rocketbomber (Level 9)

TV Economics 101: Why you can't watch every program for free
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Oh, I'm going to cite Yoko Kanno, do not doubt, but it won't be my first pick and it's not going to be either soundtrack you're thinking of right now. 
Here's my top 5: 
1. Aria soundtracks:  Not only are there the three soundtracks (for the Animation, the Natural, and the Origination seasons) there are also two piano-only collections (labeled Stagione and Dipartenza) which are also benissimo.  Now, I'm not saying these CDs are for sale on English-language sites (even online) Which Is A Freakin' Tragedy And Can We Fix That? but I'm sure you can find these somewhere.  It's light acoustic--definitely Italian-inspired--music, but I also relies heavily on both a European Cafe sensibility (think Paris, Prague, Barcelona, not just Venice) and while the guitar is wonderful, particularly when paired with both violin and accordion, those two piano CDs are just amazing -- and each of the seiyuu also acquits themselves quite well on the vocal tracks, managing to be both in fine voice and in character. 
2. Read or Die soundtracks.  Both the OAV and the TV series produced excellent soundtracks, though if I had to pick a favorite, I'd go with the TV show main theme.   It's all synth, though -- and while certainly not bad -- I wish they had money in the budget for a full orchestra on some of those cuts. 

3. Noir.   Yeah, yeah, I know. The music in the show is repetitious and that damn-music-box-from-hell-mixed-electronically main theme will haunt your dreams for weeks after you marathon the whole series -- but the mix of choral works, light incidental music, and the more dramatic themes hit me in the right way, and the 4 CD soundtracks are (or at least were) available from places like Rightstuf. 
4. Brain Powerd.  Sure, you've heard Yoko Kanno take the whole oeuvre of Blues, Jazz, and Funk (with a side of rock) and distill it into one great soundtrack (and if 15 other people don't mention Cowboy Beebop in this thread something is broken with fandom) but did you know she has done the same with classical?  While many will have heard (and loved) her work on both Escaflowne and Gundam -- Brain Powerd is her unknown and under-appreciated masterpiece.  You'll listen to the tracks and swear you can think of the classical composer who wrote it, or which movie soundtrack (by Williams, say) that you've already heard it in, but no:  It's just Kanno-sensei working undeserved magic for what is now a ten-year old generic dystopia/mecha show. 
5. Najica Blitz Tactics.  In many ways this is just a rip-off of Bebop.  "Oh, the kids like jazz now?  OK, bring it."  And not only did they copy the jazzy style, they even went so far as to form a house band (a la the Seatbelts) known as "Diligent Circle of Ekoda" and they requite themselves well -- sure, this isn't Bebop, or Kanno's later works (like GitS SAC or Darker Than Black)  or even the Baccano soundtrack, which if you're not listening to you also need to seek out -- but since most of you know both Bebop and Baccano, I thought I'd point you to something similar, but different, and also pretty damn good when considered on its own merits. 
Honourable mention: 
Did you know there is a 10 CD box set of Utena that was released, complete with dance remixes?  This is so obscure, and of such little interest to anyone other than John and I, but I thought I'd throw that out there.
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I say, go for it. 
Custom poseable figures from artist Mike Leavitt 
Here's his Barack: 
That's all I have to say. 
...except to note that we need to be throwing enough money Mike's way to get him to do anime figures almost exclusively.
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So.  I can point everyone to my 'defense of porn' post, again  
Unfortunately I get a lot of mileage out of that link. 
Specifically loli and shota porn though?  I can't speak to that.  My gut says No.   
Make that Hell No, no comics should be banned, ever, ever, unless a real life child was harmed by the artist in the process of creating the work in which case the censorship and/or destruction of that work should be a consequence of conviction for those crimes, along with things like prison and/or some other life-time supervision of the Creep Who Hurt Children. 
Art does not hurt children.  Drawings of people are not people.  Creeps who hurt children will be creeps not matter what we publish, or don't publish, and the major consideration is not their access to Art but their access to Children
My head, in opposition to my gut, tells me the issue is more complex than that.  And reactions by civilians and the Justified Outrage of the General Public whenever they come across material like this just makes the hobby look bad. 
I just want to read books.  All kinds of books.  Anything that gets in the way of that is bad, in my opinion.  We can question the motives of people who produce works that seemingly encourage Bad People to do Bad Things to children ("Think of the children!") but I firmly believe that in a free society that encourages free speech, free thought, and free expression we cannot question their works as works.  If you can prove a crime, with a real victim, then we can revisit the value of the work. 
But Books don't kill people.  People who burn Books kill people.  You want to ban something "for the common good"? 
I find that to be as abhorrent as the worst, least defensible porn.
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My con plans are the same as last year:  Dragon Con and AWA -- we'll see if I can get the time off from work, and hopefully I won't come down with the flu right before a con (again) (man, that sucked).  It would help if D*C and AWA weren't just two weeks apart, which makes things -- from arranging vacation time to finances -- even more difficult this year.  Might have to pick just one.
Maybe I won't have to worry about getting time off at the bookstore because I'll be employed as a writer, full time.  Resumes are circulating right now.  fingers crossed.    
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have yourself... a yuri little christmas... 
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