Omonomono Newsletter

While I’m sitting home, working from home, and eventing from home under this COVID-19 scheme of things, the world keeps on ticking. Just because life may have paused somewhat for me, the world has not. Which is just to say, I feel like this blog could use a change.

I thought about doing a newsletter type format thing for this blog for a while now, and maybe that makes more sense. Of course, to make a proper email newsletter, it’s a different type of syndication. I will probably still post the letters on this site for posterity sake. It is going to have a similar voice.

Nonetheless a newsletter format of journaling seems a bit more appropriate for the things I’m thinking about. It takes a lot of time to germinate ideas worth the while for public posting, and then survive the iterative review I do. It’s not like my unpublished draft count is going down… Only a portion of what I write is gets published in the end, no matter how stream-of-conscious the rambling gets. I don’t have a formal clipboard process but that might change as a result?

In short, below is an example from this week. I’m not committed to a set schedule, but I’ll aim for a weekly schedule. I’ll post them in the emails at least, and probably on the blog too, as I go. You can subscribe to it by entering your email below. At some point those emails will go out, when I figure out how this works anyways. Meanwhile I’ll post them on the site for now.

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Cowboy Bebop, Again

I’m not too interested in the actual thing that is Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop, aside from some technical aspects–the music, the Japanese dub (which I don’t get in the US), and the overall reception. To me Cowboy Bebop is like the Civil War–it’s all done in the past. You still see the occasional Confederate flag, and kids learn about it in Youtube videos, but that’s pretty much it.

However what’s never done is the Spirit. And I’m all for the Spirit of Cowboy Bebop to descend onto the popular discourse yet again, and this time with the largest crowd it ever had. I still remember seeing Watanabe at BAAF talking about The Movie and how if it made a million bux in the North American Box Office they will make more. A million USD is about one and a half million USD 20 years later, adjusted for inflation, so that’s a tiny fraction of what Netflix spent, which is still not a lot versus other TV remakes today.

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Omonomono Newsletter, November 17 Update

Wow I didn’t update my blog for like, a month. I did get a lot of rest that I promptly had to “use up” though LOL.

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Omonomono Newsletter, 2021-11-17

I’ll save the personal updates later in the relevant section, but I’m mostly back to your regular operating schedule. A lot of minor-ish interruptions did happen since I last wrote but, anyways.

Just as a note on COVID in Japan, but the vax rate is over 75%, and as of this writing, the highest among G7 countries. Helps when the biggest nerd event requires it basically.

That Erii Yamazaki music video is 4k. But hmm.

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Omonomono Newsletter, October 8 Update

Extra! Extra! Runa Narumi Special Edition…or not. A packed letter again, with first impressions and more!

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Omonomono Newsletter, 2021-10-08

As the temps drop I realize my new PC puts out a lot of heat. Also due to various reasons it is situated in a way where the exhaust is pointing to the center of the room, so all that hot air just gets all over the place.

The new anime season is upon us, and there are a couple smashing candidates already one week in. And now that I don’t have to follow baseball as closely as the playoffs are in the swing (and my horse lost already) it is time to take it even slower. Well, as slow as year-end is going to sneak up on us. It’s only thirty four more days until the Eleventh of November.

But first, Mocho. High-res Mocho.

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Platinum Star Leisure, the Failed Million Live Theater Days Experiment

I’ll try to write this in an all-audience accessible manner. Also, watch me fail at this.

The mobile game IDOLM@STER MILLION LIVE: Theater Days (MLTD) is enjoying its 5th year in 2021. For those who are totally unfamiliar, this Japanese-region based game on iOS and Android (its Korean and TW/HK releases are being shut down later in October) is an offshoot of the bigger IDOLM@STER (IM@S) franchise. What this Japanese media-mix franchise–which started as arcade games but branched into console games, anime TV show and films, comics, and many other things–is known for is mixing its vast array of characters in its raising games with live performances of their voice actors on stage events. To keep the franchise moving, each of the sub-brands put out regularly, new singles, albums and performances (in-game and in-person). There are currently 4 active all-female sub-brands (765Pro All Stars, Cinderella Girls, Million Live, and Shiny Colors) and one all-male sub-brand (SideM)

I’m just whining about one specific part of one specific game for one specific sub-branch of a big brand here, although the same probably can be said of most of current games (except the Popm@s game, which is bejeweled; and to an extent also the Shiny Color game which has an entirely different bag of problems as a F2P visual novel)–they are glorified content delivery platforms, with gameplay being secondary to the idea that you are playing a raising game, producing the idols you are in charge of, and watching them perform their work and reach for success.

Given games like these are F2P platform/services, they have to evolve over time. Five years is a relatively long time. The IM@S franchise also is a sizeable thing that’s been around for 16 years. It costs a lot of money to field a large cast and put on extravagant shows. The Cinderella Girls (CG) series is probably the best example, as it has grown from two successful mobile games and build a large and loyal audience, with concerts in baseball domes, with its 10th anniversary coming up this winter.

While CG can rely on its huge, 200-plus-member cast and a regular, top 20 revenue game in the app marketplaces to keep things going fresh, others are more in a bind. In MLTD’s case, the developers have tried spinning the presentation differently–doing an “anime” type sequence using the in-game engine for example. Or, in this case, a new event type called “Platinum Star Leisure” which caps off a new series of an existing event type “Platinum Star Tale” which is just a repurposed “Platinum Star Tour” event with different rewards.

I appreciate the new try, but, this is not a good look.

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Omonomono Newsletter, September 22 Update

I have to say, it was a bit refreshing to not have to write this on a weekly basis. At the same time I think it does serve me some purpose to regularly write, dump and review all the links floating out there so this newsletter isn’t going anywhere.

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Omonomono Newsletter, 2021-09-22

Maybe it is because I really needed a break, so I did take 1 day off in September. It turns out I need another one pretty soon. Maybe when I go on proper vacation next month. I think being grounded for the better part of 18 months helped in some ways, but traveling help me offset the stress from work and doing cons and shows help me recharge.

It’s Autumn now, I feel it in the air. I feel it in the spirit.

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