Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Anime Rewards Continued: The Total Bullshit award (not as funny as the last post)

The Total Bullshit award for comedies drawing fun on making someone feel insecure about themselves goes to Denki-gai no Honya-san

I'm really sorry about this, but Denki-gai no Honya-san made me feel really angry. There's a character in it "Sensei-san" who is a manga author. The show frequently has characters make fun of her due to her "low girl power", which is to say she has mannerisms and habits that "a girl should not have". They often refer to some of her activities or mannerisms as "reducing her girl power" to the point of having arbitrary scales or bars on-screen. They then tell her about this or show her recorded footage leading to her getting worried about the boy she likes not liking her because of this. This happens frequently throughout the show and nobody backs her up or reassures her. The rest of the show is pretty funny, albeit a bit tedius at times, but christ I hate the other characters when they do this. I'll probably get told I'm taking a comedy too seriously, but sometimes a show like this takes things too far.

OPINIONS (dramatic music) - TheShillito's 2015 Anime Awards

Time to give out some awards for some animes. Without further ado:

The Not-Aikatsu Award for Best Idol Anime Other than Aikatsu

Love Live 2,

First to drop off the list is Locodol I'm afraid. It was fairly fun and seemed to be more about the general activities of local council sponsored idols promoting tourism rather than getting careers as "idols". They frequently say "we're locodols (local idols) not idols" when reinforcing this to people. Sadly, the show dragged on and it never really decided what it wanted to do as it eventually started pushing the girls into actual idol roles instead, which seemed odd considering they weren't supposed to be proper idols...I dunno.

Love Live season 2 drastically outperforms season 1 in my books. Season 1 was very much about setting the scene and getting everyone used to the characters. After season 1 ended, the hivemind got to work with fan art, more shipping than Parcelforce, etc. Season 2 came into play and, in some cases, flat out acknowledges these and runs with them up to the point of them actually confessing any feelings of course, we can't be having that! I also really appreciated how everyone in the show had also had enough with Nico's "Nico-Nico-Ni", often cutting her off or getting annoyed, the latter letting myself identify more with the characters (as much as an overweight white British guy can identify with adorable 2D idol singers at least). Sadly, I started to get very frustrated by the direction of certain sections of Love Live, particularly with the handling of the "Love Live" event itself and who won. Announcing the winner as an off-hand comment from someone and not showing reactions is AWFUL. The one moment I wanted to properly share with the group and NOPE. Thanks for that.

So that leaves me with PriPara. I can't get enough of this show. It started out very similar to Aikatsu! in terms of structure, however it changed drastically as they added more characters, fleshed out backstories and had the most amazing moment in idol anime this year: the acceptance of a non-female character in female clothing. One of the characters in PriPara is visually female and, indeed, a twin of another character. However, the character is male. When this was revealed, I was half expecting them to make a really big deal about it. A few people were surprised, sure, but then Mirei says something along the lines of "it doesn't matter what gender someone is, if they get a Pri Ticket, they can enter PriPara" and that's the last they say about it with the exception of the headteacher, who is portrayed as the "villain" generally anyway, so her complaining actually has the opposite effect. PriPara is a show I'm really enjoying watching and it is indeed still going, albeit the fansubbers have a few real-life troubles so they're a few episodes behind (there's no legal stream for this show, thanks Obama).

PriPara wins the "Not-Aikatsu award for Best Idol Anime Other Than Aikatsu" for 2014.

I feel honourable mention should go out to Wake Up Girls, but I didn't watch that. Sorry.

The Kylie Minogue Award for Song I Just Can't Get Out Of My Head

Extra Magic Hour (Amagi Brilliant Park opening),
Du-Du-Wa DO IT!! (Aikatsu! S3 opening),
Welcome!! DISCO Kemokemoke (Gugure! Kokkuri-san opening),
Marble Make up a-ha-ha! (PriPara Insert song),
Uraomote Fortune (Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun ED),
Witch ☆ Activity (Witch Craft Works ED)

These are all the songs that have been floating round my head at various points throughout the year. There's a few more there than there should be for a nominees list, but I couldn't not mention some of them, so I'll whittle them down a bit.

Uraomote Fortune has one of the most infectious intros of all of these, but that's really all this song has in terms of earworming. I typically had the "HANTAI NO HANTAI NO" etc bouncing round my head for hours, but not much else. The song was nice, don't get me wrong, but there's not much else earwormy to speak of.

Du-Du-Wa DO IT!! is a tricky one to review, as it's part of a continuing series (so I hear it at least weekly) and I know all the words to the first third (the third in the show, haha!) but the more I think about it, the less of an earworm it feels. I guess this one's out of the running too.

Marble Make up a-ha-ha! has a section where the characters, sorta, breathe out hard in rhythm to the music and it sounds ☆☆AMAZING☆☆ and I had this section in my head until I finally got the CD, and then I became obsessed with a different song on the album that overshadowed it. It was only really a small section of the song that stuck in my head, so it would be wrong of me to give it this award.

Extra Magic Hour "[twinkle] [ticking] LOOK TO THE SKY IT'S MAGIC HOUR [clap]" gosh this song is fun. The quiet introduction leading up to [Akino Intensifies] is the perfect moment to turn up the volume (and I do every time). This used to be what I started my drive to work with in the morning and the same on the way home. It used to often get stuck in my head at work and I would hum it regularly. This is definitely an earworm. I wonder if it's the winner...

