Slog 01 – Who Is Andy-San?

If you can’t see the above video, click here.

Why didn’t I just call this a frakkin’ podcast? Sometimes, I just don’t understand myself…

Anyway, enjoy the slog, err, podcast!

Here’s the original description:

Hey guys it’s the Andy-San here. I tried to make my first vlog, but failed. But please enjoy my sound log or slog for short.

Here are the links mentioned in the slog:

Vote here

See the other winners’ kickin’ wallpapers

TheAndySan

Eriopolis' Medley Take 1 & 2

If you can’t see the above video, click here.

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

This was the first and second time Eriopolis is seen in an online video, but his voice was first heard on Ben’s Karate Pwnage. C’mon Ben, kick his…

I remember when Eriopolis and I decided to do this, back in the good ol’ UU days before things went pear-shaped for me. We were fairly tipsy from drinking Sparks (keep in mind that this was when it still had all that taurine & caffeinated goodness) and went out for a midnight stroll to Hazard Hall’s lobby area, where several Chinese exchange students were hanging out and speaking Mandarin in the background. Having discovered the piano there a couple months prior, I had been plunking around on it beforehand just for kicks.

That night, I had Eriopolis bring his camera to record me playing a little ditty so I could put it on YouTube. After he recorded the video, I showed him a little bit of how to play Happy Material and recorded him trying to play it. Now keep in mind, we were both a little drunk so our playing skills weren’t the best. Despite that, we had fun and our fun was immortallized in video form!

Here’s the description of the original video:

Sup guys, it’s the Andy-San here. This video is of my friend Eriopolis playing Happy Material from Negima. Note that he’s quite drunk off of Sparks in this so be gentle. See-ya!

TheAndySan

TheAndySan's Medley Take 1

If you can’t see the above video, click here.

This was my official online video debut. Can you believe that it’s been two years since this was recorded? Yeah, me neither.

I remember when Eriopolis and I decided to do this, back in the good ol’ UU days before things went pear-shaped for me. We were fairly tipsy from drinking Sparks (keep in mind that this was when it still had all that taurine & caffeinated goodness) and went out for a midnight stroll to Hazard Hall’s lobby area, which apparently is an Asian hotspot for the Chinese exchange students who were speaking Mandarin in the background I believe. Not to sound racist, but they didn’t sound like Bruce Lee so it probably wasn’t Cantonese, which is what he spoke. Having discovered the piano there a couple months prior, I had been plunking around on it beforehand just for kicks.

That night, I had Eriopolis bring his camera to record me playing a little ditty so I could put it on YouTube. After he recorded this video, I showed him a little bit of what I did and proceeded to record him trying to play it. Now keep in mind, we were both a little drunk so our playing skills weren’t the best. Despite that, we had fun and our fun was immortallized in this little video!

Here’s the description of the original video:

Hey guys it’s TheAndySan here playing a medley of Happy Material from Negima, a riff from CastleVania Symphony of the Night, some riff I’m experimenting with, and the Final Fantasy victory fanfare.

Note that I’m quite drunk off of Sparks in this so be gentle. Peace!

TheAndySan

Anime Review – Sekirei

Currently Listening To:
I Set My Friends on Fire – You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter
10 – Crank That

Intro

Girls! Action!! Shiny!!!

Do I have your attention yet? Good. Let’s review the fan-service anime Sekirei, shall we?

Summary

We follow the exploits of Minato Sahashi, your basic loser everyman Keitaro clone. He has failed the college entrance exam twice, is awkward around women, and is unemployed.

One day, Minato meets a girl named Musubi, who quite literally falls from the sky. Minato soon learns that he’s an ‘Ashikabi’, who are humans with special genes that allows them to partner with ‘Sekirei’.

Sekirei are super-powered beings created by the mysterious MBI corporation. Made up of cute girls, excessively buxom women, and bishonen (pretty boys),  the Sekirei fight in a dangerous and at times deadly competition called the ‘Sekirei Plan’.

