So when I heard about Anime Network putting up the first episode of Tengen Toppan Gurren Lagann, I was stoked. Seriously, this is what the anime blogs and the ANN forums have clamored about for the last few months. Now it isn’t necessarily as quick as it needs to be to eliminate the need for fansubs, but it’s a step in the right direction. Moe Check!, Anime Diet and The Anime Almanac all wrote good posts on it and I’d just be repeating them.
In fact I was so stoked that I NEEDED to see it right then. After hearing how great this series was, I wanted to understand what it meant to have a drill that pierced the heavens. Doesn’t everyone want to be in on the joke?
What follows is a transcript of what happened:
12:00 AM – Ooooo. Neat. I can finally see what all this hype is about. First go to ANN – and there’s that banner. Hell, they’ve turned their entire front page into an ad for the Anime Network, which is nice because then I don’t have to sort through their news to find the article with the link. All I need to do is click and… there. And it’s right there on the front page, all I need to do is hit the banner. It says I need Flash 9 to run this, I don’t think it’s a problem. Click. And there we are coming into ADV land, time to pull up Gurren Lagann and just watch it. It all seems pretty simple.
12:10 AM – So the first ad, I see is for a home loan? Um… yeah. How come I don’t think that’s your target audience there, guys? Who do you think watches anime? The nine to five, shirt and tie crowd?
Granted, it’s for one of those, “Sure, we’ll give you money for nothing. Except that if you miss a payment you’re interest rate is going to go up to a million percent. Oh you didn’t see that, it’s right there in the fine print.” companies.
12:11 AM – Okay, that exercise in silliness is done. Now for the show.
12:12 AM – I’m waiting.
12:13 AM – I’m still waiting.
12:14 AM – Um, yeah. I’m going to get coffee.
12:16 AM – Okay, so I’m done with this. I’m going to shut this puppy down and try to reboot Internet Explorer. I get the oh-so-helpful box of death from Vista asking me whether I want to A) Close the program. B) Shove a banana up my butt and dance around like a monkey. or C) Wait until the ice caps melt and use the salt water to channel the signal directly to my brain. I choose A. (Okay so I almost made a Pokemon crack right there, but I figured that it would be a little too groan inspiring.)
12:18 AM – Starting up IE again. I go through all the same steps again. Pull up the Anime Network’s screen and wait. Okay so another ad, it’s one of those bizzarro ANN ads. Sorry to break it to you guys, the fastest doesn’t mean the best. But I’ve already done my ANN rant. I’m not going to talk about it any more.
12:20 AM – So I’m still waiting. As I’m waiting, I notice there’s an error symbol down in the corner of the window. Hrm… I wonder if I don’t really have Flash 9. It’s possible. I mean the computer isn’t a year old yet, but those folks over at Adobe could have churned out a new version by now.
12:25 AM – I go to the Flash Site, and dance around the pages. Hrm… well, it says I’ve got Flash 9. Maybe I just don’t have the latest version. So, I download it and head back to the Anime Network page.
12:28 AM – Now, it’s giving me a pop-up window. I’m getting excited, maybe I’m going to finally get to see the show. I’m trembling with anticipation. Okay, so maybe I’m not trembling, but I’m starting to get stoked. Why? Because I want to drill my way into the heavens. Oh yes. I’m started to be able to find the show without even trying. I pull it up and sit through another ad. This time for UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie. I still kind of want to see that show… except that it looks kind of stupid, oh wait, that’s done and here we go!
12:29 AM – Here we go?
12:30 AM – We’re going any time now?
12:31 AM – Okay guys, this is starting to get ridiculous. I know that this thing works. I saw three, count them, three blog posts reviewing this player. But do I get to see the show? No, of course not. And why not? I’m starting to think ADV has honed in on my computer and is denying me this show on purpose. I can imagine John Ledford has sent out a memo saying, “Yeah, everyone else in America and Canada can watch this show, but you see that guy over in Maryland, I think his name is Cameron or something. Well he can’t watch it. Why? Did you just ask me why? To the re-education camps with you!”
Just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me.
12:40 – After not only trying to load Gurren Lagann, but also another random show. I’m pretty sure it isn’t going to work for me. So I’m left with only one recourse – to restart my computer. I hate doing it because it always takes forever to restart, but I WILL SEE GURREN LAGANN TONIGHT!
12:50 AM – After a cigarette break, I come back to my computer. This time, yes this time, I will have a heavenly drill that will piece the ceiling that ADV has put above me. Oh I’m going to be on team Lagann that’s for certain.
12:55 AM – I’m denied yet again.
1:00 AM – I go onto Netflix and watch an old episode of Saiyuki. Yeah… it sucks, but at least I get to watch it.
Epilogue – I did get the player to work this morning. But there isn’t a FAQ for the player. There’s no way to troubleshoot it. In fact, if it doesn’t work then evidently you’re screwed and that’s that.
Or John Ledford really does have a crystal ball and is gunning for me. I mean who knows. Maybe I did something to him in a previous life.