BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

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from Central Texas

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    • BLAME!: A Surprisingly Appealing 3D Anime

      3 weeks ago

      BlackPenguin

      So there's a new 3D anime feature on Netflix called BLAME!.  If you're not aware, 3D animation in anime has a bad reputation (and deservedly so, in many instances).  That being said, I really liked BLAME!.  Like, a lot.  And I've been racking my brain trying to figure out why.


      I'm gonna be a little long-winded about this.  That's not because this was some crazy good movie, but just because I want to talk about why I personally liked it so much and how it was deceptively entertaining.  Minor spoilers ahead, but major spoilers are shaded.


      Story

      It's based on a cyberpunk manga, started in the late 90's.  In short, it's about a guy wandering through a vast run-down artificial city controlled by AI, which are constantly expanding and changing the city.  He searching for a way to give humans back control of the city, and he meets various people along the way.  The say the Netflix movie takes place somewhere in the middle of the manga.  Upon reading reviews, many people recommend reading the manga first.  Too late for me, but maybe not for you (if you care).


      I'm a sucker for sci-fi, so I really loved the universe.  It's like a hybrid of The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell, but on a timescale far greater.  It reminds me a bit of Horizon Zero Dawn, but if humans didn't revert to such primitive ways.  I love stories that take place within wider contexts of time and technology.  Stories that are cyberpunk, but contain elements of lost technologies and long-term changes in civilization.  They are at once both intriguing, and sorrowful.


      It should also be said that, unless you know anything about the manga, it's hard to know who the movie is about.  This honestly reminded me a lot of Mad Max Fury Road.  You follow a heroine (Zuru) who cross paths with a mysterious but powerful stranger (Killy), see the stranger help the heroine and her people, and then go his own way to continue his adventures.  And all the while you're watching it, you can't quite figure out who the main character is.  Then there is the reveal at the end, where you see the granddaughter of Zuru recount the movie's events as an old tale of her people.  And it you didn't watch closely at the beginning, you'd miss that the granddaughter was the narrator all along.  I mistakenly thought it was Zuru at the beginning of the movie.  So the end was a somber shock, to know that Zuru was just a memory at that point.  But that's the reality of these kinds of stories, where they're just a snapshot of time in a long story.

       
      The Visuals

      Now, if you've been watching 3D anime the past few years, you'd know that they have caused some friction.  Many are seen as jerky, hard to watch, and poor substitutes for traditional anime. Take Knights of Sidonia for example.  I loved it, and I'm currently rewatching it, but many people can't even stand seeing it.  The motion is that jerky.  And I acknowledge that too, it's just that I've accepted it and got past it.  If you'd like to know more about the reality of CG anime compared to regular anime, this is a good article.


      3D criticisms aside, oh my god this movie looked good.  And it was so hard to figure out why.  Compared to other contemporary 3D CG anime I've seen (Ajin, Sidonia, BBK/BRNK), BLAME! was a pleasure to watch.  Was is the framerate?  Was it animated differently (1s, 2s, etc)?  I doubt it because it's jerky like other 3D anime, but it was still good.  And I couldn't figure out why.  It was hard to nail down, but I found a few couple reasons.


      For one, the lighting.  Compared to the other titles I mentioned, I feel like there was more care taken with respect to lighting.  Faces had slightly more distinct shadows.  There was also a little more detail on faces and clothes.  In Sidonia, faces were pretty baby faced.  In BLAME!, faces had more notable features, highlighted by the lighting.  In Ajin, clothes seemed pretty stiff.  But in this movie, the clothes and hair seemed to flow a little better.  In other 3D anime, objects used by characters were clunkily held.  In BLAME!, it seemed like hands were maybe better articulated.  Or perhaps, they just cut down on the visibility of hand articulation.  Explosions and other effects appeared painstakingly created, rather than the simple or obligatory effects that I've seen in other shows.


      In addition, the backgrounds and environment were very well done.  They looked very carefully created.  The scenery just seemed more detailed than other 3D anime I've seen.  It just seemed so cinematic.  I don't know what it was.  Maybe it a trick of the eye.  Maybe they played with focus, putobjects on different planes, or maybe it was just the letterbox look.


      The Sound

      Now, this is probably a deciding factor in why I liked it so much.  The music was pretty spot on.  At times it felt appropriately eerie, at others quite tense and fearful.  There was a scene where something terrible started happening, and man, was the music so good there.  They did a good job with their music pairings.  The sound mix was fantastic too.  The guns, the clothes, the sound effects - they all were very well done.  When characters would run and interact with the environment, it all sounded so real.  A pleasure to the ears.


      In Sum

      In the end, when all these factors came together, I ended up really liking this movie.  I was watching it, thinking to myself, "Why is this so good?  Is it actually good, or is it a trick?".  I couldn't figure it out.  And it may be the case that this movie isn't actually that good.  But I personally enjoyed it a lot, and upon further review, it was because of the factors previously mentioned.


      I would definitely recommend BLAME!.  It's not great, but it definitely felt unique and worth the time.  Especially if you view it in the context of 3D anime in general.

    • The Rules of Sandwichood (No Hotdogs Allowed)

      1 month ago

      BlackPenguin

      I was following a forum discussion regarding the "is a hotdog a sandwich?" debate (cc: @Radius55, @Blutonian).


      I gave it a lot of thought (more than necessary), and came up six rules that should help solve the crisis.  If anyone has any critiques, let me know.  We have to solve this problem.



      Requirement 1: Container

      1)The outer container must be bread, or at a minimum: 

         A) a food derived principally from grains that is prepared either by heat or natural process,

         B) a faux-bread or bread-like analog meant to mimic bread's properties, and

         C) this excludes pasta or containers prepared in water


      2) Container must be:

         A) at least two separate pieces, or

         B) one piece with a section cut or removed, or

         C) one piece capable of being folded in two, with the fold being discernible to the eye, and

         D) in the event of container completely enclosing interior ingredients during the cooking

        process, the plated sandwich's container must follow previous subsection rule 2-A

         (requiring two separate pieces) during final plating


       

      Requirement 2: Interior 

      1) There must be at least one item inside the container.


      2) Under normal plating circumstances, the interior ingredients must be visible



      Requirement 3: Two "Sides"

      1) The sandwich in question should be flat-ish.  Meaning:

         A) under normal plating, it should be able to be placed on a flat surface safely, with 

         B) no more than a 49% chance of tipping or rolling



      Requirement 4: Flippable

      1) The sandwich should not have a defined "top" or "bottom", except only when it can be efficiently eaten upside down.


      2) It must also be able to be served either side up without more than a 49% chance of ingredients spilling out.


      3) The only exception is parody sandwiches, such as those with exaggerated ingredients or sizes.


      Requirement 5: Eaten with Hands

      1) The sandwich must be meant to, or at least be common to, be eaten with bare hands.


      2) Cutlery must not be required to consume the sandwich.


      3) Wrappers and covers are allowed, as long as hands are still used to eat the sandwich.


      Requirement 6: Plating & Serving

      1) The sandwich must be commonly served on a flat plate.


      2) The sandwich may NOT be served with a bowl.


      3) If the sandwich is served with a dipping sauce, it must be larger than finger food.


      4) In the event of the sandwich being fried, the word "fried" must be added to the beginning of the sandwich's name.



      Notes: Yeah, I know it's overboard.  I had too much time today.

    • Attack on Titan Timelines (Watch Order, Release Date, & Chronological)

      1 month ago

      BlackPenguin

      Season 2 of Attack on Titan is in full swing right now.  Before this season started, I decided to re-watch the first season as a refresher.  I also did some research, and found out about a handful of OVAs and releases I didn't know about.  So, I thought I would share my research here.  If you're thinking of getting into Attack on Titan, or if you just want to see if you missed anything, check out this guide.


      I'll start off with a timeline of the anime titles by release date, and give a quick spoiler-free synopsis of each one.  I'll then sort those titles chronologically within the universe.  Lastly, I will give you my recommended watch order.


      Also, I have not read the manga.  So, I'm basing most of my findings on the anime titles alone.



      Attack on Titan Anime Titles by Release Date

      1. Season 1 (2013) - 25 episodes, not including Ep 13.5

      2. Attack on Titan OVA (2013-2014) - 3 different side stories

        -1. Episode 3.5 - Ilse's Notebook

        -2. Episode 3.25 - An Unexpected Visitor

        -3. Episode 3.75 - Distress

      3. Attack on Titan Picture Drama (2013-2014) - flash animated shorts, non-canon 

      4. Attack on Titan Movie 1 (2014) compilation of Season 1, Eps 1-13

      5. No Regrets OVA (2014-2015) - Prequel backstory for Levi

        -1. Episode 0.5A

        -2. Episode 0.5B

      6. Attack on Titan Movie 2 (2015) - compilation of Season 1, Eps 14-25

      7. Attack on Titan Junior High (2015) - school life parody, non-canon

      8. Season 2 (2017) - 12 episodes (by all accounts)


      Season 1 (2013)

      Doesn't need much explanation, beyond the basic premise of humanity living in walled cities and surviving giants called "titans" that eat them.  The first season is 25 episodes spread across six arcs.  The arcs range in length from 2 episodes to 9 episodes.  There is also an Episode 13.5, but it's just a recap episode with no new material.


