FCC Chair: Comcast should be punished

Remember that thing last year about Comcast throttling P2P traffic, especially torrent traffic?

Well, the FCC doesn’t seem too pleased about that:

The head of the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday that he would recommend that Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, be punished for violating agency principles that guarantee customers open access to the Internet….

“The commission has adopted a set of principles that protects consumers access to the Internet,” the commission chairman, Kevin J. Martin, told The Associated Press late Thursday. “We found that Comcast’s actions in this instance violated our principles.”

Mr. Martin said Comcast had arbitrarily blocked Internet access, regardless of the level of traffic, and failed to disclose to consumers that it was doing so.

The FCC will vote on August 1st on whether to order Comcast to stop the practice and to give the FCC details details about the whats and hows of the program.  There was no word on what other “penalty” might in included other than telling them to stop doing it, though.

It’s still nice to the FCC slap out any pretense of anti-net neutrality behavior by ISPs.

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5cm Per Second, Innocent Venus get the axe

In more fun for ADV films, they have announced the discontinuation of 4 more titles: 5 Centimeters Per Second, Best Student Council, Innocent Venus, and Robotech.

ADV has not said whether they were also licensed by Sojitz like the 32 other titles that they lost or not, though I wouldn’t be surprised since it would seem to be odd for ADV to license these outside of Sojitz (except for perhaps 5 Centimeters).

This leaves Kurau: Phantom Memory as the only recent ADV release which it hasn’t lost or at least “discontinued” (Kurau was licensed 4 years ago just before it aired).  However, somehow I don’t think that ADV will be able to keep running the business on the back of Kurau.

H2O: Footprints in the Sand – Anime Review

The Essentials

Name: H2O: Footprints in the Sand
Genre: Drama, Romance
Episodes: 12
Released: January 3, 2008 – March 20, 2008
Based On: H2O: Footprints in the Sand visual novel by Makura
Director: Hideki Tachibana
Produced By: ZEXCS
US Distribution By: TBD (licensed by Kadokawa Pictures USA)

Major Japanese Cast

Takuma Hirose: Ami Koshimizu
Hayami Kohinata: Harumi Sakurai
Hinata Kagura: Ryouko Tanaka
Otoha: Mia Naruse
Yui Tabata: Mio Yasuda
Hamaji Yakumo: Yui Sakakibara
Hinata’s grandfather: Katsumi Chou
Yukiji Yakumo: Emiri Katou

Major English Cast

N/A

Scores

Animation: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Story: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Music: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 8/10 (x 2 = 16 pts)
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 6/10 (x 5 = 30 pts)

Total: 134/190 (70.5%)

Review

H2O: Footprints in the Sand is mainly about Takuma, a blind junior-high boy who has moved out to the countryside with his uncle. The reason for their move is to help Takuma recover from the trauma of his mother’s apparent suicide when he was younger – a trauma so severe that it’s caused him to go blind.

Once in his new town, Takuma meets three girls. The first girl is Hayami, a very reserved girl who is hated by the rest of the town to the point where bullies regularly beat her up without interference – something which Hayami herself seems to put up with. The second girl is Hinata, who is the granddaughter of the town elder, is popular, pretty, and clumsy, and otherwise a so-called pillar of moe. The third girl is Otoha, who claims to be a spirit, calls Takuma “the promised one” and gives him the ability to see again, even if just temporarily.

As the series progresses, one digs around here and there for things about the town’s past, though things tend to come out only in bits and pieces and probably overall too slowly, even though it’s only a 12 episode series. For example, we don’t really even find out why the town hates Hayami until about halfway through the series.

The series also tends to try to pick up and keep momentum through a series of plot twists instead of really picking a plot and sticking with it. Unfortunately, the series feel that each plot twist has to top the previous one, and things seem to start getting out of hand after a while and the series seems to lose coherence as it progresses.

I guess when everything is taken together as a whole, H2O is a marginally respectable series, but despite all of the supposedly shocking plot-twists, it still has a problem with keeping one interested, which is a serious flaw.

As for the technical aspects, The animation is OK, though not great, and the music is about normal.

If you like a drama full of twists and turns, then you may like H2O, but it definitely has it’s pitfalls as well.

First Watched: January – March 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: No