Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hire & Fire

Lately I'm not happy at work. It's not the work itself, it's everything surrounding it.
Our departement manager sucks, he annoys everyone with his ignorance and stupidity, and he has hired a girl for my team leader who's not qualified for the job. She's not a team player herself, so she knows nothing about how to lead a team and is doing an awful job at it.
Our company has problems and fired some people, among them some in our departement and in my team. And now another team mate has quit (not surprisingly, she didn't get along with our team leader either). Which leaves our team down from 5 to 2 - my team leader and me.
I work in a mail order company and for some reason there's a rather hostile attitude towards eCommerce (where I work). It results in bad cooperation and last week comparatively many people from our departement were fired, which makes no sense considering the development away from the catalogue towards the internet. It doesn't give one the feeling that this company fit for the future, and the mail order business in Germany is in a tough spot anyway, with two big players already down.

My mum keeps telling me that I should look for another job. But I wasn't sure. I like the work I'm doing and there's some benefits to working in this company, like a 37,5 hrs working week.
But if it's annoying me too much and making me unhappy, should I not leave?
I don't know where to go though. I'd be fine with getting out of eCommerce, I never wanted to work in this area anyway, it just kind of happened. But I like the flat I'm living in, I like the city, it's close to my hometown; I really don't want to move again. And since there are hardly any jobs for me in this city, the alternative would be commuting.
I guess I should start updating my LinkedIn profile...

And another thing I'm worrying about: what if the next place isn't any better? I thought this place was better than the last, and though I like the tasks better, the working environment got worse and worse. How can I know it's not the same at the next job?

I wonder whether I'll find a job that I'll like, even after years, a place where I can stay. Or will I have to change jobs every 2 or 3 years? I don't think I'd like to live that way. Read more on this article...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

reviews: Brave 10, Kuroko no Basket

It's been a while, but here's more anime reviews.

Brave 10

Brave 10 is a reverse harem full of bishonen samurai/ninja. Yay?

Unfortunately it has the annoying helpless female lead, too. Isanami is the usual useless anime girl - you could substitute her with a dog and it wouldn't make much of a difference.
There's the big-breasted ninja woman with ridiculous clothing, too, but she's not as kick-ass as she could be.

The male characters are more interesting. There's a bunch of fighters of different kinds. You'll know some names, because some are based on historical people. This isn't an historical story though, it's more fantasy.
Saizo is an interesting main character, trying to find his way. Is he better off without a master, or will he feel better serving Yukimura Sanada?
The writer of the manga apparently does yaoi, too, and it shows in the outfits. I'm not complaining though. There's a little fan service and some shonen ai hints, but nothing really obvious. Well, except for Kamanosuke Yuri, the bat shit crazy guy with a blood-fetish who's falling for Saizo. A lot of people seem to be unsure about whether he's a woman or a man; I think it's obvious that he's male, but apparently his sometimes non-gender-typical behaviour confuses others. Yuri is one of the most entertaining parts.
Sanada totally reminds me of Shunsui Kyōraku from Bleach. Sasuke's really cute, being all shy and with his animal friends. Rokuro Unno, the uke-ish servant of Sanada - what's with that outfit?! I wish he'd have had more fighting scenes though. The others are interesting, too, Kakei Juzo and Nezu Jinpachi (and Ishida Matsunari), but they don't get enough character development.

Actually no character gets enough development. It's really frustrating: there's all these guys with so much promise, but you just don't get anywhere. The anime clearly suffers from having only 12 episodes. I'm really not sure what story would work with 12 episodes. This one hardly does; it's really a shame. Especially the last episode is a complete letdown.
Also, there's too much talk during the fights.

But since I found the setting and characters interesting, I started buying the mangas. Those are much more "ecchi" than the anime, the girls' nipples show all the time and not only that... But I'm really looking forward to the onsen trip and the drunk party on Jinpachi's ship - my favourite parts of the anime.

