Shelf Life
Educating the masses

by Bamboo Dong, Jan 18th 2004
For as long as things like IRC and web forums have existed online, there has always been the problem of some of today's teenagers not knowing how to type properly. Whether it's a simple matter of not capitalizing sentences, using punctuation, or telling the difference between words like it's and ish, good and gud, friend and frend, and the other words that general are required to learn by their second years of the United States public schooling system, this is a problem that needs to be corrected for the good of today's high school aged children. If they cannot learn to type properly, it will decrease their chances of success in the job market, and certainly this is not something that we want to condone for the future of both our youth, and also our country.

As the character Ben said in the movie Better Luck Tomorrow, “If you repeat something to yourself enough times, it eventually becomes a part of you.” So I propose this: stripper typing games. This will combine the age-old concept of typing games with the appeal of carnal pleasures. The basic game package will be constructed in the following manner: Starting from the first level, sentences will be shown to the person playing the game. Every time the sentence is typed with at least a 95% accuracy, a girl on the screen (aged 30) will flash her breasts for a brief second. If the gamer can type 10 sentences in a row with full accuracy, he will be awarded with a 5 second breast flash, and a secret item—the golden panty. After ten golden panties have been collected, the girl on the screen will perform a striptease, and at the end of it will be replaced by another girl one year younger, ending at the final age of 18. Girls (or other male-loving members of society) will have the opportunity to buy the male stripper version. The only difference will be that instead of breast flashing, the male will take off his pants to be in his skivvies. And instead of the striptease, the male will actually dress up in flashy formal attire, because we all know that while men like to watch women undress, women prefer to watch men dress.

I believe that not only will teenagers be motivated to improve their typing skills, but can also learn other valuable scholarly lessons through the purchase of expansion packs. For example, if that person has a particular interest in Asian men/women, they can pick from a long line of Asian-oriented history and geography packs. A sample sentences from the Japanese geography pack would be, “Shibuya commonly refers to the commercial and entertainment district around Shibuya Station, and is popular amongst teenagers. Unlike Harajuku, it is home to several large department stores and retail chains,” whereupon the model would be of Japanese descent. Or if the gamer had a particular relish for anime-styled robotic maids, they could have sentences like, “If you spill red wine on your carpet, you should gingerly blot the area with carbonated ginger water before proceeding to the next step. To learn more about cleaning red wine stains, hit the space bar to continue.” Voila. Not only are kids learning something, they're learning how to type, too. If you're going to make your kids learn, why not make learning fun?

And with that, welcome to Shelf Life.


Shelf Worthy

Chobits Vol. #6: My Only Person
Geneon Entertainment 100 min. 6/7 $29.95 01/13/2004

Contrary to popular belief, Chobits isn't just a show about robot fanservice and giving self-deceiving cosplayers the chance to get laid at conventions. In fact, it hasn't been about that for quite a few volumes, and it's never shown as clearly as it is in this volume. Wrapping up all the unanswered questions with another volume to go, the series sheds light onto all of the issues that have been brought up so far. From answering questions about Chii's origins, addressing the forbidden love between man and machine and the societal implications that it entails, to the changes that everyone's lives have been subjected to, this volume is a wonderful testimonial to how much life CLAMP can breathe into the most tired of genres. If you've stopped watching Chobits for whatever reason, you should probably consider picking it up again. The sugary coating of the first few volumes may be deceiving, but the dark, emotional side that is eventually exposed is certainly worth all the wait.


Princess Nine Complete Collection
ADV Films 650 min. 1/1 $59.95 01/13/2004

Ah, an ambitious women's baseball team that's gearing up to be the greatest upset in sports history next to the 1980 US vs. Russia hockey finals. To be honest, when I first saw this show, I was extremely skeptical. It was too cheesy for me, the scenes were predictable, and virtually every character rubbed me with an uncomfortable stick. But alas, the determination and growing bonds between the girls eventually won me over and I found myself ever eager to see what would happen next. To the dismay of her advisors, the principal of an elite female high school summons together a women's baseball team. Their dream? The high school baseball national championship. With plenty of hardships and public taunting barricading the way, the girls must find the willpower to drive themselves to their dreams. For those of you who revel in sports anime, this is one that may touch your heart.