Welcome!! DISCO Kemokemoke: Now we're talking. This is a song that was stuck in my head for quite a while. Multiple quotable sections, from the chorus to the "BOOGIE! dance dance dance" lead this song to be a major earworm. Bonus points for having Ono Daisuke in of course.

Witch ☆ Activity: Ah. Yeah, Witch Craft Works started airing in January and the single came out in February. I think it's safe to say we have a winner. From catchy lyrics that transcends language barriers to cover art that parodies Kraftwerk, this song is catchy on multiple mediums and has been with me for the whole year, and there's an OVA episode due out in a few weeks! Time to get witchy witchy

Witch ☆ Activity wins The Kylie Minogue Award for Song I Just Can't Get Out Of My Head

Honourable mention: Hana wa Odore ya Irohaniho (Hanayamata OP). I originally had this in the nominees, but then I realised that it's not that it's an earworm. It's because I love singing this song and it feels fantastic simply to listen to it.

The The Twintail Award for the Best Twintails in I Wanna Be The Twintail

Tail Red,
Tail Blue,
Tail Yellow

Tail Red is the winner. Red hair is great, but red twintails is something else. They're not the ones that go all twiddly at the end, they're straight and smooth. I also really like Tail Red because Red's actually a guy, so I can relate with wanting hair like that.

Tail Red wins the The Twintail Award for the Best Twintails in I Wanna Be The Twintail

Honourable mention: Tail Yellow just because her character when fighting is amazing.

The Shillito Cup for Best Aikatsu Song of 2014

Sweet Sp!ce
Eien no Tomoshibi
Du-Du-Wa DO IT!!
Good morning my dream

Sweet Sp!ce was used superbly as a rivalry song between Ichigo and Seira, though it was a shame they used "Friend" for the final showdown with WM. A good rock sound, with some electronic elements really reflects the two characters well.

Du-Du-Wa DO IT!! as mentioned earlier is a fun track to sing along to. The dancing in the opening sequence version is super fun, though the performance version leaves something to be desired.

Good morning my dream has some amazing sound samples in for all the clock noises, alarms, etc, leading to a very fresh sound for Aikatsu and a good sign of songs to come for the new series. It also continues the trend of me only liking every other Aikatsu ending song.

Eien no Tomoshibi has to win this award however. Like GLASS DOLL before it, this track continues the trend in gothic rock you can dance and sing along to with some fantastic instrumental sections and powerful singing.

Eien no Tomoshibi wins the Shillito Cup for Best Aikatsu Song of 2014

Honourable mention: Tarte・Tatin. Not out on CD yet, so don't know what the full version's like, but this song is pretty amazing, and I've got my eyes on Sumire as the only remaining Loli Gothic brand user in the show now Yurika-sama has a minor/rare role.

That's it for now. Might have some more ideas of dumb awards later, but it's 2am and I'm up at 9 WHOOPS BYE

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Updating MySQL records with a Microsoft Access front-end - lock violations?

As part of my work, I've been using Microsoft Access as the front-end for a MySQL database (there are reasons for it, don't ask). I came across a problem though. When trying to update a set of records, I always seemed to get the following error:
Microsoft Access can't update all the records in the update query.
Microsoft Access didn't update 0 field(s) due to a type conversion failure, 0 record(s) due to key violations, 883 record(s) due to lock violations, and 0 record(s) due to validation rule violations.
Do you want to continue running this type of action query anyway?
To ignore the error(s) and run the query, click Yes.
For an explanation of the causes of the violations, click Help.
[Yes] [No] [Help]

So as you can see, there's lock violations meaning they can't be updated. Or are there? Nope, there aren't any lock violations.

In my search to find out what was going on, there seemed to be a variety of potential causes. 1) No primary key in the table being updated. I made sure there was a primary key and there was. 2) A setting in Microsoft Access locked the records. Nope, it's in "No locks" mode. 3) MySQL locked the table, run UNLOCK TABLES to sort it. No difference.

I was starting to give up, until I looked closely at the message that came up before the error:
You are about to update 889 row(s).
Once you click Yes, you can't use the Undo command to reverse the changes.
Are you sure you want to update these records?
[Yes] [No]

What I didn't notice before was that 6 records were not affected by the lock violations. I opened up the SELECT equivalent of the query and reviewed the data. Turned out that those 6 records were the ones that would actually change their values, while the remaining 883 would remain the same.

So it sounds to me like Microsoft Access or the MySQL Connector is interpreting the server's response as refusing to update records, rather than "these records are already done mate, no point in doing it again". So clicking [Yes] on the error would update these 6 records and otherwise run the query as expected. However, this is not ideal in case there was an actual lock violation, so I modified the update query so that it wouldn't try to write anything to the field if it already contained the right value. Once I did that, no more error.

I don't usually post stuff on here, but it's worth sharing since there's no clear forum post or anything online about this, most go on about primary keys or just complaining about using Access as a front end for MySQL (often valid point, but not helpful when you're trying to fix a problem - looking at you Stack Overflow).