April 2015 News

This is the April 2015 edition of the Gwern.net newsletter⁠; previous, March 2015⁠. This is a collation of links and summary of major changes, overlapping with Changelog⁠; brought to you by my donors on Gratipay.

Writings

  • Nothing finished

Media

Books

Fiction:

  • The Sagas of Icelanders

Nonfiction:

  • The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Essays, Simon Leys (review)

Manga:

  • Tsutomu Nihei: Blame!, Blame! Academy, Noise!: beautiful nonsense. Nihei cannot write plots, coherently world-build, or do dialogue, and I find myself regretting the commonness of manga written by mangaka whose strengths lie almost entirely in one domain (writing vs art); if he had been yoked to the same plow as a writer like Gen Urobuchi or Ryukishi07, what could they have created? As it is, Nihei remains a visual stylist only. Probably not good works to marathon, because after a few chapters in a row, the visual enjoyability of the architecture and the skulls starts to pall—he uses the same motifs over and over.

Film/TV

Live-action:

  • (review)
  • (2014); an attempt to do a little worldbuilding in providing a backstory for all the antics, and close the franchise (temporarily?) with a theme of maturing and passing on the baton, closing the loop with the first movie; unfortunately it comes off as completely stale, with no gags we didn’t get tired of in the first two movies.

Anime:

  • Atama Yama: curious short story about a greedy miser who grows a small sprout on his head apparently as punishment, is annoyed by the even smaller visitors to the tree, and then apparently drowns while trying to get rid of it. The story isn’t much, but it’s much more interesting to listen to the narrator recite it to the traditional music and watch the eccentric animation.
  • (review)

Music

Doujin:

Touhou:

Kantai Collection:

Vocaloid:

  • “Yume Rockets” (Miku; OKUMEIKIBOUNOTOKYOTOZAIJYUU; Virtual Songs {2009}) [electronic/​​Jpop]