May 2021: Growth At Last
It's finally happened. After twenty years spent trying to build an online presence, after so much time and so many failed attempts to make a name for myself, I've finally discovered a way to get known and make some money by doing something that I love.
I didn't have many expectations when I released the Sailor Moon Koikatsu card last week. I was proud of the work I put into it, absolutely, and I thought that if anything I'd made in Koikatsu deserved to be paid content for a while, it was that... but the last week-plus has seen more success than my Patreon has had in the four years I've been running it.
To all my new Patrons, I'm more grateful for your support than you can possibly know. I wish there were a way I could show you how much confidence your generosity is giving me... it really feels like I'm flying high right now. The release of the Eternal Sailor Moon card yesterday was its own milestone; it's the first time I've been able to successfully import an MMD model into CharaStudio, which means that I now have a massive new source for models, costumes, and props. Every day I'm learning a little more, it seems, and once I'm able to create stuff from scratch, you'll be seeing more content than ever.
I've been so busy with Koikatsu, in fact, that that's one of the reasons May's Blogress Report is a week late. The other primary reason was that last week I my Windows installation underwent a catastrophic failure which eventually necessitated buying a new hard drive. Drake and I spent four hours trying to repair the installation, and by the end of it I was understandably in no mood to write anything. My essential apps and settings have all been transferred from the old one, but I still have some work to do before everything is back to normal.
But anyway. I'll be spending most of the following week house- and pet-sitting from morning to evening, so I'll be away from my desktop and thus unable to do KK stuff as much as I'd like. That's fine; I want to use the time to get some more done on Chapter 52 of Shattered Skies and catch up on some reading. The last time I worked for this client, things went pretty smoothly, so I hope that holds true this time.
Drake convinced me to give the Jujutsu Kaisen anime a shot recently, and I'm definitely glad I did. All I knew about the series beforehand was that it was supposed to have lots of body horror. That it does, and of course that's right up my alley, but I was unprepared for how much comedy the series has. Yuji Itadori is one of the flat-out funniest protagonists I've ever seen in a shonen anime, with a gift for goofy meme faces, unexpected wisecracks, and some truly spectacular comedic/dramatic entrances... but as much as I love the humor and the gooey squishy fleshy bits, I gotta say that the animation is probably the number one reason I love this show. Whatever they're paying the folks at MAPPA is not enough, because JK features drop-deap gorgeous sakuga in almost every episode. Ninty recently made an unsuccessful attempt to get me into Thunderbolt Fantasy... its fight scenes were one of biggest problems I had with that show, because all of them were a mess of rapid-fire cuts that made it migraine-inducing to try to follow what was going on. I realize that it had to be that way to make the puppets look like they were fighting, but it's an editing technique that I can't stand. The fight scenes in JK are like somebody took all my complaints about Thunderbolt Fantasy and resolved to do the exact opposite. Plain and simply, these are stunningly beautiful battles, with tons of long, unbroken tracking shots and spectacular, dynamic camera work that always retains a rock-solid handle on where the characters are and what they're doing. As of this writing, Drake and I are halfway through the first season and I can't wait to see more.
I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention Sailor Moon Eternal. Both movies dropped on Netflix on Thursday, and I finally got a chance to sit down and watch them with Drake this afternoon. Adapting the manga's Dream Arc was always going to be a tricky prospect, but I'm happy to say that Toei succeeded. They hit all the major points of the arc, they didn't tone down too much (aside from the one spectacularly gruesome nightmare sequence, but I always doubted that would get animated anyway), they look and sound gorgeous, and oh yeah... all the stuff that got cut from the 90s anime's first season in favor of endless filler? It's all there, present and accounted for. The lore, the familiars, the new costumes, the Sailor Quartet... all of those are things I've wanted to see animated for twenty years, so of course I'm happy. And if this means we're going to finally, finally get a faithful anime adaptation of the manga's Stars arc down the road... buddy, I am 10000% there.
That about does it for now. Expect more good things to come soon.