’ll have your B-day pic done soon.

By the way, before I go, did you all get to see those screen-shots I posted from Dead Rising yesterday?
I took em’ down earlier today because they stretched my site out and may have caused loading problems for some of you visiting my site.
I thought everyone had seen em’, but if I took them down too early please tell me and I’ll re-post them for you. ^_^

Here’s today’s Art-Feature…
“Heart-Broken” by Matsu-sensei:
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Matsu-sensei (though his real name is Matt) has recently become one of my favorite comic artists. He shows genuine American comic-art skill, but has been influenced by the refined, expressive and detailed style of manga and anime. His favorite mangas are Naruto and Love Hina (sound like familiar choices of manga? XD Great minds think alike, I guess), and their styles have greatly influenced his work. In the end, we get an art style that I described to Josh as “if Akamatsu drew ninjas”.

Though Matt’s ninjas are no where to be seen in this piece, it’s still a small glimpse at his work and his style (though this doesn’t serve as an example of his entire style; this is merely how he does chibis).
The art here is simple digital doodles, but still communicates a message. After reading, that “message” may seem dark, but is an honest and relatively toned-down form of expression while avoiding being depressing or overly Emo-looking.

Case in point, what impresses me most about this piece is how deep it is for a mini-comic featuring chibis. Unlike most mini-comics, this is about expressing emotion rather than humor. The two characters you see here are Matt (the artist’s representation of himself) and Blanca, his girlfriend. As you can see, Blanca moves in to get a hug from Matt, and Matt kindly obliges. However, as they move closer, Blanca pulls out a kitchen knife and gives Matt a savage stab right in the heart. Blanca of course seems oblivious to how she’s hurt Matt, and stares on lovingly as he bleeds.
If you haven’t guessed yet, it’s an emotional metaphor for how Blanca can unknowingly hurt Matt’s feelings with her misguided actions, leaving Matt in a state of heart-ache and depression.

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