Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) film

yourname_sm

I saw the first limited screening with subs few weeks ago. Originally it’s a one-day showing like most foreign cartoons in this region, but was later extended to around five days. Spoiler paragraphs will be prefixed [spoiler…].

Style & similar shows: I’m used to Shinkai’s slow contemplative beautiful vibe. This was kinda different with very strong pacing shifts & teenage rock music; some dual pov swap montages got so fast I didn’t read all the subs & who’s saying what (besides being sleep deprived the whole week), got the gist & was quite funny but definitely needs a careful rewatch. Then it’ll breath into a slow summer fan or sleeping & very slowly awaking, with Taki rolling off lol. The comedy’s well done while conveying exposition & shifting to drama later. It gave me flashbacks of underworld theme in Children Who Chase Lost Voices, art as detailed as Garden of Words, some dread & confusion like S;G. But Erased/Orange might give more feels for some, as they are longer (~300 minutes). Your Name is roughtly 5 tv episodes long (106 minutes) like most cartoon films which I find usually fairly rushed, but here the continuous format flows better for this story.

Characters: Taki & Mitsuha have an awkward funny chemistry, neither is damsel in distress & both actively help each other. Mitsuha has a strong dislike for the boonies where she’s stuck in, and I totally empathized with them complaining of the boonies. Taki is quick tempered yet passive & hardworking, but otherwise somewhat vague. Body swap adds a whole dimension to their characters, learning more about the other person, their own identity, the friends around them & even the local cultures of both Itomori & Tokyo. Mitsuha’s granny provides most exposition on the local Shinto culture and their shrine maiden family, where both Mitsuha & imouto practice rituals for the town. Mitsuha’s father is the town mayor, but is more into politics than shrine matters & has disputes with the granny. It’s wasn’t clear to me why he’s setup this way but he’s somewhat important. [minor character spoiler] An article from a psychological pov suggests potential dissociative fugue/amnesia, and it’s interesting how differently people react to such behavior.
Most side characters were also great. Her younger sister acting as tsukkomi was hilarious. Miki senpai was gorgeous w/o the usual tsun/slutty tropes. Tessie & Sayaka were plot relevant great friends.

[minor spoilers of Steins;Gate & Your Name terms]
Structure: it felt more intricate or explained than some time travel TV shows I’ve seen. Most fantasy/dream elements are foreshadowed by the musubi/dusk & shrine maiden beliefs from Yukino sensei (same teacher from Garden of Words lol) & granny.
Time travel: their soul swap & writings are like S;G Dmail preset to +-3 years away. But a bulk of early hijinks were dealing with confusion & assuming it’s a dream experience. Only later Taki realized (almost) too late that it’s not a dream, and his only chance was to reconnect with -3 years Mitsuha based on the musubi beliefs. It’s mentioned her shrine maiden family has a history of out of body dreams, so probably it’s an inherited power. Ace Attorney spirit medium from the Fey clan are similar.

[spoilers of Your Name plot & minor spoilers of S;G terms]
Shifting world lines: in S;G Kyouma and Re:Zero Subaru zap back to some space/time. But here it takes the dream-like nature (yes conveniently they can’t recall all details), where once awake only some main points are recalled, then gradually forget everything unless it’s written down. Yes Taki wrote “I love you” on her palm but didn’t get time for his name, silly horny high schoolers. It’s emphasized near end where both repeat their name but gradually memory vanishes. This is perhaps more painful than zapping to another timeline, since they’re aware memory is slipping away. Contrast to Reading Steiner ability, only one person has ability of retaining memory from previous world lines; everyone else had at most traces of memory left.
Another blog mentioned the amnesia was a sacrifice to the musubi god for asking a favor, as granny mentioned earlier one must leave behind something important (memory/name). I completely forgot this, & details like why they woke up crying etc, so I missed several “connections” that really warrant a rewatch.

[spoilers of Your Name]
Nitpicks on form: lines near end felt somewhat awkward or corny? Their meaning makes sense, but maybe reworded to be more poetic (or bad subs?). It kinda makes sense in overall form tho: starts with alternating verse by Taki & Mitsuha -> “OP” was awesome with Radwimps but felt spoilerish with the aging montage -> main story with realistic dialogue -> end with ideas repeated by both Taki & Mitsuha starting from the crater lake shots, which felt like a theatrical play. Shirayuki-hime & Soul Busters share this form so I dunno on people’s preference. All inserts were good but the amount felt like Grimgar, advertising music sales. A Shinkai interview (on NetEase) said he’s inspired by classic literature, waka (和歌) & Radiwimps music, so it’s somewhat reflected in his use of music, flow & verses. Taki English dub sounded better based off Funimation trailer, but based on forums & an article, most US & UK folks strongly prefer Mitsuha’s Japanese voice.

