Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where's Ryorin, What's Up With The Schedule, and How About Some More Eva

You may remember when I previously mentioned that my shiny new schedule got a wee bit thrown off when unanticipated things that make up life happen.  This past week I've learned that when said unanticipated events include musicals, jet-lag, and illness, schedule get eaten whole.

So!  I will spend the next week making up the five posts I missed while laying in bed trying to digest my oh-so-hardy breakfast of a single sip of water before I move on to a new and improved schedule for March!

For those of you keeping track, that's one Fiction Friday, one Animated Tuesday, one Webcomic Wednesday, and two posts about whatever-I-kriffing-well please.  And, yes, I am counting this as today's official post because I'm still recovering and don't have the energy for this.

If you simply must have content, I watched the second Rebuild of Evangelion film, Evangelion: You Can (Not) Advance (the first of which I discuss here) and it was fantastic.  It felt much more coherent as a film than the first one and it changed a lot.  It even had a father-son moment, which caused me to flail about, grab my phone, and ask my brother if I was still watching something involving Eva.  It changes pacing, character development (oh my Waru, Rei!  You grew a personality!), when events happen, who the events happen to, etc.  It is still Eva but, to me, it felt the way Eva should have been.  And it adds a little things called "foreshadowing."  So much.  So.  Much.  So if you were let down by the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion or just want to see an alternate take, check it out.  Also, it ends with a Hikaru Utada song that I am beginning to suspect is the theme for these movies.  Take that as you will.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Webcomic Wednesday: Bad Machinery, Good Comic

Today's Webcomic Wednesday, for reasons that should be fairly clear, will be another short recommendation: John Allison's Bad Machinery.  A spin-off of Scary-Go-Round (which was itself a spin-off, but I don't feel like talking about that at the moment), Bad Machinery is a fun, humorous, sometimes dark comic following the misadventures of a group of youths as they stumble upon and solve supernatural mysteries.  You do not have to be familiar with Scary-Go-Round to enjoy this comic, though if you are you'll be treated to some familiar faces and learn the fates of a few characters.  I highly recommend it.

(Belated) Animated Tuesday: You Are (Not) Alone in Thinking This Movie Was Long Overdue

Today I watched the film Evangelion 1.0: You are (Not) Alone.

You may have heard of the obscenely popular mid-nineties anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.  It was incredibly influential in shaping the giant robot genre as we know it and it is one of the most well known examples of genre deconstruction.  It had distinct imagery, memorable characters and dialogue ("I mustn't run away; I mustn't run away."), intriguing direction, and a director who was plagued by fatigue and depression, causing the show to culminate in an incredibly disappointing finale that was then replaced by an infamously gruesome and disturbing film.  It also had a really, really great theme song that haunts karaoke parlors to this day.  If you want my full feelings on the show, this review by JesuOtaku is one of the very few reviews of anything which I fully and emphatically agree with.  Basically, I think it had an enjoyable first half with lots of potential and then devolved into a pseudo-philosophical mess with pacing issues over the course of the second half.

This film is part one of a four part series to "Rebuild" (and hopefully reconstruct) the story of Evangelion.  Which is to say it's a reboot of the franchise.  I will never escape reboots, will I?  In this case, though, it is a sorely needed restoration of a series that shows its flaws more and more as time goes on. 

This movie retells the first several episodes of the series with updated animation, improved pacing, and minor story tweaking.  It also feels like a retelling of the first several episodes and the structure and pacing don't do anything to hide this.  This movie feels nothing like a movie; make of that what you will. 

