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Messages - Fellini 8.5

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Announcements & Introductions / Welcome to Bee Train Fan!
« on: August 06, 2005, 08:34:20 PM »
Gah!  I just noticed that my css shotgun approach is AFU on Firefox.  Bleh.  Serves me right for being a lazy IE user.

Anyway, if you couldn't already tell, this is a work-in-progress.  Please still post to the forum though.  Any little subject that comes to mind is fine -- well, any Bee-Train-Series-related little subject, that is.

Announcements & Introductions / Welcome to Bee Train Fan!
« on: August 06, 2005, 04:34:05 PM »
I am tinkering with the forum today.  Installing mods and whatnot.  I have backups, but be prepared for bits of weirdness.

If there are particular forum functions you use on other sites that you really find useful as a user, let me know.  Otherwise, I'm just going to install the ones that are useful to me!  :)

(I'm hoping on Sunday to get this template in line with the rest of the site, at least on a basic plumbing level.  Still untangling how they do it, though.)

Announcements & Introductions / Welcome to Bee Train Fan!
« on: August 05, 2005, 05:11:42 PM »
Well, when I get more imagery on this one, you'll see where I'm heading with it.  :)

Right now it still looks like crap, but at least I've got the CSS doing what I want it to.  But the color-scheme site I found -- no help at all. :P

I'm going to be a little busy this weekend, so I'll try to shift my priorities to getting some content in the various zones.  I'm also hoping to have an entry form available for community members to submit content.

Announcements & Introductions / Welcome to Bee Train Fan!
« on: August 04, 2005, 04:18:10 PM »
I'm messing with the home page a bit this afternoon, and should have the skeleton of a new layout ready sometime soon.

Kangaroo Rat, how well versed are you with fancy CSS + img tricks?  Have you done rounded-corner divs before?  I can do them, but I'm kind of lazy and will put it off until forever given the chance.  Also, if you or anyone is good with color schemes, and can come up with a pallette for the items you'll see when the skeleton is up there, I'm up for suggestions!

Feel free to post mockup ideas -- you can upload them to the gallery.  No guarantee that I'll use 'em, though. ;)

EDIT: Okay, it's a big mess right now, but underneath it all, it's actually progress.  Just some CSS fiddlin' and it'll be a little more coherent.  But it will be a little while before I can get back to it.

All Series / Tsubasa Chronical
« on: August 01, 2005, 08:46:57 PM »
I've been following it weekly as the subs get released.  When "MADLAX" was airing, I'd get each of the 3 different subs and compare the translations looking for clues.  "Tsubasa" isn't quite eliciting that kind of dedication out of me, though I like it well enough.

It had a few things working against it: 1) it's a CLAMP series -- and so far I haven't liked any CLAMP series that I've seen.  2) it's got a "comic-relief" Pokeman-looking critter.  Yuck.  3) It's geared as a kid's show -- 6pm Saturday on the NHK kid's network.  As an older dude, I generally prefer more mature programming (though there's plenty of sophisticated "for-kids" stuff that I like just fine).

But I've really had to stretch my "level of acceptance" for a lot of the earlier episodes.  The first episode was pretty cool, and had some neat moments in it, but then there was a stretch of a lot of "standing around".  And more "standing around".  Then finally Sakura regained conciousness and the show picked up again.  She's really the best part of the show -- her character has such a spark to her that I find myself looking forward to those moments when she smiles.

Which, apparently, is Mashimo's goal in this, all other trappings of "plot" aside.  He has the characters state as much in one of the episodes.  So my guess is that he's setting it up so when the big conflict starts, and something "happens" to Sakura (total speculation, BTW), that little fact will drive you totally mad.  :)

So anyway, supposedly the only "involvement" of CCS or other CLAMP shows is that the characters names are the same, but it's otherwise completely different.  And like just about any Bee Train show, there's a love-hate divide with the anime fans that have watched it.  CCS fans and fans of the manga tend towards hating it -- but not universally.

I say if you've got nothing better to do, hey, it's got a neat Yuki Kajiura soundtrack (kind of sounds like a cross of ".hack" and "MADLAX"), and a few bits of Bee-Trainy goodness that carry it through.  After the first episode, try to hang on until, oh, episode 6 or so (whenever it is they move on to the 2nd world) before discarding it entirely.