[spoilers of Your Name terms]
Cultural ideas: shinto musubi/underworld, kataware-doki (dusk related mythology) & kuchikamisake (shinto ritual of sake brewing in Japan & Taiwan).

Overall: I knew it’s body swap romance just from PV (which is a popular subgenre like Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches), but the plot, art, comedy & osts are surprisingly meticulous & nicely woven. The tropes aren’t trite but well placed. Glad I didn’t get spoiled since wasn’t expecting these themes & dramatic plot twists.

Batman Gotham Knight animation

Overall I’m quite amazed of these 6 semi-related shorts joined as a movie, also first time watching BD (was on sale for a few bucks). Consistently backgrounds were quite detailed (much better than 1080p downloads/streams) & ost fit the dark atmosphere. Toon lines are sharp, but there’s constant grain, not sure if part of the noir feel or a transfer result. Production is a mix of Production I.G, Madhouse, Studio 4°C & Bee Train. Subtitles are amusingly helpful but voices are mostly clear.

_2_0_00_03_3500004_grunting Episodes (short thoughts with vague synopsis spoilers):

1: loved the dynamic animation, partly nostalgia to 4C’s Tekkon Kinkreet style. Reinterpreted pov batman versions felt creative, like what-if batman was brutal.
2: Setup a much jumbled exposition but no payoff. Noir mood well done tho. Fire looked awkward.
3: Involves two gang boats & had the most silly dialogue. “You broke him. u bought him.” “You killed me” lol u still alive no? Batman outfit very detailed & slick. Cool EM bullet blocking.
4: Action with lizard was very dynamic, with sewage atmosphere like Jin-Roh.
5: Bhusara/fakir Bhuddist enlightenment on pain had some thoughtful dialogue (more so than patlabor managed). Action also amazing. Action is mostly gritty & visceral like the other shorts, even minor actions could feel “painful”.
6: Designs were nice. Silly rushing Deadshot but their shootout train fight still classic.

Last 5min ED music compilation is quite good.

_2_0_00_04_4700001_gothamcity

Android lockscreen wallpaper location, Netease & Batch convert

Sometimes the source of a lock screen wallpaper is lost. Some phones have a specific cache location and might be recoverable, even the pre-cropped version.

Some paths others found:

http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/95137/it-that-possible-for-the-wallpaper-cache-saved-in-android-data-folder-being-hac

http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/59295/lock-screen-wallpaper-location

Use a filer explorer like X-plore, allow it root/superuser access, since some paths below require root:

/data/data/

com.sec.android.app.wallpaperchooser/

wallpaper-#: has no suffix, but open as image. Is full (pre-crop) wallpaper.

wallpaperthumb-#: low res image

com.sec.android.app.themechooser/: not exist on my galaxy S5

com.sec.android.gallery3d/files/:

Lockscreen_wallpaper.jpg: cropped image

Lockscreen_wallpaper_ripple.jpg: full image

com.android.wallpapercropper/: empty

com.android.wallpaper.livepicker/: empty

com.android.settings/files/: non image files

/data/system/users/<userid>/: default to <0>. Photo.png is user’s avatar in contacts. Wallpaper_info.xml defines current wallpaper source, which mine is the multipicture app.

 

Tripadvisor, Netease, radio apps etc show a temp lockscreen wallpaper sometimes with great art folks want to save. I didn’t find the image cached in any above paths. Screenshot is the only generic way (on galaxy s5 hold power+home buttons, and status bar & clock cannot be removed in my phone). Some custom ROMs can make a fully blank lockscreen but I’m used to stock rom. All lockscreen apps I tried require choosing a local wallpaper & couldn’t be temp replaced by above apps (pictures only appear with native lockscreen). Also after uninstalls & tinkering Multipicture stopped working with lockscreens, but Gallery app to set lockscreen suffices (may need to clear app cache if picture doesn’t update, or manually delete those pictures in above paths).

NetEase Cloud Music iconNetEase cloud music is a Chinese radio app. There’s tutorials online for English users, and the GUI is simple enough even without English. A lot of user comments in the app ask where to get those images, so here it is. It caches larger images in its folders & embeds album art in audio files (usually smaller at 300×300). Other apps might work similarly and appear without root, so using a pc’s easier. The 2 paths save full images larger than the cropped view from the lockscreen, some above 1k:

\Phone\netease\cloudmusic\Download\Image\Album\

\Card\Android\data\com.netease.cloudmusic\files\Documents\LocalMusic\Image\

All format suffixes are missing. Though most image browsers detect file type and show them properly, it’s hard to organize with a mix of jpg, png, gif etc. To rename with correct metadata suffix, in XnView or similar, run Batch Convert on selected images (don’t use batch rename). Set an output folder. Set filename like {Modified Date [Y_m_d]}_{Filename}. Suffix will automatically be added.