The Rebuild Evangelion project has been called "Evangelion of its meds" by many (all of whom seem to be quoting some unnamed Mysterious Reviewer X) but this first film doesn't get far enough into or change enough about the story to reflect that.  On the other hand, it does tweak just enough to vastly improve one major element: the main character.  Let's talk about Shinji Ikari.
  • Shinji's character design and facial expression are subtly tweaked from the original so that he looks less like an innocent, young, gender ambiguous waif and more like a weak, troubled fourteen-year-old.  It took me a while to notice it, but through changing minor details in his hair, eyes, and facial structure (and major details in his facial expressions) he no longer comes off as a wide-eyed innocent and this helps to contribute to my next bullet point...
  • This film is fully aware of how much Shinji sucks.  He is a whiny, unstable brat.  He was always a whiny, unstable brat, but the TV series didn't seem quite aware of this, at least at the beginning.  This movie makes no bones about it, though, and it is wonderfully refreshing to hear characters say it and to see Shinji portrayed as such.  Somehow the acknowledgement of his loser nature and his cowardice (not in wanting to run away but in his inability to make his own decisions) manages to make him less annoying and more sympathetic. 
  • The streamlined pacing of this film allows for more robots and less Shinji being whiny.  There's definitely enough Shinji time to get the gist of his whiny-ness, but the film seems to cut out some of the more redundant whiny internal monologuing and whatnot.  And  I am grateful.
  • That scene at the end where they noticeably change the pacing of the overall series.  Okay, this has nothing overtly to do with Shinji, but I like that they put this in the first film and can't wait to see how it impacts Shinji's characterization.
It's been a while since I last saw the show and when I saw this beginning episodes I was busy looking forward to the episode where Shinji and Asuka go through intense dance training for our blue blood-red planet Earth humanity (more properly known as The Best Episode), but from what I remember, I would definitely recommend watching this film to someone interested in the story that made such an impact (Impact! Get it?) on anime and popular culture.  This film has me really looking forward to the second film, In Which They Make Obviously Changes.  The only problem was the lack of fantastic theme song  mentioned earlier, but at least there's a nice Hikaru Utada song at the end.

Experiment Update and Some Recommendations

Hello, internet.

Do to various circumstances, my shiny new schedule seems to have been thrown of from being dutifully updated every weekday due to me flying home and visiting relatives and a certain person falling a tad bit ill (it's not me for once!  that almost never happens!).  I am still planning on completing all the posts for the week, but they'll be up later than they had been and I'll either post twice on some days or put up posts this weekend to make sure I get all five.  I do still plan to cover all three of this week's features, but they won't all be able to be on their assigned days.

That said, having a set schedule seems to be working out so far, though the daily schedule doesn't seem maintainable in the long run, both because it can't stand up to unexpected surprises like this week and because it's just difficult to take the time to write good, substantive posts on a daily basis.  Also, I'm supposed to be focusing on writing a thesis or something and I have personal writing projects I want to work on as well, so once February has passed I'll probably cut down the schedule a bit.

In other news, I've been spending a lot of time in bookstores recently.  Along with picking up the third Cobra War book (how did I not know it was out in paperback? how??), I've been reading A Devil and Her Love Song, a shojo high school drama manga that avoids turning into another generic, cliche series.  The title and cover don't really stand out to me and I would have completely overlooked it but for this glowing review on Anime News Network.  If you are interested in a high school drama with a story outside the typical "average girl attracts the interest of popular boy" and with a leading character with a very strong, distinct personality, I would recommend tracking this series down.

I've also bee reading Bride's Story by Kaoru Mori (whose mad skillz I've mentioned before) and will gladly recommend it to everyone.  It's currently available in deluxe, hardcover volumes and I would say they are worth the price.  It's set in 19th century Turkic Central Asia and if you're familiar with Mori's work, you know she's good with historical details.  You can read a plot synapses on Wikipedia, but the characters are interesting and likable, the chapters are enjoyable, and the artwork is gorgeous because it is by Mori and historical details are not the only details she's good with.  I am pretty much guaranteed to talk about this series (and Mori) in greater detail some other time and I'm typing this several hours earlier than it's being posted, so I'll go to bed now and just trust you to read this series.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fiction Friday: Two and a Half Weeks Until Midnight Blue-Light Special!

