It’s time to sum up everything that happened and not happened in year 2018!

So… The biggest achievement of the year is certainly our trip to Japan. I’d been dreaming about it for years and years and finally we did it! Not for the last time I hope, because we could’ve easily spent another week in Tokyo, not mentioning other cities. I’m still planning on writing up how it was. One day.

Submitted our permanent residency application (and still waiting), a short trip to the US might also be worth mentioning, as well as our weekends spent in a couple of cities in Ontario (is it fair to say that we “travelled a lot” this year?) Our cat is getting fatter and bigger (and dumber) but this is not exactly something new. The last but not least — we had a chance to attend concerts of great bands such as Judas Priest, Slayer and Anthrax accompanied by other great bands — Saxon, Testament, Havok.

At work I spent a significant chunk of my time fixing various stuff and implemented just a couple of new features. But hey, after all, our work is to make artists and designers’ life more comfortable, not aimlessly making new shiny bells and whistles. And no, of course I’m consoling myself =(

Music. Looking now through the list of albums I listened to and the year appears to be pretty average. So I don’t have any other choice but to nominate Judas Priest’s Firepower to the album of the year! I’d say that it’s their best album in years and if google music hadn’t screwed up the how-many-times-you-listened-to-this-song counter at some point, it’d be a huge number now. Other than Firepower we had next goodies: “Sacrament of Sin” by Powerwolf, “The Face of Fear” by Artillery, “Speed Between The Lines” by Gama Bomb and surprisingly adequate Dee Snider’s solo album “For The Love of Metal”.

Books. Year 2018 was a year of Stephen Donaldson for me, thanks to my co-worker Rob. I read the first two books of the Gap Cycle (The Real Story is much better and Forbidden Knowledge), finished off the first book about Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever and one of the Donaldson’s books with short stories. If I had to pick one book it’d be The Real Story.

Games. Comparing to the music land this year for games was amazing. I completed Detroit, GoW, H:DZ, Persona 5, Ni No Kuni 2, Nier: Automata as well as some smaller games. Judging by the amount of time wasted on a game the trophy should go to Ni No Kuni 2 but considering all pluses and minuses I’d say that new God of War is the The One.

And, of course, anime ^_^ Years when new Monogatari didn’t come out are tough years, so I’ll be short.

The best story — none. It’d probably be the remake of Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu if it was finished.

The best comedy — Asobi Asobase. The best comedy about naked men — Grand Blue.

The best love story — Bloom Into You. Special prize, the best love story about otaku — Wotakoi (was a very cute show in general).

The best visual — Asobi Asobase, Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, Violet Evergarden, Fate Extra: Last Encore, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu.

My favorite characters — Takagi-san, Hitomi (Hinamatsuri), Sakurajima Mai and Yuu from Bloom Into You.

The best anime that wasn’t made in 2018 but I watched it only this year — The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl.

The best opening — Bloom Into You. The best ending — Fate Extra: Last Encore. Nastya would probably add the ending of Hisone To Maso-tan =)

And, the best show of 2018 is Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou — I really look forward to the rest of the story.

2019 plans. Travel to Japan again. Learn Japanese at some basic level. Move in a house. Finally get that damn Canadian driver licence =) Doesn’t sound overwhelming but at he same time it’ll occupy me for a while.


Animelog: Beelzebub-jou no Okinimesu mama

A useless, super-sweet, on the verge of being saccharine, but, nonetheless, not awful anime. Another one in the category “I have no idea why we decided to watch this”. I think that if the season was more impressive we would’ve just cast a glance full of contempt at “As Beelzebub-sama likes” and moved on to watching another highly intellectual anime about manga writers and their younger sisters mutually seducing each other or about the vampires making another attempt to destroy everything on their way and govern this world (the attempt which is, of course, bound to fail) or whatever else. However, this fall shows were being dropped at a catastrophic speed, so a show about the, hm, curvy ruler of Pandemonium, who’s slowly falling in love with her assistant survived until the very end.