With the entire city of Tokyo as the battlefield, the Sekirei seek out those humans who are destined to become their Ashikabi partner. Minato soon learns that being the partner of a beautiful girl is not all fun and games, especially when he discovers that an Ashikabi can have more than one Sekirei partner, and that’s where the real trouble starts.

Character Overviews

Sahashi Minato – The basic, loser everyman male lead.

Musubi – The bubbly female lead and Minato’s first Sekirei. She specializes in hand-to-hand combat.

Kusano – The cute little girl who can control plants. She’s Minato’s second Sekirei.

Matsu – The smart and stealthy computer hacker who works behind the scenes for Minato. She’s Minato’s third Sekirei.

Tsukiumi – The overly aggressive member of the group who can manipulate water. She’s Minato’s fourth Sekirei.

Homura – The aloof bishonen Sekirei who secretly protects the unwinged Sekirei.

Asama Miya – The group’s fearsome landlady. She’s also the very first Sekirei.

Story: 3/10

Sekirei is an anime that doesn’t bring much to the table story-wise. Pretty much all of its storyline has been rehashed from various manga, and not in a good way.

Normally in cases like this, I would look for the creative spin that would set this anime apart from the rest. Unfortunatly, I couldn’t find it.

Also, whenever a character was in trouble, someone would save them at the very last second every time. Every single time!

I give it a 3/10 for a storyline that follows the magical harem cookie-cutter genre to a T without adding its own uniqueness to the mix.

Animation & Music: 6/10 for Animation and 4/10 for Music

The animation quality of Sekirei has some flaws with proportions (watch the female characters for two seconds and you’ll know what I mean). The backgrounds are decent, but nothing notable.

One good thing about the animation is that the characters are really unique to each other. It didn’t take me long to figure out who was who in this series.

The opening and ending themes fall flat for me. However, the second ending theme was okay.

I give the animation a 6/10 and the music a 4/10 for a disappointing job.

Characters: 5/10

I was annoyed by pretty much all of the characters in Sekirei except for Kusano. Little Kuu-chan made me laugh several times throughout the series!

Fun Fact: Her seiyu (Japanese voice actor) is also the same one who did the voice of Potemayo, everyone’s favorite little face-raper!

Like I said before, the other characters are pretty bland and predictable. There are a couple plot twists, but they’re either “saw that coming a mile away” or “WTF?” The W stands for “Why” by the way.

5/10 for mediocre characters that have both predictable and weird plot twists.

Enjoyment: 5/10

One good quality to note about Sekirei is that each episode went by fast. I can’t believe that I watched the whole 12-episode series in two nights. Normally my anime ADD would kick in and I’d do something else for awhile, but not this time!

To be honest, despite the fast pace, I didn’t really enjoy watching Sekirei that much. Kuu-chan’s interaction with Minato and Tsukiumi was the only noteworthy aspect to this series. Although the ending leaves things open for a second season, judging from how this season faired, I doubt I’ll watch the second season as intently. If I would watch it, it would only be to see how the loose ends were tied up.

5/10 for a small amount of enjoyment, and that’s being generous.

Overall: 4.6/10

Sekirei really needs to develop their story if they want to make a second season that’s worthwhile. Although I didn’t like it, I encourage you to make up your own mind about it and watch it for yourself!

TheAndySan

Anime Review – Myself ; Yourself

Currently Listening To:
Joe Satriani – Is There Love In Space?
06 – If I Could Fly

Intro

When you’re confused about where you should go in life, it’s best to take a step back and rediscover yourself. Enter Myself ; Yourself.

Summary

Sana Hidaka, a sixteen year old high school student, returns to the fictional town Sakuranomori in W. Prefecture five years after his family moved away. He reconnects with his childhood friends Nanaka Yatsushiro, Aoi Oribe, and his best male friend Shusuke Wakatsuki along with his twin sister Shuri Wakatsuki. Sana lives by himself in the apartment building Aoi’s family runs. Sana soon finds out that while some things have stayed the same, there are many things that have changed.

Character Overviews

Hidaka Sana – The basic, everyman male lead.

