If you know anything about anime, you probably know Neon Genesis Evangelion. Evangelion is said to have revitalised the anime industry when it first came out in 1995. It is also well known for its deep psychological themes, religious undertones and incomprehensible ending. As such, it's probably also the most over-analysed anime in history. :-P
Anyway, somebody thought it'd be a good idea to remake the TV series into a series of movies, with updated animation and computer graphics (the budget for the original series was very small so it suffered from low production values at some points), as well as some plot changes. The first of what will be four movies premiered in Japan on September 1st.
As an anime fan, I have of course seen Evangelion, and I thought these movies would be interesting to see in the theater. Of course, Japanese theaters are not in the habit of putting English subtitles on Japanese movies, so considering my current level of Japanese, that'd pose a problem. But I went to see it anyway. And I must say, I was impressed. The updated animation was great (while still retaining the style of the original Evangelion), and the sound was fantastic! The version of Eva I saw, the platinum edition, already had an updated 5.1 surround mix (the original 1995 series had a mono soundtrack), but this movie blows it away. Lots of good use of the surround and LFE channels during the battles. Just hearing that on a big sound system made it worth seeing in the theater.
As for the dialogue... I could understand about half. It definitely helped that I already knew the plot. Hopefully when the second movie comes out sometime in 2008 my Japanese will be better. But still, it was a very cool movie, and I definitely don't regret going to see it.
For those interested, a trailer.
Raymond Chen talks about using very long e-mail signatures, and on the most part I agree with him.
However, he makes one complaint that I must object against. In particular, he says "we already know your name and email address since it's in the message header". Yes, you do, but isn't it common courtesy to sign a message with your name?
The addressee knows his/her own name too, but I still think it's a good idea to start with "Hello X" or "Dear Y", or "Dear sir/madam" if I'm not sure.
Personally I think most people treat e-mail very loosely, at least in the Netherlands. If I send e-mail to a person or company that I don't know, I will treat the e-mail as if it was a letter. I will open with "Dear sir/madam" etc. But invariably I get a message back starting with "Hi Sven". Now I don't mind that sort of thing, but it's a strange assumption to make. Certainly if it was a letter people wouldn't automatically assume they could be so informal.
The Japanese live at the other end of the spectrum. Using first names is a big social faux-pas anyway over here (especially fun since no one here can pronounce my last name), except among very close friends. But many Japanese break Raymond's rules even more drastically by telling me my name, their name, the message, and then their name again.
Typically the messages will end up looking something like this:
Y here from the office of Z.
Message goes here.
Well, at least there's no doubt over who sent the message. :)
How do I hate the word blogosphere? Let me count the ways...
That aside, my good friend Christian Liensberger, aka Littleguru on Channel9, has just kicked of his own blog with a post demonstrating some of the features of C# 3.0, such as lambda expressions and extension methods.
Christian is one of the smarter people I know, so I'm sure it'll be worth keeping track of his blog. :)