      Attack on Titan OVA (2013-2014) [AKA: Ilse's Notebook]

      Three part OVA series, bundled with manga releases.  The first part, "Episode 3.5 - Ilse's Notebook", is about Hange and her research into titans.  It may or may not tie into Season 2.  We'll see.  The second part, "Episode 3.25 - An Unexpected Visitor", is a light-hearted episode about a cooking contest between Jean and Sasha.  I'm not sure if this episode is canon or not, but it most certainly feels non-canon.  The third part, "Episode 3.75 - Distress", is about an incident that occurs during a training mission when Eren and the gang were in the military academy.  In my opinion, this one is canon.  Doesn't add much to the overall story though.


      Attack on Titan Picture Drama (2013-2014) [AKA: Chibi Theater: Fly, Cadets, Fly!]

      Non-canon.  Don't watch this.  They're shorts included with the blu-ray/dvd releases.  Each episode is 9ish minutes and contains three short stories revolving around Eren and the other cadets when they were in the military academy.  They're boring, contribute nothing, and each episode ends in the same running gag.


      Attack on Titan Movies 1 (2014) & 2 (2015)

      Compilations of the Season 1 episodes.  The second movie contains a scene not included in the series, but from what I can tell, this extra scene is included in Episode 1 of Season 2.  So if you've seen Season 1, there's no need to watch either of these.


      No Regrets OVA (2014-2015)

      Two part prequel that reveals how Levi and Erwin met, and how Levi came to join the Scouts.  Not super crucial to the main story, but it's canon and offers some insight into the personalities of these characters.  It also does a lot of world-building for the Attack on Titan universe.


      Attack on Titan Junior High (2015)

      Disclaimer: There are major spoilers for both Season 1 and Season 2 all throughout this series. Possibly beyond Season 2. It contains a shitload of small and major references to the manga and anime. It's also non-canon.  Story-wise, imagine the 104th cadet corps class as a slice of life junior high anime.  And with more chibi.  Absolutely unnecessary to the main series.  It's pretty stupid and boring, but it was refreshing to see some of the dead characters again.  Super minor spoiler, but people die in Attack on Titan.  Junior High brings back all of the characters that died before Season 2.  So, it was a little comforting to see them again in comedic situations. But still, it's a spoiler minefield for the series as a whole.


      Season 2 (2017)

      Continues right where Season 1 left off. Immediately.



      Chronological Order of all Attack on Titan Anime

      The series starts in an alternative calendar, in the mid 800s.  The accuracy of the years in this list is pretty spot on.  One or two might be off by one year at worst, but I stand by these.


      1. No Regrets OVA (Year 844)

        -1. Episode 0.5A

        -2. Episode 0.5B

      2. Season 1, Episodes 1-3 (Years 845-847/848)

      3. Attack on Titan OVA (Years 848-850)

        -3. Episode 3.75 - Distress (Year 848)

        -2. Episode 3.25 - An Unexpected Visitor (Year 849)

        -1. Episode 3.5 - Ilse's Notebook (Year 850)

      4. Season 1, Episodes 4-25 (Year 850)

      5. Season 2 (Year 850)



      My Recommended Watch Order

      1. Season 1 (Episodes 1-3)

      2. Attack on Titan OVA 3 (Episode 3.75 - Distress)

      3. Season 1 (Episodes 4-13)

      4. No Regrets OVA 1 (Episode 0.5A)

      5. No Regrets OVA 2 (Episode 0.5B)

      6. Season 1 (Episodes 14-25)

      7. Attack on Titan OVA 1 (Episode 3.5 - Ilse’s Notebook)

      8. Season 2


      Don't Watch

      --Attack on Titan Picture Drama (it sucks)

      --Attack on Titan Movies (unless you didn't watch Season 1)

      --Attack on Titan Junior High (major spoilers for the anime series as a whole)


      My watch order is just the two seasons and the two OVAs (AoT and No Regrets).  I put the third AoT OVA at number 2 because that's where it lies chronologically, and it flows better there.  I put the first AoT OVA at number 7 because its story is best digested as a lead-in to the second season (even though it takes place in the story way earlier).  I left out the second AoT OVA because it doesn't contribute to the story and is seemingly non-canon.


      I put both No Regrets OVAs after number 3 because it deals with the relationship between Levi and Erwin.  The best time to watch that is right after the formal introduction of those characters, which takes place in episodes 13.  Episode 14 is the start of a whole new arc with a heavy focus on those two, which then immediately leads into the next arc.  So, I thought it best to watch their backstory before you get too deep with them, or get invested in the new arc.



      Thoughts

      Personally, I really love Attack on Titan.  Some people criticize it for being torturous to watch; its only appeal lying in shock factors and gore.  Admittedly, it can come off as that.  You can't deny that many scenes are gratuitous in their provocation, perhaps even arguably masturbatory.


      However, Attack on Titan captures a certain feeling to an extent that no other anime series has done.  That feeling is despair.  Bad shit happens to these characters, and there is nothing they can do about it.  The show is a downer, for sure.  But you get to see the incubation of rage and revenge within the characters.  And you're witness to those emotions as they are both released and bottled up.  Set to the backdrop of a fight for humanity's survival, you get stories that are both intensely personal and world-relevant.


      It's simultaneously a horror story, a science fiction epic, and a war story.  The world is immensely intriguing, and so far, is maintaining the difficult pressure release of new questions versus new answers.  Not to mention, the titans are highly creepy and unusual.  I've never seen villains like them before.  The amount of detail and scrutiny that goes into their depiction, and interaction with humans, is staggering.


      So for me, this series is top notch.  It's truly a story of survival and revenge.  Such stories are always appealing, but Attack on Titan adds so many more wrinkles to the formula.


      Hopefully my breakdowns and timelines will help anyone who is looking to get into the series.

    • Thoughts on the Ghost in the Shell Movie (It's a Long Read)

      2 months ago

      BlackPenguin

      Three things up front.  One, I'm easy to please.  Two, I watch a lot of anime and I've seen all of the GitS anime except half of the Arise timeline (so around 85% of the franchise).  Three, I like to think that I am aware of and understand the racial/cultural complexity of the issues surrounding this movie, but I acknowledge and recognize that I may have experiential and cultural blindspots.  So, with that out of the way...


      tl;dr - I liked it


      And honestly, it took me a little while to figure out if I did.  I had to view this movie from many angles.  I was so in my own head while watching it, that the whole experience was too meta.  In real time I was measuring this movie as a GitS fan, a movie-goer, an arbiter of public opinion, and someone just trying to have a good time.  Seriously, I had a hard time just watching it and taking it in.


      I thought a lot about how to talk about this movie.  In the end, I think it's best to talk about it from multiple angles.  Some of these angles come from eager-to-be-entertained places.  Others come from "prove me wrong" places.  Combined, they form my overall opinion, which I detail at the end.


      The Sci-Fi Movie Angle - 8/10

      It was serviceable, and even fun at times.  It looked real good, and had good action.  It was a little noisy, visually.  The story wasn't that remarkable, but easy fodder for science fiction (cyborgs, futuristic society, very shiny).  It felt kind of Matrix-ish at times (which is funny, since GitS was an inspiration for The Matrix).  It got passing scores on all my sci-fi criteria.  I'd love to watch it on FX or TNT once a year.


      ScarJo was...okay.  Which is par for the course.  I'm not a ScarJo hater either. I first heard of her in The Perfect Score, and only really took notice after The Island.  Since then, I've thought she was okay.  Not great, but not bad.  I'm not one to hate on actors.  Her performance was between "meh" and decent.  She didn't steal the show, but was satisfactory.  Her action scenes were believable enough.  When it comes to action, I've accepted that 65% of performances are "meh" and must be approached with appropriate suspension of disbelief (whereas 25% are pretty good, and 10% are phenomenal).  The end of the thermoptic camo footchase was her action highlight, I thought.  The way she grabbed that guy and punched him out seemed very Major-like.  That was the most she felt like a cyborg for me.  That and the tank scene at the end.


      This is the rosiest of my angles.  And if that seems too complimentary, it helps to know the context of how I how determine what is a good and bad movie.  Let me say something about the concept of a bad movie.  Most people don't know what a bad movie is.  Yeah, I said that.  I wrote a journal about this three years ago, and I encourage you to read my thoughts. It may explain why I have more patience with movies than some other people do.


      The Casual Ghost in the Shell Fan Angle - 7/10

      I must admit, this movie has the look and feel of the GitS franchise.  They did a good job of creating the atmosphere of some of the most iconic shots from the movies and anime (at least, the best you can with live action).  Most of the main cast from the movies and series was in it, or at least, all the memorable ones.  They added a female team member who wasn't in the franchise, but she fit in well and it was no big deal.


      The thermoptic camo footchase was recreated pretty well.  It lacked the eerie feeling from the movie, but it would have been jarring to fully recreate that just after the previous scene.  The tank fight was okay for the most part.  For being perhaps the most iconic of any GitS scene, it was a little disappointing but still really rewarding to finally see it in live action.  But it was neat that they changed it up a little and had Kuze be the one who got grabbed by the tank.  I thought that was a smart way to keep in that little ragdoll tidbit.