Announcements & Introductions / Welcome to Bee Train Fan!
« on: August 01, 2005, 08:20:02 PM »
Excellent!  Welcome, everyone.  A site's got to start somewhere, doesn't it?

I've got one particular handicap when it comes to making progress here: I spend my day-job building the site that I'm in charge of, and when I come home, the last thing I want to do is fiddle with CSS placement, PHP tags, and SQL queries.  Add to that the fact that it's a beautiful summer this year, and sitting outside by the lake tends to rank higher in priority than cutting & pasting "Noir" tidbits.  No, really!

But that said, I'd very much like to involve this nascent community in the design and construction of this beast.  I've got the core of the site built in a very simple & flexible platform (Etomite), and phpBB & Coppermine are supposed to be easy enough to hack to look like it's integrated.

So please, stay tuned, and one thing you can do to help is to start posting your musings, theories, suggestions and whatever you want.  The more words, the more Google hits, the more fans that will wander in...

Announcements & Introductions / Welcome to Bee Train Fan!
« on: July 27, 2005, 03:23:42 PM »
I've admittedly spent far more time messing with trivial settings and not nearly enough starting to get some content in the appropriate zones.  :(

My original idea for the site was to be able to give individual users their own "space" where they could write whatever kind of articles suited their fancy, and then have everyone vote on the ones to promote to the higher-level pages.  The systems I've found for doing that have been a bit of a bear to customize the way I wanted to though, so I decided to start with something more basic.

That said, I'm more than anxious to get any and all content that you'd like to submit up and on the site anyhow!

Give me a couple of more days to see if I can get the article-submission add-on working, and maybe come up with a generic template.   Once there's actual content in there, I can work on making it look slicker after-the-fact.

And about a Kajiura sub-site?  A great idea!  What do you think of ""? :)

« on: July 25, 2005, 12:17:18 PM »
(I figured this would be a good start to a new thread...  More thread is good thread!)

I think it's really interesting that the order you see the shows in would have such a strong impact one way or another.  And it's really quite valid -- you take in to a show (and project upon it) your own experiences, be they previous entertainment or real life.

I am, of course, a "Noir-first"-er.  In fact, when it comes to anime in general, except for some old-skool stuff I experimented with back in my college days, I saw "Noir" before any other series.  So everything I watch is filtered through that.

And I loved "Noir".  Adored it.  Was captured by it, enraptured by it.  It was like like a 12-hour European film serialized into bite-sized pieces.  And the ingredients were so simple, so plain, so obvious.  The language it spoke wasn't one of the dialogue or the plot, but of the "cinema" of the whole thing.

And, of course, the whole problem with the language of cinema is where you, as a viewer, are able to enter a state they call "suspension of disbelief".  If there are certain aspects that block you from crossing over into that state, whether it's because of your expectations, or your familiarity with a certain topic, or you just find something ugly, lousy or jarring, then you're not going to be receptive to it as a whole.

And that's okay.  Happens to me all the time, which is why I can be such a snob about what I watch.

In various interviews I've read, it seems that Mashimo's big goal in "Noir" was to get the viewers to "fall in love" with the characters.  The drama, the mood, the atmosphere; all of that is geared towards that purpose.  And the great thing is, not everybody falls in love with the same character.  I mean sure, most fall for Kirika.  But there's a lot of love for Chloe out there.  Some for Mireille, and I think maybe there's one out there for Altena, but I can't confirm that... :)

So a lot of us "loyal followers" are probably caught up in the show on an emotional, experiential level, and don't really get hung up on more logical or narrative aspects (or the many, many quirky little mistakes).  So the ending you found anti-climatic, to us, was an amazingly satisfying conclusion to the relationship's dramatic tension that had been building since Mireille opened her email in episode one. :D

So what does that say about "MADLAX"? Especially with the "what 'Noir' should have been" perspective that's shared by many people (and not just those who saw it first)?

One of my first observations about the series is that "MADLAX" was technically superior on a lot of levels.  A lot of that I prescribe to the fact that you can do a lot more interesting, flawless techniques with modern digital compositing.  That's not to say that "Noir" was a technical slouch, and there was a lot of innovation going on with color and cinematography that set it apart from the usual celwork that preceded it.  Subtle multiplanar stuff that isn't exactly the easiest to do the old-skool way.  But "MADLAX" took it to a frentic, amazing level.

