How Anime Consumed My Life in 2014: Hamst3r's Bizarre Adventure

This is a blog right? Well, let's do something bloggy...

Preamble:

I've been watching anime for pretty much my entire life, but 2014 was different. 2014 brought my anime watching to a whole new level. Seriously. I was tearing through so much anime, and with such fervor, as if I were a mad scientist trying to figure out what a lethal dose of moe would be.

Turns out, you can't kill yourself with anime.

Watching too much anime is like masturbating too much, only worse.

How It All Began:

1998 is the year I watched Akira, Ghost in the Shell and Ninja Scroll. on VHS. Those three just happened to catch my eye at the local video store, so I rented them one at a time and consumed them in rapid succession.

Guns, tits, blood, cyborgs, monsters, psychic powers...My teenage mind was blown, to say the least.

The promotional video that played at the start of those VHS tapes sums it up perfectly:

It was hands-down, the coolest shit I had ever seen. I watched that promo over and over again, which is probably what ultimately lead to me buying a copy of Ninja Scroll, and later, Ghost in the Shell.

But That Was It:

That's all I watched in 1998. Just those three. In 1999, a friend in her 20's showed me her hentai collection, and I watched End of Evangelion. The next year I watched Armitage III and a school friend gave me a CD-R with the Trigun series on it.

After that, my anime movie watching tapered off. I ended up watching more Anime Music Videos than anything:

I accrued a huge collection of low-res, low-bitrate AMVs. It was a way to listen to my favorite songs AND watch the coolest anime shit, simultaneously. A good deal.

My anime watching wouldn't increase again until 2010. I watched 10 anime that year (10!), and 10 more in 2011. In 2012 I watched a mind-boggling 11 anime. Like, damn. I also bought my first Blu Ray, Redline.

By the end of 2013 I had completed 66 anime, an average of about 4 a year. Not exactly rabid anime consumption.

All right, let's go!

FOMO:

It felt like I had watched a lot of anime. I mean, I had seen Death Note, Perfect Blue, Paprika, Jin-Roh, Appleseed, Escaflowne, several of the Studio Ghibli films, and all the stuff mentioned earlier. That was a lot, right? It felt like a lot.

I kept encountering references to anime I was unfamiliar with though. Video clips, avatars, GIFs, jokes, memes. Certain titles kept popping up too, titles I hadn't seen, alongside superlatives like, "The Best" and "The Craziest" and "The Most F'ed Up".

Over the years this grew into a deepening feeling that I was missing out on something. It's just anime though, so I wasn't really missing out on anything. Or was I? It felt like I was. Like I was missing out on a lot.

They've Gone To Plaid:

A few months into 2014, I decided to do something about that, I decided to "catch up". I made a MyAnimeList account and began cataloguing every anime I had seen. I filled my Plan To Watch list with all the highest rated anime I could find. I added stuff based on it's relation to things I had already watched. I perused Top 10 lists, Reddit threads and reverse image searched anime GIFs to expand my list.

I bought a Crunchyroll subscription, a Funimation subscription, I populated my Netflix and Amazon Instant queues, I bookmarked a bunch of official Youtube playlists, and I ordered some DVDs and Blu Rays.

This led to me completing 175 anime in 2014.

175!

That's a lot. That number truly feels like a lot. It's so much anime it put my gaming habits on hold. I only played 3 games in 2014; Gunpoint, Broken Age and Goat Simulator. All at the start of the year too, because once I was in anime mode, there wasn't time for anything else. I wanted to watch anime. I wanted to catch up.

All Caught Up:

Here are some stats from my 2014 anime rampage:

  • 82 TV Series.
  • 28 Movies.
  • 24 OVA.
  • 11 ONA.
  • 29 Specials.
  • 1 Music.
  • First of the Year: Attack on Titan
  • Last of the Year: Yuru Yuri 2
  • Longest series: Ranma 1/2 (161 episodes)

Most Enjoyed:

  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)
  • Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG

Least Enjoyed:

  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2009 (Season 2)
  • Mezzo DSA
  • Persona 4

Biggest Surprises / Didn't Think I'd Like That:

  • Free!
  • Ping Pong
  • When they Cry 2

Most Disappointing / The Hype Is A Lie:

  • Barakamon
  • From The New World
  • Serial Experiments Lain

Started but not finished in 2014:

  • Beck
  • Code Geass
  • Ergo Proxy
  • Gintama
  • Hunter x Hunter (2011)
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes
  • Monster

Dropped:

  • Folktales from Japan
  • Ghost Stories (dub)
  • Polar Bear Cafe
  • Terraformars

I Watched It Because I Heard It Was Bad:

  • Mars of Destruction
  • Skelter+Heaven
  • Striking Daughter Sayuri
  • Shitcom

And lastly...