      There were so many little things here and there throughout the whole movie.  The cyborg hands on Aramaki's assistant, the thermoptic hand wave at the endTogusa's gun (I think), Batou's dog, etc.  This movie was filled with Easter eggs from the franchise.  There was enough in it to satiate the casual GitS fan.  And even the bodysuit, in my opinion, was a great effort.  There was no better way to faithfully recreate some of the things from the anime.


      And honestly, it we really look at it, this movie is the best Hollywood movie to ever be based on an anime franchise.  Because we all know that Dragonball: Evolution should not have seen the light of day.


      The Hardcore Ghost in the Shell Fan Angle - 4/10

      For fuck's sake, this movie was a Frankenstein's monster of shit from all over the franchise.  Literally every timeline was referenced in this movie (check out my breakdown of the timelines if you're curious).  They took decades of complicated storylines, and tried to make a casserole out of everything they could find.  They then mixed it all up and made a shitload of references like it was a contest.  It was very annoying, to see them chop up the franchise to create a mish mash.  By doing so, they failed in doing the franchise justice.  This thing was less than the sum of its parts.  Here are some titles from the franchise, and some things they took from them:


      Ghost in the Shell movie (1995)

      -opening shelling scene

      -opening building jump

      -thermoptic camo chase scene

      -tank fight

      -thermoptic hand wave at the end


      Innocence (2004 sequel)

      -Batou's dog

      -the geisha's face design


      Stand Alone Complex (2002-2006)

      -the geisha scene

      -Hideo Kuze


      Arise (2013-2015)

      -the Major's hallucinations

      -Major's outfit in the club scene (in my opinion)


      They also got some things very wrong, or at least, different.  The character that ScarJo chases during the thermoptic chase scene is actually a combination of two different characters from the original movie.  The person who was driving the garbage truck and the person who was being chased were two different people in the 1995 movie.


      Also, the tank fight scene originally takes place in a building, not in an open area.  Not to mention that they changed what happens to who, took someone out of it, added someone, and even altered the ending.


      A nitpick would also be the Major's avatar during the deep dive scene.  In Stand Alone Complex, she used a different physical appearance when employing the use of an avatar while diving in the internet and various systems.


      Another nitpick would be the boat scene.  In both the 1995 movie and the live action movie, the Major went diving underwater.  In both, she felt fear while being underwater.  But in the 1995 version they suggest that the main reason she felt afraid was because she had to use "floaters" to avoid sinking, and that a cyborg being underwater would be a thrill-seeking activity (see the first 20 seconds of this video).


      And let's not even get started on the wholly fabricated storyline of the entire movie in which she was an experiment and weapon made by a corporation.  In Stand Alone Complex she was cyberized after a plane crash at the age of 6.  And in Arise, I read, she was cyberized as a fetus.  But perhaps the greatest offense was the combination of two different franchise villains to make the villain in the live action movie.  They took the concept and motivation of the Puppet Master from the 1995 movie, along with the name and part of the character design of Hideo Kuze from SAC, and mushed them together.


      So, from the standpoint of Ghost in the Shell connoisseurs and hardcore fans, this movie takes what it needed from the whole franchise in order to produce a product for the masses.  They selected elements from separate continuities and chronologies, fabricated their own, and sewed them all together.  It was at once novel, and frustrating.  But most of all, disappointing.


      In Light of the Whitewashing Controversy Angle - D+/C-

      This angle is a bit long-winded.


      To clarify, this rating is not based on whitewashing and casting alone.  If it was, it'd be much lower.  I tried to come up with a quantifiable number (based on a complex and pervasive issue in Hollywood) that I could measure and deduct from my baseline enjoyment on a 10-point scale.  But how do you measure personal outrage and the reality of media?  It seemed both impossible, as well as an undercut of a nuanced issue.  So, I changed it to a letter grade.  I basically take the score and experience of my sci-fi angle, and factor in the movie's ability to assuage the concerns of whitewashing.  The result?


      It didn't do it.


      This angle can be best explained in three ways:


      Source Material on the Main Cast (Public Security Section 9)


      It's arguable that the Major is Caucasian in appearance.  However, it must be acknowledged that - as far as I can tell - her race has never been definitive.  They never explicitly say she's Caucasian.  And in my opinion, when it comes to anime, you can not go by appearances when determining race (those hair colors don't occur in nature).  Not to mention that she is in an artificial body, and race becomes mutable or even irrelevant.  We never see her face before cyberization.  In fact, I am unaware of any mention of even her parents' races.  And it should also be noted that she served in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force.  In my opinion, there was nothing in the source material that said she should be Caucasian.  In fact, a case could more easily be made that she was supposed to be Japanese, considering her home country is Japan.


      Regarding the rest of the main cast, they got 4/7 right by the source material.  Chief AramakiTogusa, and Saito (by most accounts) are Asian in the anime.  In the live action movie, each character is played by an Asian actor.  Batou, by my research, was recruited from the US Army Rangers.  It would not be incongruent for him to be played by a Caucasian actor (which he was).  Ishikawa and Borma on the other hand, both served in (or with) the Japanese military.  If I had to bet, these two characters were Japanese.  In the movie, they were played by Australian and Zimbabwean born actors.  The last main character from the anime franchise, Paz, was not even in the movie.  Paz was most certainly Japanese, since he was in multiple yakuza groups before joining Section 9.  This character was wholly replaced by a completely new female team member named Ladriya (whose actress is of Kurdish and Polish origin).  This character was not in the anime or manga.


      So, the movie accurately portrays the race of four main characters, changes the race of two, and drops one for a new character of a different ethnicity.  That's all in addition to the lead character.  I'd say they got the main cast's races right by 50-62%, depending on your tolerance for the Major's race.  I'll let you decide how much that matters.


      Portrayal of Asians in the Movie


      Yeah, not good.  The majority of Asians in the movie were bad guys, who were killed or defeated by white characters.  The only non-villainous Asian characters (outside of the main characters) were a couple female characters that had a collective 30 seconds of screen time.  And even the prominent Asian characters were tertiary to the story.


      Also, what's up with Aramaki being the only one who spoke Japanese?  Throw some more Japanese in there man.  It was almost like the writers wanted to emphasize his unwillingness to speak English, more than the other characters' understanding of Japanese.


      A friend recently tweeted a link to a Hollywood Reporter article in which four Japanese actresses discuss the Ghost in the Shell movie and whitewashing in general.  I would HIGHLY recommend reading it.  It's a very good read, and touches on some things you may not realize.


      For one, there was a prominent Asian actress in the movie that no one could remember.  It turns out, her contribution was her face.  They only used her likeness for the geishas' face design.  That's it.  On its face (wink), that was a big cop out.


      One thing they talked about was the twist at the end, in which it was revealed that the Major and Kuze were previously Japanese, and that they were cyberized as Caucasian as part of an experiment.  My reaction was one of "ah, way to go".  I perceived that as a sort of racism Trojan horse, in which the writers made it a meta-statement on whitewashing itself.  I was ready to give the movie credit for that.  However, I was wondering how that would go over for Asian audiences.  It was not a surprise that the four Japanese actresses in the article did not like it.  I can totally see how they would perceive that as comedic, or even pathetic.  It would also be an eyebrow raiser if the writers, as Ai Yoshihara suggested, wrote that plot point as a deliberate counter to whitewashing concerns.  One would hope that that would be an independent decision.


      The article is also very intriguing in its breakdown of the differences between western and Asian cultures, and how that affects the believability of Asians in American media.  I won't get into it too much, but let me just say, the scene where the Major's mother invites her in without knowing her was also very weird to me (as a Hispanic American).  I thought maybe she operated a business out of her apartment, and was treating the Major as a potential customer.  Because otherwise, it was just plain weird, even for western culture.  Also, regarding the touchy feely scene at the end, I doubt American audiences would have liked it as much if it went down the way the four actresses said it should have.  Which sucks, because I wish that scene was more genuine and true to form like the actresses outlined, and that Hollywood didn't always go for such a formulaic resolution.



      On the Topic of Hollywood and Whitewashing (but wait, keep reading!  It's almost over)


      Real talk, it's a pervasive problem in the culture of American media.  The focus is increasingly on Asian actors as of late - which is undeniable - but the problem has been around forever.  Whether it's Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange in 2016, Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia in 2010, or even Ben Kingsley in Gandhi in 1982 - it's a problem that has persisted (though Kingsley does have Indian heritage, his performance was phenomenal, and the film was well-received in India).  So, any analysis that doesn't acknowledge this reality is incomplete.


      It is also very arguable, as is the common refrain, that many of these types of movies would not be successful (or even greenlit) if a less popular Asian actor was cast as the lead.  At least, in America.  In my opinion, these decisions are not as important for international success. But, as in most Hollywood productions, the target demographic is Americans.  Therefore, the motivations behind this culture of casting are not beyond comprehension.


      However, this is only an explanation, and not an excuse.  Understandable, yes.  But not a validation of the practice.  Because regardless of the reasons behind it, this is not right.  And the damage it is doing is real.  At a minimum, it contributes to a racial hierarchy among characters in American media, resulting in bias that negatively affects Asian actors in the industry.  At worst, it leads to Asians being seen as sub-relevant in their contributions - or even caricatured - within greater society.  In both instances, the result is the marginalization of Asian people and Asian culture.