I'm currently packing for an international flight, so today, let's talk about the upcoming release I'm most looking forward to: Midnight Blue-Light Special, book 2 of the Incryptid series by Seanan McGuire, to be released on March 5.  Seanan McGuire is quite clearly one of my favorite authors at this point (I'll probably discuss that in greater detail some other time) and last March I brought the first Incryptid book, Discount Armageddon, with me to a conference to read between (or in boring) panels.  It was fantastic.  I love McGuire's fun characters and detailed world building and that first Incryptid book went above and beyond my expectations, also revealing McGuire's willingness to research all sorts of weird biology things for her books.  If book 2 is anything like the first book, I will enjoy it immensely.  I'm looking forward to picking this book up as soon as the closest bookstore gets it in.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Favorite Ridiculous, Absolutely Bonkers Fictional Courtship

Let's face it: There are a lot of really weird love stories in fiction. From Romeo and Juliet to Buffy, many of the most memorable romances are those that are in some way bizarre if you give them a bit of thought.  That said, it would be impossible for me to judge what the most insane of such romances is; there will always be one stranger.  Instead, I'm going to talk about my personal favorite of such courtships, a courtship so insane that I've been wanting to write about it for over three years but never had the chance... until now.

Somehow managing to beat out the Bollywood musical that is Courtship of Princess Leia, my favorite ridiculous, absolutely bonkers fictional courtship is from Robotech/ Macross.  I will be using names and quotes from the Robotech version because I'm most familiar with it.  Telling you the identities of the two involved would be something of a spoiler for the series, so that shall be under the jump.

WARNING: Below Be Somewhat Spoilers For A Show Over A Quarter Of A Century Old. Click At Your Own Risk.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Webcomic Wednesday: Today Nothing Happened

As Valentine's Day approaches, it can feel like you're being bombarded with love and romance everywhere you look.  It seems only fair that, after a Valentine's Special post with romantic recommendations, I recommend something not focused on romance so that there can be a bit of a break from thee romance before tomorrow strikes. 

Today Nothing Happened is one of the few autobiographical journal comics that does not focus on the twists and turns of the creator's love life.  It chronicles the funny, weird, and interesting things that happen in the everyday life of Shazzbaa, the comic artist.  This comic always cheers me up.  Sadly, it ended last spring after four years, but Shazzbaa is currently writing and drawing another webcomic called Runewriters, a fantasy about magical problems and communication issues.  The art is fun and the dialogue is fantastic in both, and I highly recommend you check them out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Animated Tuesday: Valentine's Romance Special

As you may be aware, Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching.  As that gives me a convenient theme for this week, allow me to recommend a few well done anime romances.  If you're not in the mood to watch and/or read anything romantic around now, come back tomorrow for a non-romance-related webcomic recommendation.

