I fucking hate my phone.

I have had the worst god damn luck with smart phones.

I resisted them for a long time. I still don’t like them, but I accept that they’re a part of society. I don’t like how everyone’s basically attached at the hip with them,  checking them mid conversation as if their twitter feed is more important that what’s going on or whatever it is people are checking at the time. I hate it and I’m throwing myself under the bus here as well, because I do these things too. I constantly check my phone, refreshing my twitter feed or whatever it is I’m reading at the time.

Okay, I might not actually hate how prevalent they are, but as of the time of this writing, I’m in hour 4 of trying to get Google Play Services to update on my phone so I can use the Gmail app or use Youtube and I’m in a shit mood because I don’t understand why updating that app has to be so fucking stressful.

The alignment of this image and the text next to it bothers me, but it also goes along with Junpei’s thought bubble, so I’m keeping it.

I’m not an idiot… most of the time. Occasionally I slip up and do something incredibly stupid, and that was what brought me to accidentally uninstalling Google Play Services from my phone. In my defense, my phone was utterly full in terms of Internal Storage. I have 2gb of internal storage and a 16gb SD card on deck, but somehow I keep hemorrhaging space on the Internal side of things. So in an effort to keep my phone working, I took to uninstalling apps, and Google Play Services (I’m just going to start typing GPS for short from here on out) was sitting at a whopping 98mb. I never opened the app as far as I knew, and like the other google apps my phone came with that I never used, like news stand or play book, I figured axing it wouldn’t be a problem.

Well, it was a problem and now I’m unable to access a few apps on my phone that needed it to run for whatever reason. What’s pissing me off is that I’m getting an “insufficient storage available” message when I try to update GPS and I know god damn well that I’m rocking more than enough space to put that update on there 5 times over. I hated my old Windows phone with a passion, but it never lied to me like this. It never pretended it had the functionality I was looking for, it just didn’t work well enough and I made peace with it.


mfw half the advice tells me to do shit I can’t actually do on my phone due to some kind of version difference or whatever.

Thankfully, I can just search online for super helpful information, like how to clear the cache and uninstalling Google Play Store/rolling it back to it’s previous update. None of that worked, of course, because I guess Android phones vary enough from manufacturer to manufacturer that it’s not feasible to expect one solution to work on every device out there.

Still, it makes me wonder why there’s not a baseline of quality that Google enforces in their brand. Say what you will about iPhone and other mac products, but you have to admit that they at least function 99% of the time. I know there are issues that arise with ios and all that, and I’m not even trying to sell people on iPhones or whatever, I’m just saying that they work, and as the sole manufacturer of their phones, they have a level of quality across the board that android phones simply don’t have.

Regardless, I’m still stuck with this shitter of a phone for now, and I can’t seem to get it to work the way I want it to. My last two options are to root my phone (which, as far as I know, voids my warrenty) and do whatever it is I can do with that to fix my phone, or I can factory reset the son of a bitch and hope for the best. Thanks for listening to the ramblings of an angry Poverty Phone user. Next time I’ll talk about the Summer Season of Anime and what I thought of it (Spoilers: Go watch Gakkou Gurashi now!).

Working through some stuff, don’t mind me.

“You know that feeling you get before you do something like mowing the lawn, or washing the dishes? That feeling of ‘ugh, I really don’t want to do this’? Depression is like that, but with everything. Eating, getting out of bed, talking, studying, even great things like going to the beach or drinking a milkshake. It’s just a total sense of apathy and discontent with everything.” – via Reddit.

A Long Absense.

Losing internet is never a fun thing, especially when it means I can’t update the blog.

This was my fault, of course, I buttle-fucked my finances and as a result I kind of fell into a depression. Losing my internet sucked, but what I hated more was that I got used to not having it. I made very little effort to get it back on, and walking to the library was a good idea that I almost never went through with. In the end, the weight I needed to lose (both for health reasons and for plasma selling reasons, since they don’t let anyone over 400 pounds donate) never came off, and probably got a little worse.

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Anime: Tropes vs Execution

Lately I’ve realized that more often than not, tropes themselves don’t bother me as much as I thought they would. Tropes are usually looked down on as lazy writing (which isn’t completely off), but what I think matters way more than anything is the execution of the ideas in a product rather than the product trying to be completely original.

Oreimo s2 KV

The worst trope of them all: Best Girl never wins.