      The past three paragraphs were my attempt to lay out the reality of issue, as objectively as I could.  If you're very concerned about whitewashing, those paragraphs might seem too lenient on Hollywood (or even unnecessarily impartial).  If you disregard whitewashing concerns, those paragraphs probably came off as pandering.  So let me use the next paragraph to voice my personal opinion on the issue.


      Of course whitewashing fucking exists (let's just establish that).  I understand why people may want to deny it, or downplay its prevalence.  I can acknowledge the reality of "outrage culture", and how it has changed our perception and trust on many issues.  But those that dismiss whitewashing concerns are being disingenuous at best, and willfully ignorant at worst.  Because not all of whitewashing is a byproduct.  Indeed, part of it is born of willful and deliberate disregard for Asian perspectives. Hollywood needs to get off its ass and take a long hard look at itself.  Someone just take a fucking chance.  In the age of streaming, surely someone will find a risk-free way to start changing the culture.  I suggest we start with the hair streak trope.


      To Sum Up This One Angle


      The movie did not, in my opinion, assuage the whitewashing concerns.  The adherence to characters' races from the source material was lacking, the relevance of Asian characters to the overall story was minimal, and it's portrayal of Asian culture was very off the mark.  So, that's why I give it a low grade in this angle.



      Conclusion

      So many angles!  What do they mean?!


      Well for one, they mean this movie came with so much baggage.  I can't remember the last movie that had so much.  Maybe The Interview?  I'm not sure.  But in the end, I think it's hard to give an objective review of the movie.  It's a sci-fi movie with a good size budget, a lead actress that some people deride, it's based on source material from another country loved by fans of varying intensity, and it has a controversy surrounding its casting.  As a lover of sci-fi, it was baseline entertaining.  As a huge fan of both GitS and anime, it was unfulfilling but very rewarding.  Unfulfilling in the sense that it didn't do full justice to the original, but rewarding that it was a full-throated attempt by Hollywood to make a movie based on an anime (which I appreciated).  The movie also satisfied much of my GitS fan service itches.  But within a greater consideration of society and Hollywood culture, it was unsurprisingly unfulfilling, as well as a perpetuation of the status quo.


      In trying to make sense of all these, I came to the conclusion that it was indeed worth it to see this movie.  It was worth the money and effort, and I had a good time.  It fell short of my hopes, but not my expectations.  Admittedly, I really wanted this movie to be good.  I imagine that this might be a determining factor in how I perceive it.  When you want to like something, a lot of the time you end up liking it.  Nonetheless, I found the movie to be satisfactory.


      If you want to see this movie yourself, I suggest determining why you want to see it and what you want from it beforehand.  I think that will be the best way to not only measure it against your expectations/hopes, but also to make the experience as pleasant as possible.


    • FU? Yes, FU.

      2 months ago

      BlackPenguin

      Hey, I'm Gus. Seven-time RTX Austin Guardian, user number 7340, long time site member, former/future community organizer, and massive Halo nerd. And apparently I'm the featured user (I thought those friend requests were unusual)!


      This is my 3rd time being featured user I believe. Maybe 2nd. Not sure. But it never gets old.


      So, how are you? Anything interesting going on with y'all? Anybody watching any anime? 


      Also, if you're thinking of seeing the new Ghost in the Shell movie, and want to know more about the anime, check out my previous journal entry.

    • Ghost in the Shell Anime Timeline & Watch Order

      3 months ago

      BlackPenguin

      The latest episode of Fan Service was dedicated to Ghost in the Shell.  It's one of the best anime franchises out there, and I highly recommend watching it.  Unfortunately, the series is quite convoluted since it has multiple timelines and redundant releases.  They did a good job of laying out the timelines in Fan Service, but I thought I would post a run-down of each release and where it falls in the timeline, followed by my recommended watch order.


      Ghost in the Shell Anime Timeline

      First Timeline – Original Movies

      1. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

      2. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

      3. Ghost in the Shell 2.0 [remaster of original '95 movie, 3D visuals added] (2008)


      Second Timeline – Stand Alone Complex (the tv series)

      1. GitS: SAC Season 1 [26 episodes] (2002-2003)

      2. GitS: SAC Season 2, AKA "2nd Gig", [26 episodes] (2004-2005)

      3. GitS: SAC – The Laughing Man [compilation movie of main Season 1 arc] (2005)

      4. GitS: SAC – Individual Eleven [compilation movie of main Season 2 arc] (2006)

      5. GitS: SAC – Solid State Society [movie finale of SAC timeline] (2006)

      Extra: Tachikoma Days (funny non-canon post-credit shorts from SAC, 1-2 mins each) [52 eps]


      Third Timeline – Arise (the prequels)

      1. Border 1 – Ghost Pain [OVA] (2013)

      2. Border 2 – Ghost Whispers [OVA] (2013)

      3. Border 3 – Ghost Tears [OVA] (2014)

      4. Border 4 – Ghost Stands Alone [OVA] (2014)

      5. Alternative Architecture [10 eps, compilation of OVAs plus new material] (2015)

      6. GitS: The New Movie [movie finale(?) of Arise timeline] (2015)


      My Recommended Watch Order

      My watch order follows the timelines, and is basically release order as well.


      1. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

      2. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004)

      3. GitS: SAC Season 1 (2002-2003)*

      4. GitS: SAC Season 2, AKA "2nd Gig" (2004-2005)*

      5. GitS: SAC – Solid State Society (2006)

      6. Alternative Architecture (2015) OR Borders 1-4 (2013-2014) & then last two eps of AA**

      7. GitS: The New Movie (2015)


      *If you're pressed for time, and don't mind condensed storylines, you can substitute The Laughing Man (2005) for number 3 and Individual Eleven (2006) for number 4.  Those movies re-edit the main storyline from the first two SAC seasons.  I don't recommend it though, since the original series is how it was initially released.  The pacing is better in SAC, and the compilation movies don't contain 100% of the series.  But if you just want a refresher, the compilation movies are fine.  But keep in mind, the english voice actors are different for the compilation movies.  Also, Tachikoma Days are found after each SAC episode's credits.  So, you won't get those.


      **For number 6, the only difference is the order of the story.  Episodes 1-8 of Alternative Architecture are just re-cuts of Borders 1-4, but in a different order.  Episodes 9-10 of Alternative Architecture are new though, and can't be found in the Borders.  Hence the two options.  Not much difference between these two options (other than a new OP in AA).


      I put the movies first, because that's how it all started.  You should not dive into the GitS franchise without seeing the original movie first (don't bother with 2.0, it's widely considered a step down from the original, with changes generally regarded as unnecessary or even terrible).  The second movie is a good segue from the first as well, so that's why I put it next.  I then suggest the SAC timeline so you can really get to know the characters, and see what kinds of relationships they have with each other.  The series was what really gave the franchise legs, and it is far more geo- and sociopolitical than the movies.  There are wider story arcs, and more development/exposition on the character level.  I saved the Arise timeline for last for a couple reasons.  First, it's much newer than the other titles.  As a result, it looks much shinier and crisp than the other releases in the franchise.  It's much easier to go from older stuff to new, than the other way around.  The other reason I saved the Arise timeline for last, is because it is far more satisfying to see how the band got together if you're already invested in them.  By watching SAC before Arise, you can better appreciate the reveals in Arise.


      Keep in mind, these are different timelines.  The continuity is not 100%.  But they complement each other very well, and each comprise a fantastic take on independent and overlapping storylines.

    • Fan Service Episode 13 Questions

      4 months ago

      BlackPenguin

      The new season of Fan Service is introducing a Q&A segment.  I thought it might be neat to give my own answers to the questions.


      Did you take classical drawing courses?

      I wish.  I can't draw worth a shit.  And not in a bad, but still okay way.  Really, I draw like a five year old...who's bad at drawing.  It's terrible.  I'm truly jealous of a lot of my friends who have artistic talent.  I was a pretty creative person, who ended up having a very non-creative college education.  So, I've never had any formal (or informal) training in drawing, painting, film, photography, or animating.  I'd like to learn to draw, since I'm a huge fan of animation.  I have so many thoughts and images in my head, and it's very frustrating to not be able to give them shape.


      Is there any anime you have tried to watch but couldn't get through it?  If so, why?

      If a series is truly terrible, most of the time I never start it.  I look up ratings and reviews, and decide not to watch it.  And if I do start it, most of the time I get invested and punish myself to see how it ends.  However, I used to have a very bad habit of watching a whole anime series, and stopping at the last episode or two.  I wanted to finish it, but I didn't want it to be over.  I would have to psych myself up for the last episode.  Sometimes too much time would pass and I wouldn't finish it.  Some examples include Corpse Princess, Code Geass, Blassreiter, and Monster.


      First, what anime could you rewatch over and over?

      Spice and Wolf.  It's probably my favorite anime series.  It's calming, charming, and easy to digest.  I own the soundtrack, the whole series, and it's even the wallpaper on my phone.  Other series include Gate, Samurai Champloo, and Elfen Lied.


      What are your favorite weapons/items from your favorite anime?