Yatsushiro Nanaka – The cold love interest of Sana who was a sweet and caring girl when he left.

Oribe Aoi – The cute, childish girl who lives next door to Sana.

Wakatsuki Shusuke – The other male character who is your basic anime best friend (a bit rowdy, but at times uncharacteristically serious).

Wakatsuki Shuri – Shusuke’s athletic twin sister.

Story: 8/10

Myself ; Yourself may appear on the surface as another fan-service anime with lots of fluff for a storyline, but it’s more than that. Without giving away too much of the plot, I can say that there’s quite a few plot twists that come in past the halfway mark in the series. I like that Myself ; Yourself uses character development to push the bulk of the story along. It makes the characters more memorable and you can connect with them pretty easy.

I give it an 8/10 for a deceptively interesting story that focuses on the characters’ development instead of completing some “goal” (like defeating the biggest bad guy in the world or completing the puzzle from hell).

Animation & Music: 7/10 for Animation and 8/10 for Music

The quality of the animation in Myself ; Yourself is passable; nothing really startling. Although I did enjoy the characters’ designs, I’ve found that their designs are not very unique and you could easily swap them out with characters from another series.

The opening and ending themes are really enjoyable. I especially love the opening sequence with the characters playing the song on stage.

I give the animation a 7/10 and the music an 8/10 for a good, but not that great, job.

Characters: 7/10

The character I enjoyed the most, even though she may annoy some viewers, was Aoi. I thought that she was funny! The other characters were pretty bland and predictable at first, but a few plot twists later and I began to appreciate them a bit more. I was kinda disappointed that Aoi didn’t have an “OMG, WTF?” plot twist like the others, but I still liked her sweet-to-a-fault character. 7/10 for mostly mediocre characters that get better later on.

Enjoyment: 7/10

Despite having good character development and several plot twists, I didn’t really enjoy this series as much as I would have liked to. Myself ; Yourself needed a wacky side character. Aoi was close to being a wacky side character, but the show really needed a Rock Lee-type character to round it out. Although the ending leaves us on a satisfactory high note, it’s unlikely that there will be a second season. 7/10 for a decent amount of enjoyment.

Overall: 7.4/10

Myself ; Yourself did some things right, but it could have done a lot more. If they only had a wacky side character… In any event, I still enjoyed watching this series and encourage you to make up your own mind about it and watch it for yourself!

TheAndySan

Monetize, Deodorize, Pulverize!!

I posted a thread up on Steve Pavlina’s forum asking how I should get SpicyMelon off the ground. After reading the responses, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Although I do have a decent technical background, the amount of stuff I would have to do to get SpicyMelon off the ground is daunting.

One of the reasons it’s difficult to make SpicyMelon is because I want it to be a social network/search engine. Because of this, I need a lot of server space and software that won’t kaputz on me or my users.

Because of the sheer amount of work that I would have to put in to recreate SpicyMelon, I wanted to have it outsourced. It’s definitely a good idea since the website’ll be made by a team of experts instead of a guy with a grabasstic knowledge on the subject. Sure, I went to college for this stuff, but technology changes quickly and there’s a lot of things that are important that I wasn’t taught (like SEO for example). Despite outsourcing being an excellent idea for getting my business up and running, I don’t quite have enough money for it yet.

What to do, what to do? Well, I could just give up and try to get another job that I’ll be miserable doing. Don’t worry, I won’t do that unless absolutely necessary.

My plan is to go ahead and build a guitar blog, either TheShred.com or GuitarReviewer.com. I could do both, but I want to start off with just one.

The idea behind GuitarReviewer.com is pretty straightforward. I’ll do reviews for guitar-related products ranging from actual guitars, instructional videos, stompboxes, amps, guitar magazines (by issue), the list goes on. I plan on earning income from this site by advertisements (text-link ads, Chikita, etc.), joint-ventures (recommended products from Amazon.com, Musician’sFriend.com, etc.), and donations.

I believe that GuitarReviewer.com will be my big online break because I’m passionate about the guitar and would like to convey that passion in a way that will earn me income so that I don’t have to “work for a living”. The best thing about doing a site like this is that I don’t have to ship out any products.