TV Tropes

Kuroko no Baskuke

I started this one after seeing fan art on deviantART. I thought, ok, I'm not interested in basketball, but I loved Chihayafuru even though I never heard of the card game before.

I couldn't stop watching! Seriously, I was glued to the screen. The suspense in some episodes was so intense, it was very nearly physically exhausting just to watch it.

Kuroko is a strange main character. You hardly get any background on him and he's not the strong hero, that's Kagami. He always seems serious and is really innocent-looking (apart from when he gets down to business in a match). He's only really good at passing and otherwise weak, but he can still change a game - and it's not only his special skill. There's something else, but I can't place my finger on it. He seems as uke as one can get, but in a way he isn't (though judging from the fan art out there I might be the only one thinking that).
There's a whole bunch of other male staff, of course, but they're not as interesting as Kuroko. Since it's a shounen anime, there's not a lot of fan service for girls. There's also the big-tits-girl versus small-tits-girl - seriously, I'll never understand what's up with that.

As far as basketball goes, it's probably not realistic; even though I don't know anything about sports, I can see that. But come on, who expects an anime about basketball to be realistic?
The extremes (the next player being amazing, the next even more amazing, the one after that...) are a bit annoying, but Kuroko no Basket is very entertaining and hard to get away from.

TV Tropes
Read more on this article...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Remember Koom Valley!

So, at the moment I'm re-reading Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. And just somewhere in there, easy to overlook, I found this one little annotation.
It's about history and about the battle of Koom Valley. The Discworld Wiki says about that battle:
“Remember Koom Valley!” Hundreds of years ago, the trolls and the dwarfs met in a battle at Koom Valley. It was a remarkable battle in that each side ambushed the other and, of course, in being the historical event symbolizing the enmity between trolls and dwarfs. Nowadays, dwarfs celebrate the Battle of Koom Valley Day, on the same day that trolls celebrate Troll New Year. Sometimes, in a city where both dwarfs and trolls live (e.g. Ankh-Morpork), the two groups are careful enough to plan their celebratory marches so that they are coincidentally on the same street (see Men at Arms).

And here's the annotation (Thief of Time, p. 215):
Every society needs a cry like that, but only in a very few do they come out with the complete, unvarnished version, which is 'Remember-the-Atrocity-Committed-Against-Us-Last-Time-That-Will-Excuse-the-Atrocity-That-We're-About-to-Commit-Today! And So On! Hurrah!'

By the way, the book was released in 2001. I couldn't find any exact date, but Terry Pratchett must have been done writing before September of that year. Read more on this article...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bromance! - Womance?

I've been re-watching Saiunkoku Monogatari and one thing I really like is the friendship between Ran Shuuei and Li Kouyuu. Apparently a lot of fanfiction revolves around those two, too - slash fanfiction that is. And once again I disagree with it. I do like yaoi, but as I have mentioned before, sometimes the friendship is just too precious. A sexual relationship just doesn't fit them, in my opinion.
There are many relationships in manga and anime like that, for example Kyōraku and Ukitake of Bleach and Kotetsu and Barnaby of Tiger & Dragon. Nowadays this is called "bromance", I guess.

And there's quite a few epic friendships like these, not only in anime. There's Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. There's all the buddy movies, Bud Spencer with Terence Hill, Leathal Weapon, Rush Hour. There's Miami Vice and Dr. House and Wilson. Of course there's Merry and Pippin in Lord of the Rings, Silk and Barak in the Belgariad, there's Captain Kirk and Spock and Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.
Epic bromance is everywhere to be found!

And what about women?
According to wikipedia, there's "Womance". Which, honestly, sounds like a weak copy of the male version...
And it's hardly visible. There's Thelma & Louise, of course. But otherwise? Hardly anything deserving the description "epic". There's Buffy and Willow, but they had Xander, so does it count? As for mangas/animes, there's Nana.

I think there's a lack of epic friendships between women.
Or is it only me? Are they just of a different nature? Read more on this article...