      Lastly, this question is what made me want to do this journal.  Because I am in love with a certain weapon from a certain anime. It's the coolest weapon I've ever seen in media.  I am talking about, of course, the Caster Gun from Outlaw Star.


      1451002748-1a57d058efcfe0f7ed44fe386ca9a


      It's a gun that fires fucking magic spells, in the future.  From the wiki:


      During the Fixed Star Era, Caster shells were created by wizards who used mana as their primary source of power. When mana began grow scarce, the wizards attempt to harness its power within specialized cartriges. However, caster shells only proved to be a temporary solution to a persisting problem. Caster shells and their weapons eventually fell to wayside and became antiques in the Towards Star Era.
      Caster shells are numbered by the wizards who create them. Their numbers appear to define the varied effects of each shell. Shells that are numbered #4, #9, and #13 are the rarest kinds, as they were only created by wizards of Tenrei, Ark Manaf, Hadul and Urt. 
      The magical power of these particular shells drew upon the life force of the user in the absence of extra mana to create a devastating effect more powerful than the typical caster shells. Beyond that, caster shells in general are benign and use only the mana in which they were imbued with.

      The idea of these guns is so fucking cool.  In the series, they're a rare weapon that uses even rarer (and expensive) ammunition.  Each shell number has different effects too.  It's such a novel concept, especially when you consider that it exists in an era of science and space travel.


      Also, my second favorite item from an anime are the mini light shields from Outlaw Star that Gene has in his gloves.  Those are pretty neat too.




    • Eleven Little Roosters & Colorblindness

      4 months ago

      BlackPenguin

      So, if you aren't following ELR, a clue in episode 3 required using a red filter on screenshots.  As a colorblind person (moderate deutan, I believe) I could not see shit.


      I pulled a screenshot into an image program, drew a red (FF0000) rectangle, and fiddled around with the opacity a bunch.  Nothing.  I messed with color sliders and color wheels a bunch, but still couldn't see anything.


      In the episode, Barb's character uses an improvised filter with a red sharpie and plastic wrap.  I saw the effect in the episode but they must've edited the color in that scene, because I could not recreate it in the same screenshot.  Not even when using Barb's filter in a second transparent layer.


      All in all, I've been kind of handicapped this season.  Color plays a big role in the clues, and some things are very hard to discern.  I've been able to manage, but mostly by looking up clues on forums and tumblr.


      In general, colors that are hard for me to differentiate include red/orange, yellow/orange, red/green, blue/purple, pink/gray, and brown/green.  Now, those are just examples of what can happen with my vision.  A lot of it depends on saturation, lighting, and whether or not both colors are present (if they're next to each other, I can easily tell them apart).  For example, the red/green isn't much of a problem with ELR because most of the time the red they use is really deep.  But in the first episode, with the colors at the end of the episode, it was really hard to differentiate orange/yellow.  Regardless, I am enjoying the season, and Josh and everyone has done a great job.  I just wanted to opine a bit.


      Colorblindess sucks though man.  They make glasses to correct it, but they're not cheap.  But I get by in life fine.  Traffic lights suck though.  And not the red/green part.  The green on traffic lights is more of a lime color, so I never get mixed up on that.  What is hard to see is the difference between the red/yellow lights from a distance.  Which might not seem too bad, but guess what?  When you're in a car, that distance closes pretty fast.  So I mostly rely on the position of the yellow light (top/middle/bottom, left/center/right).  But at night, it's much harder to see the position.  I don't want it to seem like I shouldn't be driving, since it's not that bad, but there's just a bit of nuance to it.


      While I'm on about colorblindness, you know what also sucks?  When people try to test you on colors.  It's like "Hey, let me test you until I find the color you have trouble with so I can laugh about it".  It's like raising something above a short person and asking them to jump until they can't reach it.  Except they also suck at jumping.  That is literally what it feels like.  Also, it's discouraging when it comes to editing videos.  I'm only an amateur editor, but I love to edit.  But any need for color correction will go unfulfilled.  And when in photoshop or any other image program, you have to rely heavily on the eyedropper and color codes.  I'm very meticulous about that, because in 6th grade I was working on a group art project and I was in charge of drawing the ocean.  The blue crayon ran out, so I reached for something that I thought looked really similar.  Then my partner got mad at me because the ocean was half purple.  Boy was my face red (or green, I wouldn't know).


      Oh, and for the record, I don't see in black and white.  Some people think that about colorblindness.  I mean, maybe there are people with vision like that, but it's annoying when people assume that colorblindness in general.  The best I can describe it, is that parts of the color spectrum are muddied together.  The transitions are blurrier, if that makes sense.


      I didn't expect that to turn into a rant, but oh well.  The more you know.


      TL;DR: ELR clues are somewhat difficult for colorblind people, but it's still a great series.  Also, colorblindness in general sucks but it's not too bad.

    • I Done Goofed

      4 months ago

      BlackPenguin

      I messed up my Eleven Little Roosters prediction for episode 2.


      I should have had FAP as the assassin, and AME as the victim.  But I misread my own notes, and incorrectly followed a clue.  So instead, I put down CIA as the assassin.


      Soo, right out the gate, I fucked up.

    • So You're A Guardian. Here's What You Can Do Now, And Before RTX.

      5 months ago

      BlackPenguin

      So, you’re going to be a Guardian.  If you’re a returning Guardian, welcome back!  If you’re a new Guardian, welcome to the family!


      I’ve been a Guardian for 7 years now.  It’s a ton of fun, very rewarding, and a LOT of work.  And let me tell you, every year is its own beast.  Whether you’re a veteran or a new recruit, it’s always a good idea to go over your preparations for RTX.


      So, I thought I would bring back my Guardian Guide from last year to help anyone who might need ideas/refreshers on what they can do to prepare for RTX.  This particular guide will focus on what can be done right now, and the months/weeks/days leading up to RTX.


      In addition to this guide, other veteran Guardians will also likely be making guides.  Each one will cover various things, from the basics to the specifics.  Those are great resources for new, and returning, Guardians.  So, make sure to check those out when you come across them.

       

      1) What you should be doing now

      Confirm that you are aware of all official sources of information.  The RT site is the primary source for your information.  The RT site should be the hub for all official communication.  Not Facebook, not Twitter, and not Reddit.  There may be instances sometimes when you get news updates from other sources, but they are not a substitute for the RT site.


      Check the group often.  Be aware of dates, times, schedules, and information as it becomes available.  By the time RTX rolls around, you should already have memorized the start/end times for each con day, and the major events of the weekend.


      I would also recommend participating in the forum threads in the group.  Get to know your fellow Guardians in the fun threads.  You should also follow the FAQ thread, since it’s a good source of information and answers.

       

      2) When team assignments are announced

      Research your role.  Get to know the people you will be working with.  There will likely be an official forum thread or group for your team, which your Team Lead will create and manage.  Just like with the group, check it often.  If your Team Lead introduces any new methods of communication, check those often as well.  Soak up all knowledge from your Team Lead and fellow Guardians on your team.  Be proactive.  If you have a question, ask your Team Lead, or ask in the Guardian FAQ thread.  Stay up to date on any meetings or information that your Team Leads put out.


      Some time after team assignments are announced, you will be given a more specific post within your team (exact place/job you’ll be working).  As RTX nears, you will receive additional information on your specific post.  Stay up to date on any changes to your role, and research accordingly.


      3) Starting two months before RTX

      Research the physical area of where you’ll be working, as best you know.  Find floorplans of the place you’ll be assigned to.  Floorplans can be found on the websites for the convention center and each hotel.  If you don’t know the specifics of your post yet, make an educated guess and adjust your research as information becomes available.  Know the location of restrooms, exits, streets, and nearby restaurants/stores.


      As soon as you know your place of lodging, map out your path to work.  Go to google maps, put in addresses, and have an educated idea of the time it takes to get there (and take into account traffic and the time it takes you to get ready).


      The whole idea is to minimize the amount of surprises in your work and travel area.  I find that this approach makes me more comfortable moving around my assigned area, and operating as an authority to attendees.  Study all this and know it by RTX.  Spend a few minutes every week or two looking over this.  You won’t be quizzed on this, but you’ll want to have a working knowledge.  Not only for yourself, but for attendees and other Guardians.

       

      4) When the schedule is announced

      Memorize the schedule.  Know the basic events, and know everything that will be taking place in your area.  Think about the specific needs of each event/activity you will be working.  Ask your Team Leads and co-workers for any information that might be helpful in those specific cases.


      It is also a good idea to look at events in other locations that take place around the same time as your events.  This comes in handy when anticipating sudden rushes and traffic of attendees.  Your area might be empty or slow, but when a big panel lets out, those crowds have to go somewhere.  Don’t be caught off guard.


      5) In the weeks before RTX

      Start eating a little better.  Don’t shock your body with new foods or diets though.  You don’t want to throw off your system.  Just pick the healthier option among what you already regularly eat.  Maybe avoid those god tier junk foods you love, and opt for the stuff you already like that might be better for you.  You know your own body, so you know what it doesn’t like processing.  If there are foods or meals that you love but you know make you worthless and lazy, maybe avoid those leading up to RTX.  And this isn’t about dieting or losing weight.  You’ll need the energy, so don’t come to Austin starving.  It’s about being well fed, just not full of grease.  If you can put your body in a healthier and more responsive state pre-RTX, it will make the weekend a little easier.