Filenames are often gibberish, so using metadata like height, width, date, camera properties etc can help describe the image more.

How to Root Samsung Galaxy SM-G900i

Read instructions directly from the CF-Auto-Root author Chainfire. It’s short & applies to many phones. Be sure to read the warnings & know the risks. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2696537

Same instructions with pictures. Also includes AT&T & Verizon models: http://www.tomsguide.com/us/samsung-galaxy-s5-guide,review-2821-4.html

Small caveats for SMG900i. Download links in post #3 are specific to your S5 carrier/model. SM-G900L (Korea) may appear as “I” depending on font, and running this file results in the phone & Odin both showing error. SMG900I (Oceania) is the correct version, but the file CF-Auto-Root-klte-kltedv-smg900i.zip is incorrect as warned by several Australians deep in the 100+ page thread.

Odin shows a green Passed! But my phone soft bricked with klte-kltedv, entering a well known boot loop with colorful text:

RECOVERY BOOTING…
RECOVERY IS NOT SEANDROID ENFORCING
Set Warranty Bit: recovery

As described here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2611635

Uncheck Auto-reboot didn’t help on retry, and neither did trying some fixes on youtube. But trying another file by first removing then inserting battery, & Volume down + Power +Home buttons to boot into Download Mode again is possible.

This file mentioned by poster Huyton worked on my S5 with Lollipop (5.0): https://download.chainfire.eu/958/CF-Root1/CF-Auto-Root-klte-kltedd-smg900i.zip?retrieve_file=1

(S5 Marshmallow may need different instructions.)

Odin versions vary slightly. Add the CF-Auto-Root-klte-kltedd-smg900i.tar.md5 file to the PDA or AP button like this:

CF-Auto-Root-klte-kltedd-smg900i.jpg

Ensure your phone is connected to Odin in Download Mode. Hit Start. Odin should show the green Passed under 2-3 minutes. Your phone will reach the “RECOVERY BOOTING…” (don’t panic yet), then more console text will run up & continue into normal reboot.

Auckland CPI

Had a short trip to Auckland, and made some cursory observations. Take with large crystals of salt. Comparisons not exhaustive, but may include cheapest/sale prices from New World, Countdown, & Asian groceries (yes Asian stores have American imports too, often with a better price). Numbers taken same week.

W=Wellington
A=Auckland

Food

A&W root beer:
330ml: $0.99 A. $1.69 W
355ml: $1.4 A. $1.99 W
Auckland up to 40% cheaper.

Dr. Pepper 355ml:
$1.5 A
$1.99 W
Auckland 25% cheaper. Cherry Vanilla flavor in Auckland but not in Wellington. Original & cherry flavors in both cities.

Taiwanese Asamu milktea 400ml:
$0.99 A
$1.29 W. ($1.5 W new world)
Auckland 23% cheaper.

By rumor, in Auckland many backpackers dislike high prices in New World & recommend Countdown. In Wellington prices in order are generally Pak n Save, New World, Countdown, but best prices vary by product/sales.

Boring necessities like bread & rice are likely same priced. Though the Countdown $1 white bread loaf is usually emptied in Auckland central, while it’s ignored in Countdown Kilbirnie.

Energy/sports/coffee drinks are similar priced, though sales times vary, making a 10~17% difference.

Bus

Wellington buses typically $2-6, usually $5.50 for my uses. Areas are sparse & farther, maybe 30-50% farther than my Auckland travels. But it always seemed way overpriced. There are stops where only 500m farther will cost +$2 due to crossing zones. Snapper discount around 20%, some 25%.
http://www.snapper.co.nz/go-wellington-valley-flyer-airport-flyer-and-runcimans-buses/
Auckland buses were usually $1-2.5, since I stayed in semi-suburbs near highways. Most tourist spots aren’t too far from central. AT HOP card discount 20%, some 32%.
Card: Using the same thin wallet. Snapper card padded with paper from other contact cards is sufficient to tag fine. HOP card however is terrible. It required multiple tagging (without changing position) and at worse requires isolating the card. Many other passengers also faced this issue. Inconsistency occurs, at times it gives the approved sound, but simultaneously shows “please try again” text. Wellington bus tagging is more consistent with the sound, and a voice will play whatever text is displayed.
https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/fares-discounts/bus-train-fares/