October 23rd, 2004


New anime

With Gilgamesh out of the way, we were long overdue on checking out the offerings of the new season that has begun a month ago in Japan.

We started off with Final Approach. It's a wacky bishoujo series, with half-length episodes. It all starts when Ryo's normal life is disturbed by Shizuka parachuting literally into his life. Worried by decreasing birth numbers, the Japanese government set up a program of arranged marriages, and Shizuka and Ryo are to be the first test couple.
It's perhaps too wacky for my tastes, and I dislike the underlying assumption as to the reason of the lower number of births. On the other hand, designs are pretty neat, with lots of super-deformed wackiness. Perhaps I need to see more episodes before I can pass judgement.

Next off was another series with half-length episodes, W Wish. Another bishoujo series. It's about twins, Junna and Senna, of which the latter has a huge big-brother-complex (think Sister Princess, but even more mushy. Junna witnessed the car crash that killed their parents, and he has lost all of his memory from before that time.
Designs are overly cutesy, and we have seen this anime a few times before -- W Wish doesn't bring anything new to the table.

Finally, we watched Kappa no Kaikata. These episodes are really short -- only five minutes! The series is about a faceless guy (?) who buys a Kappa (a water sprite) at a pet store. The series documents his attempts to offer the Kappa a good home. In the first episode we see him having trouble feeding the sprite and the results of that...
Quite good fun, and very short. It definately feels like a 4-panel newspaper comic in that the episodes are really short and deliver one single pun. A keeper.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative


Thursday, after signing the papers for the house, we went on a hunt for bathroom furniture. We selected a few showrooms and did a preliminary sweep of those to see what's available -- we want to get an idea of what's available and the associated prices.

We want an extra-deep bathtub, so that you can sit completely submerged in the bath, without anything sticking out. We experienced the comfort of such tubs in Japan, and if we're going to renovate the bathroom anyway, why not get some luxury while we're at it? As we told eachother: we don't need lots of space, we want luxury!
To me, the Villeroy & Boch Nagano tub (probably not a coincidence that it is named after a city in Japan) is the prime candidate.

We want black tiles on the floor, and large white tiles on the walls, accented with small square black tiles. Hard to explain.
At the first shop, we also saw the Mosa LED tiles. They're exactly as it sounds: large square tiles with 9 white LEDs in the middle. I'm wondering whether one can change the white LEDs for something different (say, RGB LEDs) and how they get their power... Add a microcontroller and two wall-coverings that act as touch sensors, and you'd have a programmable accent-lighting. *drool*
  • Current Mood
    pensive pensive
flex brain!

Video cleanup

I've digitised some episodes again and again and again, resulting in 4 versions of the same episode. Takes a lot of time, but in the end it's worth it. With AviSynth, I create a script to mix those episodes together, taking the median of a pixel from each version to reduce the noise. I de-interlace, smooth and sharpen, and the result looks quite good.

However, there's the issue of the logo. I can try to 'smooth' out the logo, but I'm not sure that's worth it. Here are thee (reasonably big) frames, of three possibilities.
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So, what should I do? Leave the logo as it is, completely blur the logo or something inbetween? Your input is appreciated!
  • Current Mood
    curious curious