Anime is pretty bad when it comes to tropes, we all know that right? I mean, anime’s so bad with tropes that some of them have their own genre (e.g: Harem anime vs Romance anime). But of course there are examples where these tropes are done well and the show is remembered for “doing it right”. Take a gag/reference anime for example: Seitokai no Ichizan isn’t as popular and well loved as something like Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, even though both reference other anime and are comedy shows. Seitokai no Ichizan’s humor isn’t as well crafted as Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei. That isn’t to say Seitokai no Ichizan’s a bad show (well, I didn’t like it, but that’s just me), but one of the two shows was clearly done better.

What really bothers me is when a show has the right elements to be a good or even great show…and then it just falls on it’s face. To demonstrate, I’ll single out two shows from the spring season (which is just about over at the time of this writing) that could have been a lot better, but ended up falling short: Akuma no Riddle and Brynhildr in the Darkness.

A resounding Meh struck my heart

My face during the entire ending of Akuma no Riddle

Akuma no Riddle’s main problem was that Haru’s life never felt like it was in any real trouble. Haru is stuck in a class where 11 people are skilled assassins that need to kill her to get their wish, but each one just can’t seem to seal the deal even when Haru’s wide open. Hell, someone had a fucking bomb necklace on her with a timer set to explode after several hours, but for some reason the person decided to lay out clues to the lock’s combination (Never mind the fact that she desperately needs to win this whole god damned thing to find the cure to her disease). If the show just took some time to maybe throw the fear of God into the viewers when it was go time it would have been so much better. It does this once or twice in the series and those are the best episodes I felt (maybe not “fear of God” quality, but it still went from a light jog to a hard run).

Brynhildr in the Darkness suffers a different problem. All the pieces are there, but the finished product doesn’t hold up. It’s like going to McDonald’s and looking at the menu. You see those pictures of food, but your big mac never looks as good as what’s pictured on the menu. That’s Brynhildr in the Darkness. There are so many better ways they could have framed scenes and added some dramatic weight behind certain events, but instead it feels like we got a C attempt when we know that they could have given us a solid B+ at least.

If you’re looking for a show that does tropes right with great execution, I’ll offer up Bakemonogatari.

mpc-hc 2014-06-09 21-03-44-58Bakemonogatari (and the rest of the series) is at it’s core about a guy helping the women he runs into with their supernatural problems. He ends up with something of a harem because of this, and he’s able to come out on top more times than not. The series does an excellent job weaving dialog with the background (meaning that the background will reflect the dialog instead of being a static image, though that’s a thing more in Nisemonogatari and up), the music is top notch, and most importantly the character are entertaining and put the main character in situations that aren’t so black and white. The main character is far from perfect (which is refreshing really), he’s a giant pervert with no sense of self (to his own detriment), and sometimes stuff just doesn’t go the way he’d like.

I don’t mean to imply that anime is the sole propagator of shit writing, but it’s readily more apparent with anime I feel. So often we see shit anime adaptations or shows that just pander to a certain interest and not even trying to go for the gusto, instead they just rely on the subject matter to sell. It’s just profitable enough for the trend to keep continuing, which I feel is why people claim that anime is worse now than it’s ever been. I don’t subscribe to that mindset, but I don’t think it’s completely off either. I think half assed attempts are the  culprit behind the anime industry’s decline and not just simply shows that pander to a certain demographic (though they’re not helping either).

Contradiction on my part: No amount of effort would have saved DEEN's version of Fate/Stay Night

Contradiction on my part: No amount of effort would have saved DEEN’s version of Fate/Stay Night

In the end I suppose it’s all business anyway and they’re going to do what makes them the most money. I just wish they would try a little bit harder, that’s all. If they had tried harder, maybe season two of Chuunibyou wouldn’t have sucked as hard as it did (I’m still salty over that shit! They had such a good first season, and then KyoAni just fucked it up and produced whatever the hell it is we got with season two.).

On anime and why some shows get more love than other shows.

Once in a while I’ll see someone comment on a show like Madoka and ask: “I don’t get why everyone flips their shit over the show, it’s not like Revolutionary Girl Utena didn’t already do ‘Dark Magical Girl setting’ or whatever.”. They’re confused why a new show gets praise over an older show for doing similar things. Likewise, people also get confused when a popular show like Attack on Titan gets called “the best anime ever”, despite its flaws (pacing being a big one). “Attack on Titan is not the best shit out there. What the hell is wrong with people? (X anime) is way better than that shit man”.

