One of the funny things about this whole column endeavour is how very dependent it is on what media I've been consuming lately. I had a bunch of things that I meant to write. . . and it turns out that I'm going to write about Ibara instead, a shooting game by CAVE CO, LTD. "We make our clever plans and the gods kick them to pieces."
A little while ago we went out on our customary cherry-blossom viewing. It's a wonderful tradition, really. Watch the blossoms and meditate on their evanescence. I try to get some sake if I can, if I've been living well enough for sake to taste sweet in my mouth. (If you're not at peace with yourself, sake tastes bitter. This is known.) Sit back and let the petals flutter down. I highly recommend it.
You know how sometimes you're walking around, and suddenly everything clicks and the music you're listening to makes perfect sense and fits the scene as if it were choreographed and you have a brief moment of grace?
So I've been playing this game for iOS, ZiGGURAT. It's ridiculous, an atavism, a thing that has no earthly business existing. It's like a casual version of Ikaruga. Or, if you're not into that genre, think the classic arcade beat-em-ups. Streets of Rage, maybe. Think Tetris or Contra. It's got that way of taking over your attention completely, so that your field of view shrinks to a tiny circle around your character that you're trying to keep clear of everything trying to kill you, and when it's over your vision gradually widens out and you realize as the fog clears that you haven't really been devoting as much attention to breathing as you should have been, those last 30 seconds.
A little while ago I read Viz's translation of Usurper of the Sun, by NOJIRI Housuke. (I try to read novels in Japanese, but it's slow and taxing. . . so I cheat a lot.)
You may have gathered I like Madoka a great deal -- in fact, I consider it one of the best works that I've seen in any medium. Having seen it, I view everything a little differently now -- I've changed, and that's one of my touchstones for whether a work is worth consuming.
Working on articles, and man. This is a lot of work. I mean, a truly inconceivable amount.
Every so often -- every month, let's say -- I try to work the phrase "frothing demand" into my discourse. Most recently, "sure, I like it, but I don't have a frothing demand for it or anything." (Of Railgun, if you must know.)
"And so this is Christmas / And what have you done?"