Series of Particular Note / Did You Watch ____________?!:

  • Angel Beats!
  • Another
  • Attack on Titan
  • Barakamon
  • Chuunibyou
  • Eden of the East
  • Excel Saga
  • Fate/Stay Night: UBW
  • Free!
  • From The New World
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Ghost Hound
  • Ghost Hunt
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • Gurren Lagann
  • Haruhi Suzumiya
  • Humanity Has Declined
  • I Can't Understand…
  • Inferno Cop
  • Irregular at Magic High School
  • Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (2012)
  • Kaiji
  • Kill La Kill
  • Knights of Sidonia
  • Lain
  • Madoka Magica
  • Monogatari Series
  • Mushi-shi
  • Natsume
  • Nichijou
  • No Game No Life
  • Nozaki-Kun
  • Paranoia Agent
  • Penguindrum
  • Ping Pong
  • Planetes
  • Princess Jellyfish
  • Psycho-Pass
  • Ranma 1/2
  • Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne
  • Space Dandy
  • Steins;Gate
  • Sword Art Online
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer
  • Tokyo Ghoul
  • Tonari no Seki-Kun
  • Toradora!
  • Watamote
  • When They Cry
  • Yuru Yuri

Full list here: Hamst3r's MyAnimeList

With that, I feel pretty caught up. There's still plenty of stuff I haven't seen; Cowboy Bebop, Full Metal Panic!, Texhnolyze, Rurouni Kenshin, Wolf's Rain, Clannad, Hajime No Ippo, GTO, Kino's Journey, Nana, AnoHana, Hellsing Ultimate, among hundreds of others. I'm keeping track though, so I'll eventually get through all of it.

I started off the new year with more anime, finishing Baccano!, Ouran High School Host Club, and Code Geass.

Everything Must Eventually End:

This will never last. This is just how I consume content. I'm a binge watcher. I did the same thing with music, movies, TV shows, Giant Bomb videos. I've watched thousands of movies. Hundreds of TV shows. I typically finish a 12-14 hour video game in one sitting. But the fervor never lasts, it's just a phase. At some point, probably in 2015, I'll feel truly caught up and my anime fever will end.

Until then...I think it's time to finish Ergo Proxy and watch some more Mushi-shi Zoku Shou. I...I have to go. I've spent far too much time typing this thing up already. I'M OUT!

P.S. Bonus Entry: Best American Animated TV Series 2014: Rick & Morty.

77 Comments

Small Business Man: The Music Video

Let's get down to business. Wizard business.

If you've been listening to the Bombcast lately, then you should be familiar with all of this "Hey, Small Business Man" nonsense.

After Effects and dubstep, y'all. Or is it electro? I don't know, dude. Like I know anything about music genres. What I do know about though are wizards. Wizards have beards. Wizards wear hats, when appropriate. Wizards own robes. Wizardry rhymes with Lizardry, which is a real word.

Enjoy!

P.S. Wizardry also rhymes with Jizzardry, which isn't a real word, but should be.

185 Comments

Makin' Music Up In Here: Departures & Other Delights

Months. Months have passed since I released a new track as I've been busy watching anime and cataloging the anime that I have watched. I also did some animated text for a tv commercial about recycling. That Cube video from the last blog did really well too, but whatever, it's time to listen to a new track!

I'm flexing my indie rock muscles this time, with some bouncy guitars and toy instruments on top of a slammin' 4/4 drum beat. That happens later in the track though. Before that, we dive into a nice bed of ambient guitars, commodore 64 noises, and music box melodies in a 3/4 time signature.