I bring up both points because they have the same root “problem” (I don’t think it’s a problem, but lets just go with that word here for now): The “problem” aren’t the shows or people in question, the “problem” is a lack of exposure and emotion response.

Madoka Group 02

Above: a vicious and vulgar rehash of Revolution Girl Utena

Lets talk about the first point: The reason people don’t think of a show like Revolutionary Girl Utena when discussing Madoka is because Revolutionary Girl Utena is fucking old (seriously, it’s almost 20 years old!). It’s a simple as that. Maybe it could be that they’re letting the show stand on it’s own two legs, but most likely it’s because people haven’t watched a show that’s older and didn’t get popular over here like Cowboy Bebop did during the same time. This principle applies to any show that people criticize for treading old ground while getting praise at the same time.


I don’t know what this picture of Sasha serves for the article, but her dead stare while she’s eating that ramen kills me, so she’s staying.

The second point is a little more complex than the first. Why do shows like Attack on Titan get called “Best Anime Ever”? I think the answer is this: People rarely ever logic out their feelings on a series before expressing their opinions. People aren’t trying to be analytical about their hobbies most of the time. If someone says a show is the best anime ever, you’re probably not reading someone’s carefully thought-out dissertation where they compare the show in question to it’s predecessors, what you’re reading is someone’s emotional response to something. That’s what the majority of opinions are in the first place! People aren’t fucking sitting there trying to puzzle out if Attack on Titan was the Schindler’s List of anime, they’re talking about how much they enjoyed the god damn show.

Mind you, I’m no better sometimes, so I’m willing to throw myself under the bus along with the people I’m talking about. I think the issue is this (and this might be a double standard, but bear with): a show like Attack on Titan is positively received because it does a lot of things right, and it’s very much an entry level show. It doesn’t tread on the usual tropes people think of when they look at anime: It’s action isn’t based on some kind of powerlevel wank off, there’s no “cute girls doing cute things”, there’s no bullshit incest subplot, and there’s no “will they won’t they” romance. It’s just a brutal action show with high production values. It’s an entry level show that also touches on what older anime fans (those of us who got into anime because of stuff like Ninja Scroll or Vampire Hunter D) used to get back in the day before anime became what it is today.

That’s all it is in the end, a lack of exposure to older shows and emotional responses to stuff people like. Mind you, I’m not telling anyone what to do here: I’m right there with people when it comes to bitching about shows I don’t like, I’m simply trying to offer up an explanation here to some complaints I see online from time to time. I’m all for people asking these things because it gets people talking, even if it’s written antagonistically, so long as a conversation starts or someone takes something from it.

Spring 2014 anime report: The good, the bad, and the dropped.

We’re nearing the end of the Spring season of anime. It’s been a pretty great season so far, and I’ve decided to put together this post with my thoughts on where shows ranked. What follows are the shows I have watched this season and where I’ve ranked them. There are some noteworthy shows that are missing (One Week Friends, Jojo, Love Live, for example) that simply fell through the cracks, so it’s not just me having shit taste, though I suppose that for you guys to decide at the end of all this.
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Adventures in Final Fantasy Tactics Editing (Afterword)


My face after finally finishing this whole thing.

I know I said that the previous post was the end of these entries, and while that’s technically true, I have some thoughts about the whole thing. After all, the original point of the “Adventures in Final Fantasy Tactics Editing” was supposed to be a dev blog of sorts, but after a few posts I stopped dev blogging and doing something of a Let’s Play. That was fun for awhile, but eventually it became boring and writing about it became frustrating.

Hacking this game was one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my 16 years of playing this game. Giving everyone every job at the beginning just sucks the fun out of everything. The initial joy of running around chapter one with a bard or a dancer quickly runs out as soon as you get to chapter two and everything kind of evens out and bards/dancers go back to being crappy jobs with okay support/reaction/movement abilities (well, Bard’s Move+3 anyway). Likewise, Samurai and Ninja don’t work well until late chapter two unless you also hacked the shops to sell everything early (and then tune the availability of those items as well). So what you’re really stuck with are the same classes you could have unlocked easily enough in chapter one (well, Lancer could be thrown in with Samurai and Ninja), so it doesn’t matter in the end.

But why would that “ruin the fun”? It’s because the fun of these games (at least for me) are about getting some work done on my units to get them to the job I want, and if I find that I like using a Geomancer while working my way towards Ninja, then that unit stays there. Essentially I like to think of my units as people, and in a sense I kind of roleplay while playing the game (not like, super hardcore or anything, more like what Metal Gear Vincent ended up being). Having everything open right away just doesn’t lead to anything fun like that (Metal Gear Vincent being the exception).