Neon Genesis Evangelion: Directors' Cut: Resurrection
ADV Films 150 min. 1/2 $29.99 01/16/2004

Do you consider yourself an Eva fan? If the answer was yes then you have absolutely no excuse to not run out and buy this DVD. Throwing episodes 21-23 on a disc both in their aired form and also the director's cuts, this is a DVD that every Eva, nay, every Gainax fan absolutely must own. With extended openings and a packed boatload of deleted scenes in every episode, this is truly Evangelion like you've never quite seen it before. As with all director's cuts, this really gives the viewer a more complete glance into the work, whether it patches together plot questions or gives an added boost of symbolism. To dangle the carrot in front of viewers just a bit lower, there's even an interview on the discs regarding the live action Evangelion movie in the planning stages. Fans of the original dub cast may be a bit disappointed though, as some of the voices were replaced, but overall, it's still a stellar package. If you like this show and you don't have any plans to ever add this to your anime collection, you don't deserve to breathe.


Rune Soldier Vol. #6
ADV Films 100 min. 6/6 $29.95 01/13/2004

Leading viewers to the edge of a diving board with the same kind of standalone humor that's been prevalent throughout the series, Rune Solider launches into a final bout of political intrigue to finally submerge its audience into the cold water that it's only been hinting at so far. After a frivolous and entertaining episode delving into the busy life of Merrill, the meat of the story pops into play. Flashing back to two decades ago, the audience is clued into an internal struggle of power when the king ousted a group of gentry in a fight for control of the regime. Now they're back, they're pissed, and they want their stuff back (i.e. the nation). As the king ambles off to deal with these ruffians, the country goes to hell in the unscrupulous reign of a traitorous lackey. It's up to Louie and the others to sift to the bottom of things and enter into the real battle for the fate of the country. If you thought that the comedic fantasy of the series was entertaining, getting a taste of true drama and heroism is even better. This is one series that truly leaves on a high mark.


They Were 11
Central Park Media 91 min. 1/1 $19.99 01/13/2004

I used to think that since the passing of the Golden Era of s.f. and the passing of the Great Authors, science fiction would hit a slump, but great books and artistic works have always been there to prove me wrong. Case and point, the mid 1980s. A short story by the name of They Were 11 (later translated into English) was made into an animated movie and while the outdated art and animation may look old and tired, the story itself is just as vivacious as ever. In the distant future, man has spread its spheres of influence into the galaxy, facing many hectic wars and interplanetary brouhaha. But peace was achieved and the Cosmo Academy was created. Training the best of the best space adventurers, the final test has always been the same—10 students are left on an abandoned ship and forced to survive on their own. If even one person screws up, they all fail. Young Tada is a little taken aback, but he's even more surprised when he discovers that there are 11 people on his ship. Who is this last person? Can they all survive together? Carrying a perturbed, on edge mood throughout the production, the movie combines aspects of classic science fiction fare with elements of the psychological to result in something that would pique many viewers' interests. If you can look past the dated production values, this is certainly a nice switch-up from all the modern anime being released nowadays.


Rental Shelf

Brigadoon Vol. #5
TOKYOPOP 100 min. 5/6 $29.99 01/13/2004

When this series first started, it was a mildly intriguing romp into the world of science fiction that was completely overshadowed by the hideous character design and unbearably childish and annoying characters. Now that most of these said characters have been bitch-slapped into quiet respect for the huge monsters popping out of Brigadoon, the story can proceed smoothly to its revealing ending. As the series nears its grand finale, the action picks up with everyone out on a quiet search for Creis Marine. Of course, peace never lasts long when huge monsters are wreaking death every few steps, so Marin and Melan must continue to learn the precious lessons of friendship and trust as they try to save both worlds from doom. This series is seldom talked about, which is a shame. It may not be the most innovative thing to ever hit the planet, but the series can be rather engaging at times. Now that the show's almost over, maybe it's time that some of you gave this series a quick sample. You might end up liking it.