There's a lot of stuff going on in this track, it goes places.

Check it out:

MP3 Download: THA-departures.mp3

edit:

OH! And I totally forgot to mention that I started up a secondary Youtube channel for featuring my older music tracks that never made it onto my main channel. Old stuff, unreleased stuff, alternate mixes, demo versions, joke songs, etc. It's all going onto the Hamster Alliance Music Archive.

Check it out: THA Music Archive

Enjoy!

10 Comments

I Made A Video About Video Game Graphics

I like how video games look, so I made a video about video game graphics, using squares and cubes. The video is called Cube: A Video About Video Game Graphics. That is the name of the video.

Here it is. This is the video. You can watch it now. Right here:

EPILEPSY WARNING: There are also some rapidly flashing lights in this video.

That was the video. Did you watch it? I hope you did watch it. The video, I mean.

...okay I'll stop typing like this now. Really. Like, right now. Okay. Done.

This idea has been rattling around in my head for about a year now. I started writing the ideas down back in April and the idea has seen many permutations since then. Once everything was (pretty much) locked down it only took about a month to animate the video and score the audio.

It was primarily done in Adobe After Effects with a bit of Adobe Premiere and Source Film Maker usage. The audio was done in Reaper with various VST plugins and samples. The end sequence was done by strapping an iPhone to my forehead...

In fear of setting the bar too high for myself, creating more work than I could possibly do, I had to draw the line somewhere, so a lot of games I had ideas for didn't make it into the video. Stuff like Vectorman, Starfox, Doom, Parappa, and CandyBox had to be left out. I guess there's nothing stopping me from making a sequel at some point though.

Anyway, that's Cube. I can stop thinking about cubes now and go back to just playing video games.

108 Comments

Bringin' Ya A Big Poptastic Tune With "Neon Glow" - Also, This Is My Sexy Voice

You'll know it when I'm talking to you with my sexy voice...which is unsurprisingly the same as my creeper voice. There's no difference really, with the voices or the actions that transpire when either voice is used. I should work on that.

Anyway, I'm back, doing my pop music thing again with big vocals and catchy melodies. Also trying out a more breathy voice and some falsetto layers for the verses. All this poptasticness is spread atop a delicious crumpet of harsh grinding synths, filled with a thick 808 beat custard. Sub-Bass Glaze.

There There's also a bit of a sci-fi theme going on with the lyrics.

Check it out:

MP3 Download: THA-neonglow.mp3

Do check out my previous blogs if you missed out on them and their juicy aural innards.

Enjoy!

9 Comments

New Music: The Stranger...

Be wary of the man with no name. You will recognize him by the drum machine on his hip. He's also carrying a saxophone, a bouzouki, a violin, a grand piano - not sure how he gets that one up on his horse - a slide guitar, a ukulele, a waterphone, a vibraslap, a didgeridoo, and a few other assorted odds and ends. The dude is kind of weird, I mean I don't know, just be careful if he ride in to your town.

This track is a mish-mash of sounds, but I think they work together quite well. What started off as a mostly Greek Folk music sounding piece turned into hip hop, got darker and kept taking on new non-Greek instruments until "The Stranger" happened.

MP3 Download: THA - The Stranger.mp3

Also, the video above features that there new-fangled Audiosurf 2. I was playing with the Twisted Mono mod set to "Rainbow". I think it looks really nice like that. The "Headache" variant of Twisted Mono was a bit much, twisting and turning all over the place, nearly running into itself. If they'd make one that's somewhere in between the two they'd probably have the perfect mode. The corkscrews would benefit from being smoothed out a bit too.

Anyway, enjoy!

Definitely check out my previous post if you missed the last track: THA - What This Could Be. It's all big and pretty, like you. *wink*

11 Comments

Watch out, I'm going to pretty you to death... (With a hot-but-still-relaxing banger) (i.e., listen to my new track!)

I mean, what? Is that what this is? I don't even know what that collection of words really means, I just typed it out without thinking. All that brings to mind is some sort of breakfast sausage with sedatives in it. That aside, I do have this new track for you to listen to!