Long story short — it’s based on a yonkoma (and a lot of situations are accompanied by a pleasant voice of the narrator) and some jokes are good (not many though), others are just ordinary; the characters have their strictly predefined roles and follow them from episode 1 to episode 12; the visual is slightly unusual and probably should emphasize the ふわふわ nature of this anime — the heroes eat ふわふわ cakes, sleep wearing ふわふわ sweaters and surrounded by ふわふわ creatures.

I kind of regret that we spent time on this show but, on the other hand, hell! we’ve watched so much, let’s say, not impeccable anime already, so one title more or one title less doesn’t make a huge difference and “As Beelzebub-sama likes” definitely wasn’t the worst I’ve seen.

Whereas I’m currently catching up on a bunch of anime — Baccano, which I’d been going to watch for a long time; Seitokai Yakuindomo (don’t even ask, I even contrived to add it to the dropped list after the first episode but for an unknown reason turned on the second one a bit later and it happened to be even sometimes funny); Kimi Ni Todoke and the second season of Natsu No Arashi  — there’s only one game I’m chewing, Blue Reflection. Honestly, I thought that it’d be a low-budget JRPG I’d get tired of after a couple of hours but, surprisingly, so far everything is not that bad. Yep, it’s made on a shoestring budget, the story is built using nothing but cliché and during the first tutorial parts it’s demonstrated that when it’s raining outside the shirt of the main heroine realistically becomes transparent you won’t be able to find your friends at the courtyard or at the field (which is also astonishingly realistic). However, its setting is super-cute and after watching a hundred or two school anime titles all those stereotypes act like a factor helping to dive deeper into the game, not as a rage provoking. And yeah, there are some jokes =)

I’m in love with their classroom

After reading rants on the state of modern C++ and ranting about it myself, I just wrote a piece of code containings lines like this one:

details::AllocElement<T, A, type_traits<T>::requires_allocator()>::allocate(f, allocator_);

Shame on me — and sometimes I think that the whole idea of writing a brand-new STL replacement for a pet-project is kind of stupid. At least, I learned something new — that in C++17 it’ll be possible to write

if constexpr(expression)

To console myself — another goal of questionable beauty in NHL 19

Animelog: Bloom Into You

After my disappointing experience with “Rascal Does Not Dream-you-know-the-rest” it’s time to write about a pleasant surprise. Honestly, I do not want to complain about Bloom Into You and that means something! Well, okay, there’s actually one thing I can’t be silent about — it’s a shame they didn’t even show the school festival in the first season. I wish the manga wasn’t an ongoing and we could see the story in its entirety. But… heh, we should be satisfied with what we got.

Touko and Yuu’s love story is gentle and astonishingly catchy. Maybe because of Yuu, who is more realistic than I dared to see — and it’s very touching and fascinating to observe how her feelings are slowly changing. Maybe because this show is not so straightforward as most of 少女愛 or 少年愛 anime I saw before (my experience is limited though, and yeah, I’m trying to use kanji here and there to memorize them). Maybe because it’s so nice visually.

As I said, Yuu’s feeling, which are moving from “whatever” to “I still don’t want to admit it but seems… I love her” makes the anime look dynamic and creates an impression of something new every episode. Even though, technically, we barely saw anything at all during those first 13 episodes. So, let’s cross fingers that the second season won’t be worse and, of course, that Yuu and Touko will end up together. After all, romantic stories should have a happy end ^_^

A very good blog post demonstrating the pitfalls of the direction modern C++ is moving in. Compile times and debug times are important but, personally, the most important thing is that sometimes the code is over-complicated, at the level of almost utter un-readability.

To my shame, at one point it felt kind of exciting to use boost. And patterns of object-oriented programming (nowadays I’d probably burn myself at a stake for that). But the more I was writing C++ code the more unnecessary and complicated that approach started to seem. After all, programs, which are easier to understand are easier to debug, modify and optimize. Does anyone really knows modern STL, for instance?

Every light has its shadow though and now it’s very difficult to move myself from a different pole — I became very apprehensive about any new features of the language. Even C++ 11, which has been around for years is something I’m not especially familiar with =(