Without further ado: to the bullet-points!
  • Toradora!-- This show is one of the best romantic comedies and/or dramas I have ever seen.  At the start, the characters seem pretty archetypical and the he premise is simple (and cliche) enough: two odd teenagers have crushes on each others' best friends and decide to help each other out.  As the show progresses, however, the characters are shown to be far more complex then they first appear, with issues and relationships much more complicated then you may initially guess.  This show takes typical romantic comedy anime archetypes and fleshes them out into fully developed characters.  In addition, Toradora! pulls it off with a minimum of male-gazey fanservice, proving that you can create an anime series with all of the strengths of the seinen romantic comedy and none of the weaknesses.  There is a reason this show earned the extremely rare "A" rating from Anime News Network's reviewer.  This series is licensed in North America by NIS America  and available on DVD in two sets.  The first six episodes are available for viewing on Crunchyroll, with the remaining episodes available for paying users.
  • Emma: A Victorian Romance-- Not to be confused with the Jane Austen novel, Emma is
    a romance set in late Victorian England (the 1890's, to be precise).  This is the story of a maid and a member of the gentry who fall in love and the stratified nature of Victorian society.  If you're sick of "Victorian-ish" settings and want some historical accuracy in your romance, look no further!  Based on the manga series by the talented (seriously, check out her cross-hatching technique) Kaoru Mori, a self-proclaimed Anglophile, historical consultants were used in the making of this series and the characters act the way you would expect people in their positions to act rather.  The series is often quiet and reserved, but it can pack plenty of drama when it's called for.  Split into two seasons, both are available in North America from Nozomi Entertainment and Right Stuf and Nozomi Entertainment has made the first two episodes available to view on YouTube.
  • Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions--  Believe it or not,
    this English title is actually less unwieldy than the Japanese title.  This show was hands down my favorite of the 2012 fall anime season.  "Chuunibyou" is a condition many people develop around 8th grade in which they delude themselves into believing that they're super special, whether by having special powers or remembering past lives or whatever.  Yuta has left his chuunibyou days behind him, but his classmate Rikka is neck deep in chuunibyou of her own and has attached herself to him.  This show is sweet and hilarious and even manages to fit in some (completely make-believe) action scenes.  The animation is gorgeous (no surprise considering the studio) and the comedic timing is wonderful. Like Toradora, Chunibyo explores and develops its characters beyond expectation and like Toradora, it manages to do so with little to no fanservice shots.  It even manages to completely avoid a "harem" situation despite the many female characters in the cast, in part by expanding the role of Yuta's best friend.  The focus for the first half of the series is on comedy and character introduction and it's enjoyable to watch, but the show gets into full swing in the second and focuses more on character and the central relationship while exploring why someone might dive into fantasy, why fantasy is important, and what "normal" is.  This series has been licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks and it's planned to come out on DVD later this year, but for now it can be viewed on The Anime Network (ignore their series description, it doesn't know what it's talking about), with the first episode available for free users.  If you enjoy the humor and characters in the first episode, I really would suggest paying for one month's subscription, watching the show, and then canceling the subscription.  This show is definitely worth the seven dollar fee.
  • Kimi ni Todoke-- Oh, hey, a shojo anime. This is a sweet, pastel-colored story about a shy, kind, and socially awkward girl
    who falls in love with a "refreshing" popular boy.  The main character is adorable (everyone is terrified of her and she's completely oblivious) and the love interest is popular because he's super friendly and their friends are fantastic and basically this show is for when you want something adorable and sweet and heartwarming.  Like Toradora, it is licensed in North America by NIS America and DVD sets are available, though only the relatively expensive Premium sets with lots of extras.  Also like Toradora, the first six episodes are available for viewing for free on Crunchyroll with the rest of the series available to premium members.
Honorable Mention:
  • My Little Monster-- The story of a girl who just wants to be left alone so she can study and the boy who needs to be socialized and won't leave her alone.  This romantic comedy is hilarious and fun and funny and absolutely worth watching.  Why is it only an "honorable mention," then?  Simple: at this point, it only feels half finished.  Hopefully there will be a second season to wrap things up but as it stands, it's a highly enjoyable series without a satisfactory conclusion.  All of this series is available to watch for free on Crunchyroll.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Let's Leave "Single's Awareness Day" in the Past

Guys, we need to talk.

I know this time of year can be hard on some people.  Valentine's Day is coming up and excessive commercialization of any festival can be irritating.  Decorations feel like they're everywhere, TV commercials keep bringing it up, everything is red or pink and heart-shaped.  For some, all of the festivities act only as a reminder that they aren't celebrating Valentine's Day.  And so the day gains a second name: "Single's Awareness Day."  It works, right?  Valentine's Day is all about significant others and romance and feels like it's just there to remind the "singles" of the world that they don't have those things, doesn't it?

I'm here to say "Enough."  But not to Valentine's  Day.

Enough of this "Single's Awareness Day" bitterness.

It's fine to be sick of Valentine's Day.  It's understandable to feel bitter about a day dedicated to couples, especially if you recently went through a messy break-up or something similar.  Why you feel that way and whether or not you need to work through those feelings are your business that you get to decide how to deal with them.

What isn't fine is when you start damaging other people's ability to enjoy the festivities.  Commercialized exploitation of a saint's day or not, there are people who want to enjoy Valentine's Day with the ones they love.  Contrary to how it may feel sometimes, Valentine's Day is not about making you feel miserable.  It's not about making you feel like you are lacking something.  That idea that you can only be complete with a significant other is a misconception that needs to be addressed, but Valentine's Day is not in itself about any bitterness you may have.

It's a day for people to celebrate their significant others.

As a single person, I ask that you let those people enjoy the holiday without making them feel uncomfortable or guilty with jabs about "Single's Awareness Day."  I would want to be allowed to celebrate festivals I care about without being all conversations about it becoming accusations or lectures against it.  It seems only polite to allow others the same courtesy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fiction Friday: Read Mageworlds Already

This first Fiction Friday will need to be short due to unforeseen events, so I'll get straight to the point: if you like space opera and/or the Star Wars: X-wing novels, you need to read the Mageworlds books by James D. MacDonald and Debra Doyle and if you have an e-reader you have no excuse not to.  If you like science fiction and fun, you should read at least the first three books (Price of the Stars, Starpilot's Grave, and By Honor Betray'd, respectively).  The characters are interesting and likable, the setting is well-built, the story is fantastic, and why are you still reading this when you could be reading about Beka shooting bad guys in the face.

