Archive for May, 2019

Decline of the heroine

Monday, May 6th, 2019

Last week, I went to the movies to watch “Birthday wonderland” (in Japanese called バースデー・ワンダーランド).

The movie is visually appealing and well done, just as you would expect it to be. For comical effect or something, the obligatory “cute” characters are also included.

However, the story line is rather bland and feels kind of chewed on and spit out. It’s a mix between Spirited Away, Laputa Castle in the Sky, The Cat Returns (“猫の恩返し”) but with a not very inspiring female main character.

The above listed films also feature heroines as main characters, as you probably know. However, in their adventures, they have to prove their worth, they face overhwelming odds but still they persists and come out on top.

The heroine in Birthday Wonderland is called Akane (I even had to look up her name because I forgot). No spoilers here so I will not recap the story, but apart from grabbing someone by his leg and later pushing the same person down a well (I said no spoilers, please watch the movie to make sense of this), she does not really do anything except complain. It’s not very inspiring at all… Possibly this is just her character but it’s hard to feel sympathetic towards her because for whatever reasons she also gets to get away with whatever lazyness or dishonesty she’s pulling off.

The film last almost two hours. If you don’t care much about depth and if you don’t mind lined-up anime clichés, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

For those who expect some depth and bravery, save your money and wait for something else to see.

Another memrise threshold crossed… (two, actually)

Monday, May 6th, 2019

Last week I passed the incredible landmark of 50’000’000 points on memrise, my most often used app for learning languages and vocabulary.

I think I started using memrise five or six year ago so I must have made on average between 8’000’000 and 10’000’000 points per year. Go me!

During the same years I’ve gone though all the redesigns that memrise has taken, not all of them for the better (honestly, none of them were really for the better). The last re-design (“let’s do away with the rockets and remove most of the colours too”) is kind of an eye-bleacher. Most of the buttons or icons unfortunately now follow the “flat” design which does not work pretty much anywhere (iOS, Windows 10, LibreOffice) but because Apple started this crap, everyone seems to be eager to follow suit.

Together with crossing the line of 50’000’000 points, I’ve also surpassed a mempal I’ve been following for a long time: Donnerwoelkchen. When I first followed her (doing a HSK level 6 course), she was roughly 25’000’000+ points ahead so I promised myself to catch up to her in points before she reaches the 50*10^6 – I made it work but it was close… she really pushed the envelope in the last two months so I had to make a bigger-than-usual effort.
Also, I’ve unfollowed her since 😉

Although it is unclear if I will stick around memrise to do another 50’000’000 points, I’ll forge ahead for the time being…

Keep on learnin’!