In which HD, and more specifically Mainichi Junk, rises from the grave of non-postiness.

Holy crap, there’s a blog here?

A look at posts from this time last year shows a similar gap in coverage, and I didn’t die then, so perhaps there is hope left for humanity, or at least democracy (of a very specific brand).

The brand that elects Abe to head the LDP? No, we’re talking about a Heisei Democracy, my friends – though Abe sure does make a convincing thumbnail (thanks BBC!).

So what’s been going on around here over the past few weeks? Everything and nothing. Having enticed a couple of Stateside friends to come over and teach English for the same company I work for has been great for my social life, but terrible for HD; in addition, taking the month of August off had the unpleasant (though anticipated) side effect of not being paid for said time period, leaving me now with perilously little cash with which to buy items normally covered here. Profligate spending at August events admittedly didn’t help the situation much, but I now find myself in the situation of a kid in a candy store without any arms and with a head too big to fit in the jars of delicious sugary goodness. The temporary solution, until my arms grow back or my head shrinks, has been to ignore the fact that candy exists.

…that ranks among the top ten worst metaphors ever published on this blog, I think.

Anyway, rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, and HD has in fact been keeping track of a few news items behind the scenes over the past several days.

One of them is Queen Bonjourno (Japanese title: “Queen ボンジョルの”), the new game from eroge maker G.J? and character designer Sano Toshihide. I picked up PUSH magazine yesterday to see what all the fuss is about, and from the few moments of lucid perusal I was able to garner before becoming lost in our metaphorical candyland of plush bosoms it seems we’re in for another in the quasi-serious G.J? line that has included Akibakei Kanojo and Shichinin no Online Gamers. This one is apparently set in both the present and a fantasy-themed past, replete with queens (of the heterosexual female type), hence the title… coverage is slated to appear on the game’s official site later today, so don’t take my word for it – check it out. [edit] those sneaky guys over at G.J? went and opened the official site for the game at a different URL than the one they’d been posting earlier teaser material to. Despicable!

Over this past weekend I came down with a very unpleasant head cold, rendering me worthless for updates but curiously still able to play through Shadow of the Colossus, which was one of the more amazing gaming experiences I’ve had in recent memory. I also played through the demo of Amatsu, which left me with mixed feelings – on the one hand, it’s very, very ero. On the other hand, it’s very, very reliant on cliched character types. Back to the first hand, the plot content in the demo was amusing enough. On the other hand again, glimpses of events to unfold later in the game seem to break with the buoyant vibe of the beginning. Enough with the Tevye channeling; more thorough impressions to come soon. Maybe.

In addition to to the effort required in “getting sick” and “hanging out with friends” I find myself currently preoccupied by possibility of obtaining “gainful employment” in a position rather more in line with my interests; this has had a strangely paralytic effect on the normally cornucopic posting process that must be shaken off. More on this later should it ever amount to anything.

Continuing with the litany of excuses for lack of gainful updates I have to mention that the Negative Campaign prizes are still gathering dust on my floor. I have packing material and the free time to use it, but the money to send anything is in very short supply and I’m expecting a postage bill in the tens of thousands of yen, an inconvenient truth forgotten in the glorious frenzy of initial site promotion. What this means is that yes, prizes will be sent, but it’s going to happen on HD time, which is something like bullet time only without Keanu Reeves around to say “whoa”. Whoa. In the interim I have been sitting at my desk feeling guilty about not sending anything while I continue to simultaneously not update the site. I’m trying to internalize the mantra that two wrongs don’t make a right, and hopefully this self-flaggelation will be enough to kick the posting habit back into gear.

As I made the transition into the brave new world of Heisei Democracy version 3 I had all sorts of grandiose plans for splitting Mainichi posts and providing three updates a day in the three categories that Mainichi usually divided itself into (media, ero, and hobby). This obviously has not happened; I’m not sure that it absolutely can’t, but until I figure out an efficient system for making the split – one that doesn’t end up involving three times the work – it’s high time to return to the tried and true formula, complete with its stuff you the reader will probably have no interest in. Daily junk is better than daily nothing, I figure.

Another part of the baggage that’s come along with the “upgrade” is the crackpot notion that somehow HD is more than a blog – some sort of “news” or “entertainment” “organization” or something. This is obviously not the case – if it were we’d be updating several times a day with poorly-spelled and researched headlines, not leaving weeks of mysterious unexplained absence between posts. As a blog I have to remind myself that we need not be constrained to the “news”, and that most of the content worth a sneeze is stuff more ponderous and analytical than that which daily hypelines are made of.

So, a return to principle. HD is a blog about stuff that I, and other like-minded and not so like-minded contributors who may deign to grace its digital pages with their presence, like. It’s no more and no less than that, but hopefully it’s enough. The past month saw us heading perilously down the road to becoming “slick”, a route which I frankly don’t want to take – we’re all about the down-homey atmosphere here, the veritable Prairie Home Companion of otaku blogs, complete with monologues that will put you to sleep.

Like this one.

To sum up for those few still awake, POSTING MENTAL BLOCK SMASH!! Who needs money, a guilt-free conscience, a lack of friends, and a burning desire inspired by existence in English education purgatory to muster the will to post consistently? NOT ME. This hereby marks HD’s confident return to regular updates, even if I have to pry my eyes open with burning hot pokers made of despair to stay awake and keep fingers pounding ham-fisted on the keyboard. Time to end this before the metaphors get even further out of hand…