      Make sure to get on a good sleep schedule too, if possible.  One day of bad sleep can snowball over a week, and it’s easy to find yourself dragging by the weekend.  You don’t want to be operating on a sleep deficit during RTX, so try to get on an RTX schedule before the con.


      Hunger and sleepiness can strike hard, even right before RTX even starts.  Many times I find myself getting a little less rest and nutrition leading up to RTX.  It can due to work, travel, or pure excitement.  In each of those instances, it can be easy to lose hours of sleep or to just grab a quick greasy meal.  By the time the Thursday before RTX rolls around, it can be easy to find yourself tired and hungry at midday.  Such is the nature of cons and travel.  And you won’t always be able to eat super healthy at RTX.  Time, money, and distance can conspire to force you to eat greasy and unhealthy foods.  That’s just the reality for cons, for attendees and volunteers alike.  And that’s okay.  But that’s why it’s important to stock up on healthy habits before RTX.  And remember, like I said, it’s not about dieting or losing weight.  It’s about being well fed on healthy foods already in your rotation.


      Here’s a cautionary tale for you.  At RTX 2015, I made a rookie mistake and went about 23 hours without eating and a whole day with only 4 hours of sleep—and that was by Thursday afternoon before RTX.  Any veteran Guardian will tell you that this one of the biggest things to NOT do.  Seriously, the first rule of Guardianship is commonly “take care of your body”.  I was so disappointed in myself, since it was a stupid thing to do, but it just goes to show you that even for repeat Guardians this hole can be easy to fall into.  Bear in mind, this wasn’t due to the demands of the work, but my inability to manage my time.


      It might not seem like something to be warned about, but it’s something that can sneak up on you when you’re so excited and dedicated about helping out.  It’s just a natural component of volunteering.  The best way to combat this, should you need to, is to make sure you’re in a good position beforehand by eating better and getting plenty of rest.  Think of it as stocking up on energy and recovery ability.  It gives you an extra boost, and provides you with a cushion of recuperation should you need it.

       

      6) In the week before coming to RTX

      Make a list of what you’re taking.  Make a list of what you’ll be wearing on each day and night.  Do all your laundry days ahead of time and, if possible, have your bag packed by the day BEFORE you leave for Austin.  And that list of what you’ll be wearing? Pack that too.  No joke, waking up and having an outfit already planned out is a godsend.  The ability to wake up and seamlessly get ready during RTX gives you so much peace of mind.  Also, if you plan to carry a bag during RTX, make sure to have that packed and planned out ahead of time too.  If possible, tailor your bag according to what department you will be working in.  Different departments have different needs.  PA’s might need sharpies and hand sanitizer, Lines/Panels might need counters and pen/paper, and Tech might need a shitload of tech stuff.  Ask your Team Lead and fellow Guardians for specifics on what your assignment will call for.  Many supplies will be provided, but if you already have access to the appropriate materials, it helps to bring them yourself.  Don’t forget to pack snacks and water either.  DON’T FORGET TO PACK SNACKS AND WATER.


      Don’t overpack your con bag though.  We all want to be walking Swiss army knives, but be realistic.


      Take stock of your body as well.  Do your feet tend to hurt after being on them all day? Pack the comfy shoes or buy some inserts.  Do you chafe after walking around a long time? Pack a baby powder for your place of lodging, and pack a tiny one for your con bag.  Do industrial air conditioners dry out your eyes? Pack some eye drops.  Don’t just plan for situations, plan for your body.


      Also, by now, you will likely already know your schedule for that whole week.  Once you do, plan out your meal options as best you can.  Maybe do some research on the nearest restaurants, menus, and prices.  Knowing where you’re getting your meals from and how much they’ll cost can save you an unbelievable amount of time and stress.  When you’re in the thick of Guardian work, with the crowds and noise all around you, eliminating any unknowns can be great for your sanity.  Not just for the days of the convention, but the Thursday or even Wednesday before (if you’re in town then).



      7) In the days before leaving for RTX

      Okay, this is where we get a little more…personal.  It isn’t a big must have, but I find that it helps psychologically when you get FRESH TO DEATH.


      I’m talking about haircuts, nail trims, and grooming (face OR body).  I’m talking eyebrows, simple fix problem areas, moisturizing, exfoliating, and shaving.  You're not going to prom or about to get married though, so don't show up not ready to get sweaty.  You will be exerting yourself, and you won't be able to preen when you want.  But basically anything you might do when you have a hot date coming up or if you’re going to a nice party, do that.  Take your time, don’t rush.  I highly recommend finding some time to decompress and relax by yourself, and utilizing that time to take care of your body.


      Why, you ask? For yourself.  Have you ever been chilling at home, and had to make an unexpected trip to the grocery store? You’re there, in your comfiest of comfy clothes just watching TV.  All of a sudden, you remember you need olive oil for that kick ass dish you’re making later.  So you go to the store not looking your best, and try to incognito your way through the checkout.  The confidence level is noticeably lower than if you had taken an hour or two getting ready.  I realize that we all have different levels of self-esteem, and some of you would probably feel and look fabulous wearing a trash bag.  That’s fucking fantastic.  But for some of us, there is a measurable amount of confidence and extrovertism that can be gained when we look our best.  You carry yourself better, walk straighter, and make more eye contact.  It’s all about making yourself feel better.  When you look good, you feel good.


      Do the same thing for your clothes.  The priorities when it comes to Guardian clothes are typically comfort and presentability.  You want to be comfortable working all day, and you want to look nice enough for the public to approach you.  Feel free to make the best of that.  Wear special pants/shorts, shoes, socks, or accessories.  It can be nice and trendy, or it can be something that simply says “this is me”.  The idea is to wear something that gives you confidence, whether it’s something nice or something that screams your own personal style.  The same goes for clothes you can’t see.  Don’t trade comfort for style, but if possible, wear some good socks or good underwear.  Good underwear is a huge confidence booster.  It’s a weapon you should have in your arsenal.  Keep in mind, there is a minor dress code for Guardians (approachability, shirt mostly visible on front/back, emphasis on comfort).  But if you can do what I recommend within the Guardian dress code, I would highly suggest it.


      Here’s another personal example.  Right before RTX 2012, I forgot to get a haircut.  My hair was very overgrown.  I didn’t pack any nice clothes, so my wardrobe (as a Guardian AND a civilian), was a little ratty.  I could feel the lack of confidence I had that weekend.  I met a lot of people I knew for the first time, and I wished my appearance was a little better.  Like I said, for some of you that ain’t no thing.  But for me, sometimes, it can have a negative effect.  The people you meet, attendees and Guardians, will accept you even if you aren’t looking your best.  But looking your best can do a lot for you, psychologically.


      Keep in mind, you will also have to deal with helpless or angry attendees, industry professionals, and don’t forget, RT themselves.  Looking professional and put together can do wonders for your performance.  You’ll see many veteran Guardians emphasizing professionalism and hygiene.  Those two things are vital to being a Guardian.  What I’m recommending is just taking that next step in those two respects.  My only warning is to not go overboard.  After all, you will be working and quite possibly sweating.  So, don’t be too preoccupied with appearances.  But do yourself a favor and give yourself that boost of confidence.  In the days before RTX, make it a point to focus on your body and find serenity in the process.  Use it as a form of meditation, and arrive at RTX with confidence.

       

      8) In the day or two before RTX

      Pay attention during orientation.  When you break off into teams, soak up your Team Lead’s advice.  During team meetings, if possible, visualize and act out your role.  I’m talking full on miming that shit.  Don’t just learn what you’ll be doing, imagine it.  Picture the crowds.  Physically and vocally act out your role.  This will be your only rehearsal.  It might look weird, but actually acting out the process will help you.


      Get to know your team.  Memorize their names, and tell them yours.  Maybe go to lunch or dinner together if people are available.  If any of you are free during the evenings Friday through Sunday, maybe make dinner plans for the weekend.  Things like this help your team become more cohesive, and close-knit.  We all have our own neuroses and anxieties.  Some more than others, and that’s okay.  But we all need to help create an environment of comfort within our co-volunteers.  You will be working alongside these people, you will grow fond of them, and sadly, you may never see them again.  Take the time to know each other just a little, even if it’s over a soda during a break.  It will help your work relationship, alleviate any potential awkwardness, and you will be happy you made the effort when you go back home.

       

      9) The night before RTX

      DON’T STAY UP ALL NIGHT.  I know there are evening events, and I know they’re fun.  I will be at them too.  But you know how much sleep you usually require, and you know what your body can and can’t handle.  Don’t cut it close.


      Eat a decent dinner.  It's okay to indulge, but don't go crazy.  Make sure your Guardian clothes for the weekend are planned out.  If you will be carrying a bag with you during RTX, make sure it is packed and ready before going to bed.  Doing these things will ensure you get a good night’s sleep, that you wake up refreshed, and that you won’t be stressed in the morning.  Also make sure that your toiletries and hygiene materials are ready to go in the morning.  Have a space set aside for all your bathroom products, and try to have them in a place that’s easily accessible in the morning.  Between deodorant, toothbrush/paste, soap/shampoo, and beauty products, you can easily lose 10-20 minutes fumbling around in the morning.