If you need to hear more about the series to read it for some reason, here's an article at Tosche Station about the fantastic that is Mageworlds.  This is not the last  you will here from me about these books.  

Now go read some fun sci-fi.  That is what weekends are for.

I'll just collapse over here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Star Was Spinoffs: Han and Boba Walk Into A Bar

You may have heard that Star Wars spinoff films are plannedOne rumor claims that there will be stand alone films centering around Han Solo and Boba Fett, respectively.  Clearly, there are a lot of people who would love for this to happen.  Both characters are well known fan favorites; who wouldn't die to see movies completely about them?

Ready the hate mail.

I really don't care for the idea.

I worry about solo (hah) films, and not just because of my concerns about focusing too much on the actions of one character through the course of a story and not showing interactions and relationships.  If these films are made, it is entirely possible that Han and Boba would both have interesting, well-rounded supporting casts and lots of interaction.  While I would worry about the execution, this isn't my primary concern with the concepts.  Nor is my issue that Han Solo already has an origin story in the Expanded Universe books.  I have no problem with Star Wars having two continuities (something I'll discuss in greater detail some other time).  No, my issue with Han and Boba having their own movies is much simpler than that:


Most of my favorite characters in fiction of all forms (books, movies, comics, whatever) are supporting characters rather than the main protagonists.  Because they aren't the main characters, creators seem to feel more comfortable giving them a degree of unpredictability and an air of mystery.  The creators can also dose the amount of time you're exposed to a character, adding to the intrigue.  This, added to the fact that the audience primarily gets to know these characters through their interactions with the main character makes the audience's relationship with these characters different then that with the main characters.  Instead of being the characters you relate to and see yourself as, they get to be the characters you want to hang out with and wish you were.  These are the kinds of characters Han and Boba.

It's true that you can make good films about such overly amazing characters; the Indiana Jones films (at least the first and third ones) prove this.  The problem is with Han and Boba specifically.

I am tired of hearing about them.

I'm aware that this is a personal issue.  Not everyone has read Star Wars novels and is aware how much Han and Boba's roles grow.  But I'm also aware that I'm not alone.  As fantastic as they are in the Original Trilogy and as much as I loved both of them when I was little, I have been overexposed to them.  Stories focusing entirely on them have no draw for me because, frankly, I've heard it and seen it and read it before.  If these movies are made, I will be apathetic to them.  I love Star Wars, but it would take good reviews from specific people to make me care about Han and Boba movies.  At this point, I would much rather see movies with new characters with open futures instead of the back-stories of cool characters I've been hearing too much about constantly since I was five.

Feel free to comment and let me know if you agree, disagree, or what characters you wish would get their own films.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Webcomic Wednesday: Let's Look at Nedroid

For the first Webcomic Wednesday, I've just got a quick recommendation: Nedroid Picture Diary by Anthony Clark.  This comic is updated irregularly, but every page manages to make me smile.  Starting as a series of unconnected, slightly surreal comics, it gradually develops into a series of slightly surreal comics connected by Beartato and his friends.  The humor darkly cheerful, the art is bright and fun, and it's just an all around enjoyable series that likes to play with silly ideas.  Look at this page and try to resist reading through the archives.

That's all for now, folks.  Have some webcomic recommendations of your own?  Please leave a comment below.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Animated Tuesday: Winter Season Recommendations

