February 2016

Anime & Manga

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood | One of the best anime series in recent years

I finally got around to watching this anime series after a few years of having watched the first series, so I decided to write up a quick review while it’s still fresh in my memory.This will help kick off the new type of reviews for the site, that you can now select in our shiny new menu. But I digress…

I mentioned this is the second series, but fear not: although this is the second Fullmetal Alchemist series, it’s not a sequel. It’s in fact a retelling of the story that follows the original manga more closely.

For those of you unfamiliar with this saga, Fullmetal Alchemist is based on a manga by Hiromu Arakawa. It’s about a world set in a fictional European-style 1900’s era where alchemy is commonplace, and treated as a formal science (although it’s actually performed like a magical ritual of sorts). Alchemists are people who understand the law of equivalent exchange and are able to transmute matter with the help of “transmutation circles”. The circles and the process itself has a more mystic feeling to it than scientific rigor, since the alchemists are able to perform it by channeling power but do not fully understand who or why is it exactly that allows them to so. Their knowledge is limited to drawing the right transmutation circles, by knowing the chemical components of whatever it is they are  trying to transmute. This would normally be a complaint against the plot, but it doesn’t go unaddressed. In fact, this very mystery is the main source of the overarching plot.

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Playlist 2016 – Can’t Give Everything Away

Once again, let’s start a playlist for the year. But here’s the new dynamic: I’ll add the albums I’m currently listening to, limiting myself to the last 2 or 3 productions of every artists, and I’ll specify which tracks are my favorites in each album. And since most of them will be fairly new releases, not all the music will be available on YouTube, so I’ll give you links to the official websites so you can buy the music in whatever format you prefer. I’ll eventually make a list in YouTube with the songs that are available there.

So here’s the list in alphabetical order, which will be updated throughout the year:

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Saved Data

At the start of every year…

To reinvent oneself every year is a common goal among us humans, don’t you think?. In my case, that trite saying has been a defining albeit involuntary aspect of life. I have more “past lives” in this life than I would like.

But here we are again, with an update to the site I had been processing for the past 5 months: “Hello!! Save Data”, remade, now with a menu (also for mobile devices), little icons and other trinkets. Most of the changes are a gift to myself, since they’re supposed to facilitate the process of administrating the site. Let’s see if we can finally write more often!

Great things are on the way, like the launch of “Astro Web” and my struggle for survival in the freelancing world. For now, I leave you with a song by Porcupine Tree that helps me remember all those past souls and lives:

I woke up and I had a big idea
To buy a new soul at the start of every year
I paid up and it cost me pretty dear
Here’s a hymn to those that disappear.