      Also be aware of your morning routines, and how your body acts.  Do you need extra waking up time? Get up earlier.  Does your hair require a special touch? Set aside that time.  Will you have morning bathroom business to take care of? Take that into account.  If you're rooming with other people, work out a morning schedule.  Don't rely on a bathroom time slot in the morning if it hasn't been confirmed.


      Also, and this is more of a personal suggestion, take a hot bath before bed.  Still take a shower in the morning, but take a hot bath before bed.  I know not everyone’s lodging situation will allow this (a shower is fine too), but if possible, do it.  Fill the tub up and take a quiet soak for a while.  Relax.  Breathe.  Listen to the sloshing of the water.  Use the good soap, and condition your hair.  Take your time, and maybe put some lotion on after.  Go to bed fresh and relaxed.  You’re here because you want to be.  You’re in your element.  You're with your people.  You’re calm and ready for tomorrow.  You know where you need to be in the morning, and what time you need to be there.  You got this.  Settle down, set an alarm, and go to sleep.

       

      10) Parting advice

      That’s about all I got.  If you want to know more about what to do during the actual convention, feel free to ask.  I will do my best to help.  There are also plenty of other experienced Guardians to ask as well.  I’ll go ahead and leave you with some tips and tricks that might help you during RTX.

       

      -Don’t be nervous.  The people around you are there to support you.  You’ll go through a lot of on-the-job training on the first day.  You’ll learn a lot, and apply it to rest of the weekend.  Don’t fret.  Any stress you have is a passing condition.


      -Don’t skip meals.  Hand-held and portable foods are your friend, but do take advantage of times when you can sit down and enjoy a meal.


      -Always have water on hand.  ALWAYS HAVE WATER ON HAND.  You don’t even need a space-age Olympian artisan water delivery system.  Reuse an Ozarka bottle.  You’re not the Queen.


      -If you have the time and ability, try to take a hot bath at least once during the weekend.  You will be surprised how much it will help.


      -Be willing to relax.  You’ll want to cram as much fun into the weekend as you can.  That’s normal, and what we all want.  But if you feel you might not be up to it, that’s okay.  Chill nights with friends are just as good as wild nights with friends.  Last year I even had a relaxing nice Italian dinner by myself.  No joke, it felt good.  Treat yo-self.


      -You will be seeing behind the curtain of RT a bit, but you will be doing so in order to help them.  Remember, you’re a Guardian first and a fan second.


      -Food runs are life savers.  Going on break to get something to eat? Have some extra time? Are you working closely with other Guardians? Consider offering to go on a food run for the group.  Work out the money situation (through collection, smartphone apps, or trades), write down what they want, and grab it for them.  This isn’t expected of you, but it’s an option that can save a lot of time and stress.


      -Ask questions if you have them.  Redundant instructions are okay.  You don’t get points for memorizing things the first time you hear them.  But you do get Guardian points for thorough understanding.


      -Guardian Points don’t really exist, but just now I’ve decided to make them a thing.  Use GP for short.


      -If you want to get something from the RT store, try to work out ahead of time when you'll be going.  Ask your Team Lead when the best time to go is, or else you risk missing your chance.


      -Avoid having too many chefs in the kitchen.  We all want to help.  We all have ideas.  There will be times when you’re in a discussion with other Guardians about what to do in a situation.  People will have suggestions, and everyone will want to help.  But once a decision has been made in a situation and a plan is implemented, give it a chance.  Don’t complain that your idea was way better the whole time, and don’t gloat if your idea is the one that is chosen.  Don’t let your eagerness to help become a battle over whose idea is best.  Trust your team, and trust your Team Leads.


      -Have fun.  All these people around you are your people.  They like what you like, and you have a lot in common with them.  Probably more than you know.  Feel how happy they are, and feel good about yourself.


      -Write down the screen names, twitter handles, etc.  of your fellow Guardians.  Take pictures with them.  Upload those pictures like crazy after RTX.


      -If possible, STAY AFTER FOR THE GREAT GUARDIAN GATHERING IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CON ON SUNDAY.  People will dance.  People will take pictures.  People will cry, including you and RT staff.  You won’t want to leave.


      -Remember how you felt when you were there.

  • Comments (249)

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian V

      2 months ago

      Happy FU day!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 months ago

        Thanks!

    • seanp04 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian 2017

      1 year ago

      Happy FU

    • Myshu FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold chupariffic

      1 year ago

      Happy FU, dude!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        1 year ago

        Thank you!

    • navaa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian 3.0

      1 year ago

      Awww yeah! Happy FU Day!! Congrats, man :D

    • niriall FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold THE META

      1 year ago

      FU!!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        1 year ago

        Whhaa? Me FU?! Cool! Thank you

        Also, I actually got an alert for this comment? Double cool!

      • niriall FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold THE META

        1 year ago

        And I got an alert for your response! :O

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        1 year ago

        Lol, and I did NOT get an alert for your reply to my reply.

        Progress!

    • tonyski FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold change is scary

      1 year ago

      I played halo 2 with you, didn't I?

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        1 year ago

        So apparently the site still doesn't give alerts for wall comments.

        Maybe? My gamertag is TheBlackPenguin. It very well could've been me

    • Ethan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Graphic Designer

      1 year ago

      Yo dude, what up

    • Hotpocket36 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x7

      2 years ago

      I see you made your way into a few shots of the latest How To

      • Hotpocket36 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x7

        2 years ago

        Looks like everyone there did. I mean the sound of it alone was fantastic.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        1334698294_orig_21080394_xlarge.jpeg

        I fucking lost it at that jelly man.

    • WB_Spartan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Legend of Zelda

      2 years ago

      Happy Featured User day!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thanks!

    • MrArcys FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Satellite Lead

      2 years ago

      Happy FU you glorious bastard you!

    • SailorGirl81 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper Of Kittens

      2 years ago

      Happy FU day!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thank you!

    • IndiaRT28

      2 years ago

      Congratulations on earning the Achievement: "Featured User!"

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thanks!

    • aeon1 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold aeon1

      2 years ago

      smiley12.gif rock on! Happy fu!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thank you!

    • Russspruce FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 years ago

      Hey dude! Glad to see you are the Featured User! Looking forwards seeing you again com RTX!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thanks!

    • IdkBlue Praise Newbs

      2 years ago

      merry featured user day!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thanks!

    • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

      2 years ago

      So I just threw a topic up in the RvB:TX forum, might be worth a news post. Looking to get people together for something in June in Austin.

      • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

        2 years ago

        Thanks man!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        I'll probably make news post tomorrow sometime. I'll make sure to plug it.

    • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

      2 years ago

      If anybody asks, the Cultivating a Community panel is here at 43:36.

      • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

        2 years ago

        Just glad I'm finally getting to watch it. Any time I find one, I try to let the panelist(s) know where.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        2 years ago

        Thanks man!

    • Pyromasso

      3 years ago

      This year's Finals are so good.

      gY3yXct.jpg

    • Pyromasso

      3 years ago

      So, the Halo Master Chief Collection. You doin' it? All 4,000 Gamerscore?

      • Pyromasso

        3 years ago

        If you're interested, I'll definitely be picking that up on release day (especially if the Microsoft Store does a special event). I'll gladly help out with any cheevos.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        Jesus. I didn't even realize they were redoing the achievements. I guess I have no choice. Curse you Halo, why you do dis?

        I'm still working on finishing Spartan Assault for all four platforms (360, One, Windows 8, Windows Phone).

    • Red420 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian *4

      3 years ago

      I see you had fun holding lights for the "Macrowave" short.

    • Erkan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Take It Easy.... bitches

      3 years ago

      For next RTX... didn't see you this time round.

    • Zack FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Zatch

      3 years ago

      thanks for guardianing x3! and the tokens at blazertag. they were well spent.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        3 years ago

        Thanks!

    • Pyromasso

      4 years ago

      So, it's taken awhile, but I've come around to the Spurs. When the Heat/Spurs final started, I was hoping neither team would win, but I REALLY don't like Miami. I rooted for the Spurs.

      After watching the games so far, it's damn impressive how just plain good the Spurs are! Ginobili started instead of playing sixth man after having so many surgeries and injuries this season and nobody could stop him!

      I wanted to let you know because the last few times we've met up I've given you crap for being a Spurs fan. Never again. I was stupid, and so young and naive.

      I hope they win Game 6 in Miami. Those fans will be distraught.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        Ha, it's all good man. Glad to hear it. Yeah, the Spurs are so quiet and just plain talented that nobody ever takes notice. I'm glad it's the Heat we're playing. If it was the Pacers, nobody would be watching the Finals. And even now, people are talking more about the Heat losing than the Spurs winning. They go so far as to say the Spurs winning would be bad for the NBA.

        And Ginobili is my man! Favorite player of all time. He's only got like one, maybe two years left. He even contemplated retirement after this season. Hopefully he stays on. He's damn scary. One of two people in history with a Euroleague title, an NBA title, AND and Olympic good medal.