And on a content level, I always say that "MADLAX" is more "fun", more "self-aware".  It's far and above more engaging and in-your-face early on.  It's very entertaining and a bit more accessable.  The variety of characters, their threads that unravell and cris-cross and twist around each other weave a tapestry of a lot more color and variety than the "twisted threads colored black" of "Noir".  It's a wild and loopy ride, teasing you, then giving you a little reward, and repeating until you just can't wait to see what happens next.

So Mashimo & his creative team definitely learned valuable lessons from "Noir".  There's a lot of evolution evident in the show.  But they also made a different show, not entirely a clone.  You aren't dragged as deeply into the emotional bonds of the characters, you're kept at arms-length from the main characters to some extent (oddly, you get closer to the secondary characters like Vanessa and Eleanor -- but I'm working on a theory about that).

And for a lot of people, the experience is completely flipped.  "'Noir' seems like it's holding you at arms length."  "The characters are too cold and unreadable."  "Their reactions don't make any sense."  "And enough with the flashbacks already!!" :D

None of which I found, of course.  (Though I suppose that early "flashback within a flashback" was a tad excessive... ;)).  Still, I can very much understand it as a point-of-view.

Both of these shows really generate a lot of love/hate with different people.  I happen to think both are outstanding, with "Noir" edging out "MADLAX" by a bit, and both being far-and-away superior -- to me -- to all but a couple of other anime series I've watched.  Mashimo's methods "click" with me.  But I can see pretty well how they might not with other viewers, particularly those with a lot of anime-watching experience.

So Ombrenuit (and anyone for that matter), what would you say your favorite series/film would be?  What makes it "click" with you?

All Series / Who's Talking?
« on: July 22, 2005, 03:19:45 PM »
Thanks!  And thanks for reminding me that I hadn't turned off "Guest" posting yet!! :)

Announcements & Introductions / About the site
« on: July 20, 2005, 09:32:30 PM »
Heh. :)  These are a great start.  Though for the top one, it took me a couple of times to figure out just what we were seeing there during the pan down her legs...    :wink:

All Series / Who's Talking?
« on: July 20, 2005, 06:33:52 PM »
Here's an example post:

AnimeSuki's Forum:

Dedicated threads for many series, all of these have mixed reactions and discussions, spoilers, redundant info, and other content informative or otherwise.  Usually the mods combine any stray threads into the main dedicated thread.  Mostly followers of a series from the fansubs through the licensed releases; sometimes detractors or critics pop in.




Meine Liebe:

Tsubasa Chronicle:


Anyway, I'm sure there's more.

All Series / Who's Talking?
« on: July 20, 2005, 06:19:51 PM »
I can really use your help gathering content!  If you know any forums or blogs that are (or had been) specifically discussing or reviewing any Bee Train series, I'd like to link to them from the main Series pages.

If you know of any such sites, please post a link as a reply to this message.  For forums, make sure you link to the beginning of a relevant thread.  For blogs, if they have a Category link for the series, link to that, otherwise link to the home page.  If a forum has many many threads, then link the main page and a couple of examples of what you think the best threads are.

Please note what series they're talking about, what the general tone of the posts are (positive, neutral, unhappy, bashing), and if there are spoilers.

Feel free to plug your own content!  I know I will be soon enough!

Announcements & Introductions / Welcome to Bee Train Fan!
« on: July 20, 2005, 06:11:31 PM »
Your avatar and other forum information may start showing up on the home pages.  I finally made a breakthrough in getting some integration code working, so hopefully with that out of the way, I can start concentrating on making everything look better and more unified, and get content up for all the series.

Keep the gallery images coming, and if you can, read and contribute to the "Who's Talking" thread!

Announcements & Introductions / About the site
« on: July 09, 2005, 10:19:38 AM »
I hope to make up some banners soon, but it may take me a while.  So just a link is fine to start, or if you (or anyone) would like to make a banner to contribute to the site, that would be awesome!

Great shirt, BTW!  :)

Announcements & Introductions / Welcome to Bee Train Fan!
« on: July 08, 2005, 04:45:07 PM »
I'm getting closer to figuring out the templating system, and working on some more "colorful" imagery to make the site a little more polished-looking.

Another thing I need to do is start installing plugins for this forum to take care of any missing features.  Has anyone noticed anything in particular that's missing here that you otherwise find handy in other forums?

Besides content, that is....

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