Hello and welcome to the first Animated Tuesday!  The winter 2013 anime season is pretty well established now, so lets talk about a few shows that are worth checking out and where you can watch them.
  • Kotoura-san-- This show is the wonderful surprise of the season.  Kotoura is a girl who can read minds.  The problem is, she has very little control over her ability and can't easily differentiate between speech and thought.  Because of this, she has been abandoned by everyone she cared about and has decided that it's less painful to avoid any form of relationship than to have people she cares about push her away.  Then she meets Manabe, a boy who isn't frightened by her abilities and whose only concern about them is that he'll have to keep any dirty thoughts in check.  This show manages to shift between sweet, hilarious, and heartbreaking and covers some dark issues while still feeling sincere.  The first nine and a half minutes are possibly the saddest first nine and a half minutes of any show I've ever seen, but it does not wallow in despair.  Another nice thing about this show is the way Manabe's fantasies are handled.  Rather than showing every detail and playing them up for fanservice, his flights of fancy are mainly conveyed through his and Kotoura's humorous reactions, with most of the shown fantasies are kept short and played for comedy.  I would definitely recommend watching at least the first episode.  The series is being simulcast by Crunchyroll and you can watch it with a new episode every Thursday here, with episodes available to paying users the day they air in Japan and to free users the following week.
  • Maoyu-- Do you like fantasy?  Do you like macro-economics?  Then this is the show for you!  Humans and demons have been at war for the past fifteen years, so a Hero is sent to confront the Demon King directly.  Only the Demon King isn't a ruthless warlord who hungers to ravage the human world, but an attractive woman who wishes for the war to be over just as much as the hero does, but understands that the current economic situation will not allow peace.  So the Hero and the Demon King set out to stabilize the economies of the human world so that peace will be feasible.  This series is surprisingly engaging despite its relative lack of action.  The economics are understandable, the relationship between the Demon King and the Hero is adorably awkward, and the background political intrigue is interesting.  I would recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy with an eye at the bigger issues.  This is also being simulcast by Crunchyroll with new episodes every Friday and can be watched here, with episodes available to paying users the day they air in Japan and to free users the following week.
  • Tamako Market-- This show is adorable.  Energetic, enthusiastic, slightly dense Tamako is the daughter of a mochi shop (a particular kind of Japanese confectionery made from rice) who one day comes across a strange talking bird who is on a quest to find a bride for the prince of a distant land.  She is understandably shocked, but adjusts quickly and ends up taking him in and gets him addicted to mochi.  It doesn't take long for everyone else in the shopping district to take to the bird as well, despite the bird displaying increasingly strange abilities.  So far this show has a slice of life feel to it, establishing Tamako's relationships to the people around her, but there are mysteries present (Where's Tamako's mom? What's the significance of that song?  What's up with that bird, anyway?) that hint at a larger plot.  In addition, some of the relationships are more complex than they first appear.  This series is being simulcast on The Anime Network, with the first episode available to free users and the rest available to paying subscribers here.  New episodes are posted each week.  If you are interested in the show but don't want to pay monthly rates for an indeterminate period of time just for one show, I would suggest waiting until every episode is posted, pay the subscription for one month, watch it, and then cancel your subscription.  Seven dollars is a pretty decent price to rent a show.  While you're at it, watch Love, Chunibyo, & Other Delusions because it's fantastic.
  • Chihayafuru 2-- This is cheating because it's the second season of Chihayafuru, but, seriously, if you haven't watched Chihayafuru yet, do it now.  Then watch season 2.  Both seasons are available on Crunchyroll here, with new episodes of season 2 simulcast every Friday.
 That's it for the major anime recommendations of the season.  Tune in next week for more me rambling about animated things!

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Schedule! Let's Try For Consistancy!

Hey guys, long time no type!

As you've probably noticed, I haven't been posting much in the past year or so.  Since my brilliant strategy of "I'll post when I can" is clearly not working so well, I'm going to try a little experiment.  I'm going to write one post each weekday of February.

That's right.  Five posts a week.

But that's not all! There will be a bit of structure to this new schedule as well!  Three weekdays will have general themes while the other two will be whatever I feel like for that day.  So, without further ado, the new schedule:
  • Whatever Monday-- in which I ramble about whatever
  • Animated Tuesday-- in which I ramble about animated things, mostly from Japan
  • Webcomic Wednesday-- in which I ramble about webcomics
  • Whatever Thursday-- in which I ramble about whatever, again
  • Fiction Friday-- in which I ramble about fictional prose, primarily of the science fiction and fantasy variety
As an experiment, at the end of February I will evaluate the feasibility of continuing a regular schedule with set features.  As always your feedback is greatly appreciated.

The First Official Post of this new schedule will be late tomorrow (February 5).  Stay tuned!