My favorite type often gets it's shit wrecked.

My favorite type often gets it’s shit wrecked.

The same thing happened with Pokémon. Used to be that my crew (My brother, my friend, and myself) all played Pokémon the same way: Get some Pokébros, get badges, get legendaries, live it up, and maybe go for a complete Pokédex.

And then my brother started doing a tournament series at the library (which was part of a thing he started while working at said library called “Save*Point”, where we setup 8 man Mario Kart Double Dash matches and did Smash Bros. Melee as well). This was during Pokémon’s 3rd gen (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/Leaf Green/Fire Red) run, and we had recently fallen back in love with Pokémon. Battling seemed to be a great thing to start doing at these Save*Point tournaments, and with gusto we began to form our teams. At the time, it was pure, innocent. I rocked a Xatu and a Shiftry in my team, along with Mr. Mime (I don’t recall what else I used in my early teams). I thought these dudes were awesome. Xatu is my favorite Pokémon of all time, and the other two were just cool (I named my Mr. Mime after Verbal Kent from Usual Suspects).

As the scene grew, we looked more and more into the ins and out of team building, and eventually found out about something called Effort Values (EVs). Turns out that there’s an entire subsystem of stats that determine how strong you can make your Pokémon! That was ridiculous, who knew something like that was ever in there? Well, one thing led to another, and then we found out about Individual Values, which measured how strong you Pokémon COULD become. These IVs were determined at birth, and had their own mechanics separate from EVs. The rabbit hole was deeper than I ever imagined, and we took it upon ourselves to master them.

This is basically what it was like trying to explain the complexities of the system to people when we first started.

This is basically what it was like trying to explain the complexities of the system to people when we first started.

So we started breeding for IVs and training up EVs (Fire Red/Leaf Green was great for EV training), and we took our Pokémon out into the tournaments, and when they didn’t work we spent days breeding different Pokémon. Eventually we deduced that our favorite Pokémon just weren’t up to snuff, so Xatu, Shiftry, and Mr. Mime lost their spots on my team and I started breeding Salamences and Starmies instead.

All the while that initial spark, that innocence that we had when playing pokemon was fading, but it was replaced with this competitive scene, so it wasn’t so bad. Our teams had heart in them. We put blood, sweat, and swears into our teams, and we got great memories out of the bargain.

Eventually, however, even that started fading. Breeding became a pain, EV training dull, and raising the Pokémon all the way to level 100 was a chore. We lost that spark from our early days of competitive battling. Some of it was the metagame changing and us becoming fatigued while trying to adapt, but mostly it was us getting older or starting college or a job. So our solution was generating Pokémon with a third party program (Pokésav in this case, though later a GTS exploit was used). Now we could simply skip the bullshit with breeding and EV training and skip right to the part that matters: Battling.


My face after the spiritual death of Pokémon

That elation of not having to breed and train lasted about a week, and slowly but surely the fun of Pokémon faded. When your Pokémon are simply a collection of ones and zeroes to you, when they’re just things you barely know, they lose their shine. My perfect IV Salamence wasn’t interesting at all. He wasn’t something I had built up from the ground up and crafted. He was just another Salamence. I put him in a separate box from my team I bred without thinking, but I knew deep down he wasn’t anything I cared about. If he didn’t work I’d simply try a new Salamence with a different hold item and move set.

And that instant when I realized it all, the game became boring as fuck.

Luckily for me, I’ve found my initial love for the games again, and even bred up a team like in the old days (they really went above and beyond to help facilitate breeding in Pokémon X/Y), but that innocence is still lost. I’ll never entertain the notion of trying to use Xatu or Torterra in a real team. They’ll always be there for going through a new game though, and that’s fine with me.

To bring this all back to the initial point: I peered into the mechanics of Final Fantasy Tactics once and lost a little bit, but it wasn’t too bad. When I started hacking the game and opened up classes right away and changed shop inventories, the game lost it’s soul. The wound isn’t deep, but for now at least I don’t see myself trying to start a new data anytime soon. These wounds need time to heal, and when I do eventually play it again, I won’t be doing any hacking to the game. It’s too much work for very little payoff.


And the worst of it all? I never found out how to change Axe/Flails from random damage to fixed damage. The one thing I wanted most from this patch was to finally be able to bring an axe into a fight and not feel like I was just being a shitter. What a missed opportunity!