It's an uplifting track with a whole lot of stuff going on. It starts off with a piano and some slow swelling strings, building up into a big beat with a bunch of chops and stutters. After this it drops you into a wall of sound with big guitars, more strings, and an e.piano. There's also a violin doing it's soloing thing and then a new synth and an 808 and...okay, how about you just listen to it?

MP3 Download: THA - What This Could Be

Misc

In addition to this here music making, I've also been toying around in Unity, seeing if I can figure out how to make something video game. I think I can, it seems pretty easy so far, at least the easiest programming has ever seemed. I've picked out my simplest engaging game idea and will hopefully have something to show for it in a year or so if I don't give up.

I'm also left handed and have been practicing writing with my right hand. Feels super weird, but the writing is becoming legible. Soon, I shall be able to write with both hands simultaneously and nothing will be able to stop me. Well, nothing writing-based, at least. Maybe some sort of writing-centric super villain that shoots out mechanical pencil leads. Dr.Graphfight. I don't know.

Okay, I'm done now.

26 Comments

Hamst3r tackles Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs

Well. I forgot what I was going to say. How convenient. It was probably in regards to this here new Amnesia game, A Machine For Pigs. I bet it was about the fact that I opted to sit down and finish the game in one sitting and how I am currently in the process of editing and uploading videos showcasing what transpired during my time in the game.

Yup, that was probably it.

The original Amnesia made for quite a ride and I have record of that ride too. You can witness that nonsense here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjUd6_XTkOI&list=SP64CEA90FBE63FACD

Video 2 is where the first monster encounter occurs. I remember it wet...I mean well. It was a water monster, or at least, there was a monster and it was in water...well, I mean, I assume there was a monster, I couldn't actually see anything, but something was in the water and it attacked me.

In the new Amnesia, no porcine hooves caress my body until Video 4, which is quite a long while in comparison. It's a slower start than the first Amnesia. That said, what it does do immensely well is tension. It dangles the dread above your head like a baby mobile made of raw beef and venomous spiders.

Jump cut.

Here are my exploits thus far in the world of pigs:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

That is everything thus far. I am editing and uploading the rest as expediently as possible, which is about two videos a day, which is pretty fast.

Enjoy!

3 Comments

Check out my remix of the theme to Quake!

Quake Theme

I did a remix of the main theme from Quake recently. More accurately it's a cover version. Anyway, I wanted it to start out sounding very similar and then break out into some fresh guitar riffs and new melodies. Big drums, big guitars, big booms abound. It's a whole lot of stuff going on, packing quite a punch.

Here's a video, which is a mish-mash of the seizure-inducing Beat Hazard and Quake with the HD Remastered mod.

And here's an mp3 for ya: THA - Quake Theme Remix

If you're in the mood for something a bit gentler, you should check out my previous blog: I Wrote A Song About Secrets.

Enjoy!

The Swapper

In addition to the remix above, I also just finished playing The Swapper. A neat puzzle game in which half of the puzzles felt way too easy, and the other half had me completely perplexed and angry at my computer monitor. Fun fun fun.

As for what's next on the list, I'd tell you, but I forgot.

Chroma Key

You might have noticed that the "green screen" effect in the Swapper video looks much nicer than usual. Well, that's because I bought some light reflectors, which helped even out all the green on the backdrop, allowing for easier removal.

See?

I did some repositioning after taking these photos, so

it's actually more even than that bottom right image shows.

WOO! It's so nice now.

Anyway,

That's all for now.

2 Comments

I Wrote A Song About Secrets And It Has Vocals And Everything

SECRETS

Vocals vocals vocals. This one has a whole lot of vocals. It's also pop. Upbeat pop...but kind of relaxing too, if you can dig it. It's also about secrets. How mysterious.

The synths drive, the drums snap, the bass grumbles and the effects swoosh all around. There are also a few string and guitar bits thrown in for good measure. Oh and this is the largest vocal stack I've ever done, so yay for that.

Download: THA-Secrets.mp3

You can also check out the Lyrics here: THA-secrets.txt

Oh and...

BOMB BACKGROUND

...this thing was done for the "make us a youtube background" thread, but is also quite usable as a desktop wallpaper, so here ya go. Thanks to @jan for letting me use his demented 3D bomb face.

7 Comments