        I would also get some enjoyment over seeing the Heat lose. I hate how LeBron makes a dunk or a crappy block and then stays under the basket looking at the crowd for like 5 seconds while everyone runs to the other side of the court.

        It's gonna be a good game tonight! I'm gonna record and then watch it if they win. It's too stressful for me to watch it live, lol. And even if they lose, it would be a tall task for Miami to win two in a row.

    • LaserKraken FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

      4 years ago

      cibatta.jpg

    • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

      4 years ago

      Get the last Halo 4 achievement you need. I've been waiting for that journal for weeks!

      • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

        4 years ago

        One achievement. You can do it....

      • Gorczy The Real Slim Shady

        4 years ago

        One more. Only one more ........

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        lol. Been real busy lately. That last one is a bitch!

    • Pyromasso

      4 years ago

      Tim Duncan is ridiculous.

      • Pyromasso

        4 years ago

        Based on this past week, I bet Kobe was, too.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        Dude! I saw that live on tv! I was laughing my ass off.

    • Kellyrenea

      4 years ago

      Hey there, I went to that market I was telling you about (in search of pocky for my anime club) I remembered to look for that ramen you like but even thought they had the bowl soup brand, they did not have the beef and ginger flavor. :-(

      I'll keep an eye out if I go anywhere else that might have it.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        Thanks! Yeah, I think they discontinued it. I see that brand in places too, but never my flavor. Oh well. Thanks a lot for looking though.

        Mmmm, pocky.

    • Hotpocket36 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian x7

      4 years ago

      Gus and Gavin's ice adventure reminded me of ours at RTX... Ah the memories haha

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        HA! Dude, I thought the EXACT same thing when they told that story. I wonder if hotel ice stories are common. I gotta make an RTX 2012 memory journal about that in the future.

    • LaserKraken FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

      4 years ago

      How are we not friends already?

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        I know right?

        Also, posted on your profile before seeing this comment.

        Also, also: Misspelled "right" and my iPhone thought I was trying to spell "rvbtx". Fuck yeah.

    • NGU

      4 years ago

      It was good meeting you today at Salt Lick. Did you recover from all that delicious food? I hope I can make it out to future RvB:TX events in the future smiley11.gif

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        4 years ago

        Damn. Still finding stuff I missed in the RTX aftermath. I did eventually recover from Salt Lick. I took a nap right when I got home. And I was sick for 10 days afterward. Worth it.

        Glad to have ya in the group!

    • LaserKraken FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

      5 years ago

      Glad to be on the old PR6 with you Captain.

      • LaserKraken FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

        5 years ago

        I hear they're recording all of the panels so I'm holding on hope to watching them all later.

        We're Guardians and there's nothing else I'd rather do than do my part to make RTX a great event.

        But seriously, I am getting itchy.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Man, there's so many good panels. I think the rooms are close together. Hopefully there's like backstage areas we can scope out some of the panels from while waiting to work ours. Maybe we'll be able to check out the rooms during breaks on Friday.

        I'm breaking out in RTX hives.

      • LaserKraken FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Lord of Meat

        5 years ago

        Blue base it is Cap'n. Maybe we should have a poster of Shelia in there.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Cool. Lookin forward to seeing what panels we'll be working.

    • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

      5 years ago

      Hey man, just wanted to give you a heads up that I just created a new forum thread in the RvB:TX forum. I'm trying to see if people want to go see Rush in November. I know the new threads don't show up on watch lists, so I was going to ask if there was any way you'd be willing to make a news post about it. Tickets have already been on sale for a while, so I just don't want it to sell out or get to the point where there are no more seats together before I buy. Thanks man.

      • craZboy87 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian Hat

        5 years ago

        Awesome, thanks!

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Sure thing man. As luck would have it, I was planning on making a news post today anyway. I'll throw yours up there with it.

    • AgentRyu

      5 years ago

      Hi! The name is Jake! How u doing?

    • quyman

      5 years ago

      hay how do i get a pic in to comment

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Also, don't forget to put the slash, "/", before img in the second bracket. Make sure you enter the full URL too.

      • quyman

        5 years ago

        what I Made it

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        You have to put the url from an online image in the img brackets. Like this, except replace the parentheses with brackets:

        (img)image url here(/img)

        For example, your avatar's url is s3.roosterteeth.com/images/quyman4e1772ee45c1a.jp...

        When I type that url, highlight it, and click the "img" button above, I get this:

        quyman4e1772ee45c1a.jpg

        Hope that helps!



    • TheKing7

      5 years ago

      Hey man! How's it going with ya? Thanks for accepting my friend request by the way.

    • SHADOW650268

      5 years ago

      Thank you for the FU! smiley0.gif and I encourage you to case mod your xbox. Case mods are fun as hell to make, and I enjoy having a one of a kind style xbox

    • Speed5ter69

      5 years ago

      I blew it. When i saw that kid dressed as harry potter (fag) then seeing BobSaget228 (BobFaget) again... i just couldnt handle it anymore, I gave whats his face a little credit seen as though he hasnt been to bad now but im still not going on his side anytime soon.

      Their all coming at once! Attack of the Noobs! jeez.

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      5 years ago

      This totally looks like you:

      lZqSm.jpg

      Well, minus the whole no lower body thing...

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Ha, nice. Dr. Loveless from Wild Wild West. I don't care what people say, that was an enjoyable movie.

        She's a breath of fresh ass.
        Pardon me?
        What?
        You said "ass."
        No, I didn't. I said, "It's nice having her on board, she's a breast of fresh air."
        Let's just get some shut-ass.


        Also, fun fact, our RvBTX.org domain expires next month. It'll still be there if we ever need it again though. Can't imagine someone buying that domain. Seems like just yesterday...

    • Red420 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Guardian *4

      5 years ago

      Merry Christmas.

      Quick idea next RT visit let's get some Chris Eggnog.

    • SailorTweek FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Head Guardian

      5 years ago

      Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! smiley12.gif

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Thanks. And to you as well.

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      5 years ago

      I saw your new interest, and just wanted to say...

      djkXh.jpg

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Pony please, I got a wallet full of them.

        i-dont-always-watch-shows-for-little-gir

    • Kellyrenea

      5 years ago

      Of course!

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      5 years ago

      Did you get a chance to talk to the staff about the meet up?

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        No man, sorry. They were practially inaccessible before hand. I stuck around for a little afterwards when everyone went to the Highball, but they were swamped by everyone talking to them. I wanted to wait around longer, but I didn't want to start heading back too late.

        Fun fact: In the "Thanks" section of the credits, the first line is the RTX attendees and the second is The Guardians. Thought that was cool.

    • David FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      5 years ago

      Definitely spotted you in the front row of the Burnie mass comm discussion via the livestream. Nostalker lol

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        *wave

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Ha! Grady got me to save too once. lol

    • Jakey

      5 years ago

      Are you in the front row of Burnies interview during Mass Comm Week at Texas State?

      • Jakey

        5 years ago

        I saw you turn around once towards the end and kind of had the "MIND BLOWN" moment. It was great to see you were there, hope you had a good time!

        Post edited 10/17/11 5:19PM

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        lol. Yeah man. I just got out. It was pretty cool.

    • Fthreat FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      5 years ago

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B8RRg-1dZ0

      AHWU intro.
      By the way, can you message me the password to the Youtube site again, please? Must put more videos on there.

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      5 years ago

      So I sent messages to a bunch of the staff, but you know how bad they are at replying. If I don't get any response I'm just going to go over Friday the 23rd if you want to come.

      Also, if you decide to go to the offices you still need a ride to Waco you can crash at my apartment that night.

      • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

        5 years ago

        Yeah, that's no problem. When we leave, I'll put my permit on your car so you shouldn't have any trouble.

      • BlackPenguin Guardian x7; Panel Lead

        5 years ago

        Well, if they reply and say it's cool, I might meet you there. If not, I'll probably not go. So, I'm still a maybe. I'll still need a ride to Waco in either instance. But I probably wouldn't need to crash that day. Thanks for the offer though.

        Speaking of which, do you think I might be able to park my car at your place while we're gone? That way I could just hop in and go home when we get back.

    • AgentHunter

      5 years ago

      Its random I know, but Please Join and never forget that fateful day. 9-11-2001

      roosterteeth.com/groups/profile.php?id=12877

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      5 years ago

      I was walking down the road in Austin today, and saw a guy who looked just like you. Do you have an evil twin or clone who goes to school here?

    • Dame

      5 years ago

      Hey i see that you are a member of the RT-XBLC group, and it looks like you are a fan of anime as well. I thought you might be interested to know that one of the group Admins, RoninTex (Kira), has started a thread topic in the group's forum regarding starting a regular netflix anime-night within the community.

      The thread can be found here:
      roosterteeth.com/groups/forum/viewTopic.php?id=23996

      If you are interested in joining her and the others, be sure to put that thread topic on "watch" so you dont miss out on notifications of upcoming anime nights. smiley1.gif - if you didnt already know, XBox finally updated and made it to where you can now have 8 people in a netflix party at the same time instead of just 4.

  • Questions answered by BlackPenguin

    Each team picks out their players however they want. For RvBTX, we have a group forum thread where people can stay updated and request to be a player for that round. We essentially call for players each round, and try to give everyone a chance to play. You can find the thread here.