As I have been busy watching the Olympics (or rather, the super hot guys in the Olympics), I haven't watched much anime (or even played much of The World Ends With You). But I have kept up with some news here and there. Some of it's more interesting than others.
We'll start with the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I could go into why they shouldn't even BE in Beijing, but I'm pretty sure that's been covered over and over since it was announced. Beijing is in top (fake) form though, presenting a polished image to the world. But what happens when your perfect image is revealed to be fake to the entire world? If you watched the opening ceremonies, you may have caught 9-year-old Lin Miaoke singing "Ode to the Motherland." Except that she really wasn't. The voice that young Lin was lip-syncing to was the voice of 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was deemed to be "not cute enough" to appear in the ceremonies. A horrible thing to do to a child, but little Yang, a model oppressed Chinese citizen, says that it was an honor just to be able to sing, even if she was shunned from being on the stage. (source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26153578/ )
In more warming Olympic news...how about that Michael Phelps? Working toward breaking the record for most career gold medals (which he is currently tied for; he needs one more to break it and he's got I think 3 more events in which he can place). He is some kind of amazing. I feel a bit bad for anyone who has to swim against this guy, because it's nearly impossible to beat him. He's just too damn fast. It's incredible watching him. And he's just so honestly thrilled to be there and be swimming, and his family (his mom and sister at least) are there to see him. He's really the star of the show.
But let's not forget the underdogs, the US gymnastics team, that everyone said would never pull it off. Wouldn't place, probably wouldn't even make the finals. Not with two alternates replacing at the last minute two of their top players. And yet they not only persevered, they won a medal. Bronze, but any medal was a huge accomplishment. If you watched them, you could see they deserved it. Absolutely amazing. They almost had the silver, but one of the poor boys blew his pommel horse routine. They sat nervously through the last few German routines to make sure they would hold the bronze, and they were just enough ahead to win. China got the gold, which was also well deserved, and Japan got the silver. As a side note, I'm totally in love with Jonathan Horton. So adorable. :)
Moving on to something else, I don't know if anyone is keeping up with this Georgia/Russia fiasco. It's really confusing, to me at least. Probably because the articles I'm reading keep saying different things. The first I read said Georgia attacked Russia, and Russia retaliated (with a vengeance). Then I read another that said Russia's been attacking Georgian villages for a while, and goading Georgia into a revolt. Then Georgia wanted a cease fire, but Russia kept pounding them, and now I guess Russia's going on for the cease fire as well. Or well, as it turns out, the Russian president told them to stop, but they're still going at it. It's pretty crazy shit. Here's some articles to get you up to speed:
Now for something far less serious. Funimation is once again stepping in on behalf of a Japanese anime company (d-rights), requesting that fansubs be pulled for the following shows: Monochrome Factor, Nabari no Ou, Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, Bamboo Blade and El Cazador. You may remember Funimation taking similar action a little while back on behalf of Gonzo's Romeo X Juliet (which Funimation has since licensed) and Bokurano. I'm curious why these Japanese companies don't take this action themselves, though I suppose it could be a money issue (which Funimation seems to have plenty of). I in no way feel "entitled" to "free anime," but it irks me a little bit when they take down shows that have yet to be licensed. Unless Funimation plans to license all of those shows at some point (and they've only gotten one so far). It means nobody gets to watch it unless a distribution company thinks it a profitable venture to offer it. (source: ANN)
Halo 3 recently won an innovation award from Edge, which is some sort of UK game industry network. Now, I have nothing against Halo. I like Halo. And I think Halo has done some amazing things for online console play. But Halo 3? Halo 2 pushed some great online console innovation. All Halo 3 added that could be called innovative is Forge, the theater, and I guess online co-op. Except there were plenty other games you can already do stuff like that with. And the theater was a logical response to people making videos by their own means. The game was up against GTAIV, Portal, Super Mario Galaxy, Rock Band, and Wii Fit. I can see plenty more innovation in each of those games than what Halo 3 had. I don't know if you noticed, but PORTAL was in the category. I don't think I need to say anything more. (source: Kotaku)
Now on a sort of side note, I did finish Last Exile last week, so I will be writing a review of it soon. I should do it now, before I forget everything. The short of it is that I found it interesting enough, but that I hated the flow and pacing of the story. More explanation later. Also, last time I was at my comic shop, I placed an order for the You Are (Not) Alone Rei Ayanami statue. Not sure how long it will take for that to come in, but expect some pictures when it does. Between what my aunt and mother sent me for my birthday, I was able to (finally) get the full season of Escaflowne and order the statue. But now I'm broke again. :)
As I post this, they're doing a highlight of a Polish swimmer who auctioned off her gold medal for charity...and they're playing a Halo song. Just an interesting note, I guess.
PS - I know most (maybe all) of you are male, but some pictures have surfaced of Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince. Shirtless pics. Super hot, sweaty, dirty, shirtless pics. I'm pretty excited, personally.
edit: I originally said a Polish "singer" won a gold medal, which is silly. I meant to say "swimmer," and have since corrected that. Must have been thinking about little Peiyi.