After GuitarReviewer.com gets going, I plan on adding other sites as well. AnimeReview.com is something that I’ve wanted to do for ages. Of course, I still want to get SpicyMelon.com and TheShred.com off the ground as well.

“But Andy, if you’re putting up all of these websites, how will you find the time to do anything if you’re always writing articles for these websites?” Great question! As I mentioned earlier, I want to start off with just one website and then add other sites from there. All of these websites can be put on autopilot if I get burned out on a topic, if I wanna go on vacation, etc. How? Outsourcing of course! I could hire people to write articles for me. When it comes to articles where opinion is key, like product reviewing, I could hire people to contribute articles in their name. They get the credit for their articles and traffic for their websites, and I sustain my traffic (and thus my income) without writing a thing! Websites like SpicyMelon.com will require a lot of initial content creation to give potential users a real working example of what they can do on SpicyMelon.com instead of an everypage example.

In order to get GuitarReviewer.com off the ground, I want to use SiteBuildIt!, which was recommended by Steve Pavlina. I looked into it to see if it was for me, and although it may not be ideal for something like SpicyMelon.com, it can definitely get GuitarReviewer.com up and running.

Changing gears, I feel absolutely drained today.

I had my interview with UPS today. It was pretty cut-and-dry to be honest. The guy gave us a sheet outlining what we’d be making an hour if we got hired (a whopping $12.88 per hour) and a general outline of our daily routines. He then interviewed us individually. The whole thing took like 75 minutes tops.

After that, I went to McDonald’s for some lunch. I then decided to go to my dad and grandparents’ graves. It felt good visiting them again. I noticed that the ground above both of their graves had dying grass on top of it (my grandma’s had none) and even my grandpa’s had dying grass. My grandpa’s been dead since 1987, my grandma died in 2005, and my dad died in 2004. They say that the dead are restless if the grass above their grave is dying or not there after they’ve been buried at least a year. I wonder if that’s true. Hmm…

When I finished visiting them, I decided to go on a little trip. I took the main road and rode my moped until I was in a town I’ve never been to. It was fun, but I didn’t want to push it since I didn’t know where I was and I didn’t see any gas stations so I headed back home. Before I came home, I browsed around the rich section of the town my dad and grandparents are buried in. Their houses aren’t as impressive as the ones in my town, but it was still fun drivin’ around.

From Thursday through the weekend, I’ll be visiting my friends at UU. Genshiken UU’s throwing the Azumanga Daioh M8 Marathon on Saturday and I think it’ll be fun to see that as well as my friends again.

Well, I’m gonna get something to eat so I’ll see you guys around. Bye!

TheAndySan

Non-Working Class Hero: Is It Something To Be?

Hey guys, it’s TheAndySan here.

When I was working at Wal-Mart the other day, I had to restrain myself from walking out. I have had enough of working for someone else, much less working for Wal-Mart. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Wal-Mart; I feel that I’m at a stage in life where I need to really make something of myself. I also don’t want to end up like my parents who work and work and work just to keep everything afloat. Whenever I go behind the register, my inner integrity’s screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?!! YOU NEED TO BE YOUR OWN MAN AND WORK FOR YOURSELF!!!” I totally agree with my integrity.

That’s one of the reasons I started TheAndySan.com; I need to generate income by working for myself instead of selling out my time to be someone else’s slave. Starting a blog is one of the smallest investments anyone can make. It costs me a little over $100 a year for TheAndySan.com (space and domain) and hell, I’ve used free blogs since 2004 starting with GeoShitties. The only thing more cost-effective than free is if the blog pays you to blog. Oh wait, it does! The only limit to what you can make on a blog is what you put on yourself, and even then you could still make more by using content-generators like forums.