Someday's Dreamers Vol. #2
Geneon Entertainment 100 min. 2/ $29.95 01/13/2004

You know those commercials that have the white linen sheets flapping in the wind with mountains and springs in the back, and some woman leaning in a recliner looking like she could smell the fresh laundry for the rest of her life and be completely at peace? That's what Someday's Dreamers feels like. It's a quiet series that revels in its soft and beautiful artwork and its slow storyline. As Yume continues onward with her apprenticeship, she meets a cast of new friends that help her on her journey to becoming a mage. With the introduction of a determined boy named Kera, the story really gets a chance to thicken as he dives into his past and his motivations for becoming a mage. Aside from character building and subdued adventures, there's still not much going on, but the pace is so relaxing that it's nice to kick back and watch something like Someday's Dreamers to ease up the stress in your life. Be warned though, it is rather slow and won't appeal to many people. You never know until you try though, so give it a rent. It's more entertaining than smelling laundry anyway.


Lupin the 3rd TV Vol. #05: Mission: Irresistible
Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc. 150 min. 5/? $24.98 01/14/2004

Someone's been watching too many WWII documentaries... Havoc runs amok in the latest adventures of Lupin III et al as the squad finds themselves once again dealing with a bunch of Nazis. The rest of the volume... well, if you've seen Lupin the 3rd before, I really don't need to go on any further. As entertaining as always, and as outrageous as always, Lupin and his buddies zip around the world stealing things and fighting off random personages. If you like Lupin, you'll like this. If you don't, you won't. End of story.


Patlabor TV Vol. #7
Central Park Media 100 min. 7/? $29.99 01/13/2004

After the team restructuring that took place in the previous volume, viewers get to see things settling into a more variegated, fun-filled groove for the time being. Everything's been flopped around on the crew and if the mecha action doesn't excite you, then watching the changing attitudes amongst the crew members surely will. As usual, the characterization is most definitely rich, even when it's just watching the gang run around ghost busting or nagging at each other. For fans of Patlabor, this will certainly be a fun adventure for you right in the vein of all the other volumes, but if you're new to this whole show, then you might want to think about starting at the beginning.


Perishable Item

Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer
Central Park Media 105 min. 1/1 $19.99 01/13/2004

Because there have been such a lack of Perishable Items lately, the god of anime has punished me with Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer. I'm fairly skeptical when it comes to fighting game based shows, but this takes the moldy cake. With the exception of the well choreographed fight sequences, this... thing lacks a coherent story, interesting characters (unless you love bouncing oblong breasts; there're plenty of those), common sense—maybe I can just sum it up by saying it is teh hardcore s uck. Somewhere in the future, a massive earthquake rips through Tokyo and ruins the entire city, except for this huge chunk of land that just happens to be some sinister guy's school. He starts handing out power stones and material and stuff to his favorite students that powers them up so they can fight random things. This all happens in about the first five minutes, so before the show's even started, you are completely lost. To try and make up for it, the entire swarm of characters is thrown in your face, big jugs included, to strike a bunch of action poses and character bios. This also makes no sense. But WAIT, something dramatic happens. Someone reveals that the earthquake was artificial and was all part of an evil plot!!!!—and then they stop talking about it like it was never mentioned. BUT THEN, people start fighting for virtually no reason. They run around beating each other with household objects, hitting each other with Super Energy Blasts, and when they get tired, they all jump into the showers so the girls can show off their breasts. And after all the episodes are over, you'll realize that you've gained absolutely nothing from it. You'll have wasted over an hour of your life on a show with no cohesive story, nonexistent characterization, and characters so ugly they don't even work as masturbation fodder. Don't touch this thing.


That's it for this week! Thanks for reading!

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