First, thanks to everyone who bought the various bits of crap I wanted to sell in order to raise money for the server migration. The move has more than been paid for, and I’ll be mailing out all the aforementioned crap over the next few days. In the meantime, let’s celebrate by declaring a moratorium on news articles consisting of stupid sales number comparisons for next-gen consoles. Because really, when one week you report that the Wii shipped in double the quantities of the PlayStation 3 and the next week your big story is that the Wii sold in double the quantities of the PS3, you’re not really doing anyone much good.
Speaking of Wii — and don’t we always, around these parts? — as of last night my Mii Parade cracked the 300 mark. I really have no idea what the upward limit on this thing is, but at the moment it takes nearly a full minute for the whole crew to march their way across my screen. (Even longer if widescreen is disabled.) That’s a lot of Hitlers, George Bushes and transvestite Luigis. In a surprising twist, my own Mii rendition of Solid Snake appeared in the parade after I had to delete him from the Plaza to make room for new arrivals. It was heartwarming. Even the studio audience was all like, “Aww.”
My copy of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order #8 arrived. Yes, I know, the image up there is pre-Last Order. Whatever.
When last we visited Last Order, our esteemed webmaster was in a cranky mood. Volume 7 had just arrived and it seemed the plot had been hopelessly lost. Then found and taken back behind the shed and crammed through a wood chipper. Then the resulting mulch was used as fertilizer for skunk cabbage. It was a dark time indeed.
With volume 8, the plot has gone even more awry — and, weirdly, it works. Alita herself figures into about the first fifteen pages of the book, after which a lengthy flashback kicks in. By lengthy, I mean “it’s still going 160 pages later and will apparently continue next volume.” And by “flashback” I mean “500 years in the past to the fall of contemporary Earth civilization in the wake of an extinction-level event.” Not really what i expected to see coming right on the heels of Alita’s grand epiphany about her true involvement in the death of a whole heck of a lot of people two centuries prior.
“But wait,” you say. “If we go 500 years into the past, and Alita was only born 200 years before the events of the manga, who stars in the flashback?” Why, none other than ridiculously overpowered vampiress Caerula Sanguis — who resultantly develops into something more than your typical badass with a transparently Latin-derived name. She almost becomes, I dunno, likable. And you get a better sense of the series’ history. Not that we really need to know — the original series was just fine with nothing but vague hints of the backstory to go by — but it all comes together just fine simply because it the first time in ages that Last Order has really had that lovely Kishiro-ish-ness that made the early volumes so enjoyable.
Of course, at some point — probably a little ways into volume 9 — the series will inevitably turn its focus back to Alita and the excruciating Zenith Of Things Tournament. But hey, a little relief was all it took to convince me not to give up. Yet.
Also: Retronauts. It’s back.
Edit: The Mii Parade now stands at 325. I wish parading Miis credited their creators, because I want to give the person who created Trumpy a big hug.