While working at Wal-Mart, I calculated how much I’d need to make in order to cover my expenses. My expenses in a business month (30 days) add up to $410. That’s $102.50 a week, $14.55 a day, or $0.60 an hour. Roughly guesstimating from my AdSense clicks, that’s about 3-4 clicks an hour on average. In other words, I could have ALL of my monthly expenses paid for by my visitors clicking 3-4 ads an hour on any of my sites. That’s nuckin’ futz!

After the whole Kontera & AdSense fiasco, I took it upon myself to completely reevaluate how I blog. I found out that a lot of people don’t like it when you change topics in a blog. Hell, I change topics in every post! I told myself, “This is how I write. I’ll listen to what other people are telling me, but I’m not gonna bend to their will. If I did, then this blog would be no better than Wal-Mart or any other job for that matter.”

Then, I decided to make another blog, this one being better on topic than TheAndySan.com. My idea for SpicyMelon.com is for it to be a free online cookbook of offbeat, cost-effective, and/or simple recipes that users can submit as well as ones that I submit. I plan on incorporating a forum into it in the future so keep an eye out for that. If I get enough recipes, I might make it a book and sell the book with all the available free recipes as well as a lot of recipes exclusive to the book.

You might have noticed that I switched out the Chikita ads with different ads. I’m using ads from AdBrite, but I’m still using Chikita’s Linx. You can sign up for AdBrite by clicking on the AdBrite button in the sidebar.

Last night, Eriopolis and I hung out with Cody at his apartment. We played some Magic: The Gathering, ordered another killer pepperoni and Jalapeno pepper pizza from Domino’s, and we watched all of an anime called Kiddy Grade. I didn’t sleep at Cody’s and got home around 8 in the morning and tried to sleep, but those damn debt collectors kept calling and waking me up!! NYAHH!!!1

In other news, I’ve decided not to get the Yamaha CG-170SA with a hardshell case for $360 at the music store. I looked up on Musician’s Friend to see if I could do better, and I can. Check this baby out: Luna Muse Series Folk Cutaway Nylon-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar. Luna Guitars is owned by Dean Guitars so I already know that this guitar’s gonna be excellent. Here’s a link of the guitar with moAr pics on the Luna Guitars website: Luna Muse Series Folk Cutaway Nylon-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar.

I’m also once again in the market for a new amp. This time, I’m debating between the Line 6 Spider III 2×12 combo and the Line 6 Spider Valve 2×12 combo. I’m gonna save up around $300 and try to find a deal on eBay and if I can’t, then I’ll save up moAr and get something from either eBay or Musician’s Friend.

Well, I’m gonna take a shower before I get ready for work (grr, work). Take care!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 36 days since www.theandysan.com has been up and 8 days since www.spicymelon.com (Happy Belated First Week Anniversary!) has been up. If any of you guys use Digg, StumbleUpon,
Reddit, etc., you can submit my stuff via the Share This! expanding button to your site of choice.

TheAndySan's Anime Review #2 – Bamboo Blade

Hey guys, it’s TheAndySan hurr with a long-awaited anime review!!

My review is not on Bleach or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, but on an excellent little number called Bamboo Blade! Here is the slog of it on YouTube:

If you don’t have sufficient Internets or don’t want to hear my gay-ass voice, read on below:

Have you ever wished you could be in a Japanese high school? Yeah, you and me both, although the homework would kill me!! How about in a Japanese high school kendo club? Not sure? Well, it’s time to spin Bamboo Blade in your DVD player!

Bamboo Blade begins as the story of Muroe High School’s kendo club, instructed by Toraji Ishida, a hopelessly poor and unlucky fellow with a short-temper to boot, and his only member and captain of the kendo club, Kirino Chiba, a girl who’s energetic and always positive. When Ishida-sensai is challenged by his sempai who runs two kendo clubs at two different schools, Kenzaburō Ishibashi, he becomes determined to gather a 5-woman kendo team to defeat Ishibashi-sensai and win free Tokyo-style sushi for a year.

Muroe High School’s kendo club consists of:
Toraji Ishida – the down-on-his-luck instructor
The 5-women team
The 2-man team

The 5-woman team consists of:
Tamaki “Tama-chan” Kawazoe – the shy child prodigy
Kirino Chiba – the insanely positive captain
Miyako “Miya-Miya” Miyazaki – the cute girl with a dark side
Sayako “Sayo-chan” Kuwahara – the eccentric random girl
Satori “Satorin” Azuma – the talented but clumsy girl

The 2-man team is:
Yūji Nakata – a sincere and talented guy who looks out for Tama-chan
Danjūrō “Dan” Eiga – a small and slow guy who is Miya-Miya’s boyfriend

Story: 8/10
Although Bamboo Blade uses the ol’ Japanese high school premise, it’s much more than that. The story really captures what it’s like to be in a kendo club, alibiet with some out-of-the-norm occurances. It’s told with loving care and doesn’t go for excessive amounts of fanservice, not that there isn’t fanservice; it’s subtly tucked in without having it in the spotlight. I give it an 8/10 for an excellent take on a cookie-cutter subgenre.

Animation & Music: both 7/10
The animation quality definitely gets the job done, and it especially shines during the critical action scenes. The music is pretty catchy too. I’m totally diggin’ the ending theme’s dance-funk feel. I give both the animation and the music a 7/10 for a good, but not mind-blowing, job.

Characters: 10/10
This is where Bamboo Blade shines its brightest. The character development is top-notch and makes this anime definitely re-watchable. 10/10, no question.

Enjoyment: 10/10
I haven’t thuroughly enjoyed an anime from beginning to end like this since Love Hina! And the ending makes you beg for more when a second season is hinted at. 10/10 for pure enjoyment.

Overall: 8.4/10
Bamboo Blade is a breath of fresh air among the cookie-cutter high-school subgenre of anime. The characters develop nicely, the animation and music is satisfactory, and I would watch this again in a heartbeat.

Well, I’m gonna go chizzill with E & The Gang so I’ll see yooz guyz laterz! Bye!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 34 days since www.theandysan.com has been up and 6 days since www.spicymelon.com has been up. If any of you guys use Digg, StumbleUpon,
Reddit, etc., you can submit my stuff via the Share This! expanding button to your site of choice.

160 Views!!!1 Liek, zOMG!!!1

Evenin’, it’s the Andy-San here with some great news!

My daily view record is now up to 160 and the day was April 5th. Holy mother-f’n ass-crackers, Batman! I guess I’m startin’ to pull in some traffic now, huh?

I do apologize for the rather spotty updates, but I’ve been very busy. If you didn’t already know, I’ve got my old job at Wal-Mart back and I’ve escaped Toxic Hell. I don’t get a day off until this coming Saturday so it’s gonna be rough, but it’ll be worth it when I get my new computer.

Speaking of computers, I recently did a clean install (format and install) of Windows to my current computer in hopes of getting rid of this stuttering problem it’s been having. Unfortunantly, it’s still here so it must be a hardware issue or something. My guess is that it’s my sound card, but like I said before, it’s really irrelevent because I’ll be getting a new computer, so yeah.

If you guys were wondering when I’m gonna get off my arse and finally do a proper Love Hina review and a Bleach review, you’ll have to wait until I get my new computer since my current one is acting weird. Sorry about the wait!

In other news, I learned how to play most of the intro to Jane by Jefferson Starship. I believe that after I get my computer and put away some money in savings, I’ll finally get a new amp. I’ve said before that I want the Peavey ValveKing 212 combo since it’s not only the cheapest all-tube combo, but it sounds pretty darn good too. However, I looked in Carvin’s recent catalog, and I found a combo amp that could be even better. It’s called the Carvin MTS3212. It has 5 12ax7 preamp tubes compared to the ValveKing’s 3 and weighs 6 1/2 lbs less than the ValveKing too (a boon for combos). It can also toggle between being 50 watts and 100 watts. However, the ValveKing can toggle between Class A and Class AB operation and is $100 cheaper than the MTS3212. Unless I find a killer deal on eBay, I’m going with the MTS3212.

Well, I’m gonna go to bed so I’ll see you guys later and keep those views coming!! Nighty-night!

Andy-San