February 21, 2015

Grrrr! Damn you, Microsoft!

I can't change the default player for MP3 files. It's set to "Windows Media Player" and frozen.

I can't uninstall Windows Media Player. It doesn't show up in the "Uninstall or change program" frame in the Control Panel.

I can't run WMP without going through a whole bunch of crap that's supposed to get me to subscribe to title-lookups and setting up playlists and buying stuff from the Microsoft music store and being part of weird social media shit.

This is how it feels:

So all I can do is to remember that I have to drag my MP3 files into Media Player Classic in order to avoid all that. It just plays the file; it doesn't do anything strange. That's what I want, but I can't make MPC my default MP3 player.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 04:17 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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February 20, 2015

Barakamon -- ep 2

I started watching Barakamon from last year, just for the heck of it. It's surprising. The main character is the straight man, around whom all the insanity flows, except that it's not that simple. He's angry and closed in, and it's clear that the story is going to be how the small town melts his heart and helps him find happiness inside, which will manifest in his art. (He's a calligrapher.)

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The core of the show is Naru, the bratty 6 year old who won't leave him alone. By the end of the second episode she's already beginning to affect him, and by that I mean in a good way. I was impressed by her voice performance so I looked up the seiyuu. Info is sparse; and this is her only role. It's virtually unknown for a new seiyuu to be picked for a lead role their first time out, so I'm coming to the conclusion that she's a kid. If so, she's really amazing, because it's a voice performance worthy of a pro.

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Naru the character is unique; I don't think I've ever run into anyone like her before. There isn't really any single word that easily describes her (besides "brat"); she's not insensitive, for instance. She's a bit of a tomboy. There isn't any hint of lolicon in the show, which is a relief. Her best friend is Hina, who is a crybaby. She's very shy. She cries when she's afraid. She cries when she's happy. She spends a lot of time crying. I have no idea how else her voice sounds because in the first two episodes she doesn't say anything.

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I knew that the core of the show was Naru and her relationship with Our Hero. I didn't know that there were a couple of middle school girls, too. This isn't a harem show, and Our Hero is in his 20s, but it's obviously a tease.

The house OH moves into had been vacant for a long time, and Naru and the two jailbaits had been using it as a clubhouse, sort of. They had posters up on the wall and had a ghetto blaster and some CDs there, plus cushions and cards and other stuff.

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The basic story is obvious: the tight-laced city boy is going to learn what life is really about from the island hicks; it's been told a thousand times. But if it's done well, it's still a good story, and so far it seems pretty good. I don't think I'll drop it yet.

UPDATE: Hina's seiyuu is 9 years old, so I'm certain now that Naru's seiyuu is a kid, too.

UPDATE: I think every one of the kids (and I've seen 8 so far) has a real child for a seiyuu. That's a really interesting choice by the director; it must have been a real headache in production. But it changes the feel of the show; a woman pretending to be a child just doesn't sound the same.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 03:35 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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February 19, 2015

But but but...

Why would anyone want to watch an AMV consisting entirely of guys and ducks bathing? Guys are icky.

Give me an AMV of girls bathing (with or without ducks), and I'll be right there -- even though I don't really get AMV's anyway.

(Someone posted something like this (NSFW) a few days ago. I didn't download it.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 02:03 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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February 17, 2015

A nice juxtaposition...

Just now I loaded my own page and got a really nice top picture to go with the rest of the page. See for yourself.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Site Stuff at 10:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Hyakka Ryouran Samurai After

It's a one-ep OVA. For a show like this, you'd expect the OVA to be loaded with fan service, but in fact it doesn't really have any more than the regular series did. There's some sort of story, but I watched a raw so I have no idea what it was.

Anyway, let's begin with some yuri:

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UPDATE: Everything below the fold is NSFW.

more...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 06:48 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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February 16, 2015

Fairy Tail-- chapter 420

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Looks like there's been a lot of powering up going on. Natsu we already know about, and in this chapter Lucy says she's been training too, and offers to spar with him. (It doesn't happen, but maybe later we'll see it.)

I wonder what Lucy has for us? There are several possibilities:

The first, and most obvious, is simply that her base power level has increased further. She did a triple summon in the Tartaros arc, and it damn near killed her, but she was able to keep it going. If she's been doing a lot of meditating, she may have reached the point where she can do three simultaneous summons without distress -- and if so, she's going to be terrifying. (Layla could do that. We saw a flashback where she had Aquarius, Cancer, and Capricorn all summoned at the same time.) It may also mean that Lucy is strong enough now to do Urano Metria without any help, and without keeling over afterwards.

Then there's the entire question of Aquarius's power. The Spirit King gave it to her during that battle in the Tartaros arc, and she used it to defeat one of the demons who otherwise would have killed her. Was that grant of power temporary or permanent? If she still has it, and can fight like Aquarius when need be (firing jets of water), then that will be a major change. (And if so, this might be why she's willing to spar with Natsu.)

With regular work and pay, she may also have purchased one or more new silver keys. The number of practicing celestial wizards has plummeted. There may only be the three of them. So the demand for keys likewise is down, and I bet they're a lot cheaper now than before. They aren't as strong as the gold keys but some of them are quite powerful, like Caelum (which Angel used).

Yet another possibility: has she learned to do Galaxia Blade? That's the attack the Spirit King used in the Tartaros arc.

We already know that Gray gained a big powerup from Zero during that battle, and I have a feeling that the author has decided that it's time for a general power boost in the series. In the next chapter we'll get to have a talk with Wendy, who's been hanging out with Chelia in Lamia Scale. It wouldn't surprise me if they've been training together and trading techniques, and if so she may be a lot stronger than before, too.

I wonder if Happy can learn to transform, and if so what he'd look like? (I wonder if he already knows how, and just hasn't shown it to us yet?)

UPDATE: Actually, it would be extremely surprising if Wendy and Chelia had not been sparring, at the very least. Since they're both healers, they could go full out in their fights, and if one of them really did get hurt, the other could heal it. So as long as they don't outright die, it's all good.

As similar as their magic is, it's also highly likely they've been teaching each other their best attacks. The magic doesn't have to be exactly identical; we already know that. Wendy had been learning attacks by watching Natsu, even though Sky Dragon Slayer magic is not the same as Fire Dragon Slayer magic. Sky Dragon Slayer magic is almost certainly similar enough to Sky God Slayer magic for the same thing to work.

Wendy's "Sky Drill" (her attack that almost knocked Chelia cold in the tournament) is surely decent trading material, and I have no doubt that some of Chelia's techniques would be useful to Wendy. Besides, they're friends. There doesn't necessarily have to be an exact quid pro quo.

I wonder if Wendy can learn to heal herself, for instance? That's a very powerful ability.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:41 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 15, 2015

Keeping up to date:

Nanatsu no Taizai is starting to get very serious.

I've given up on Absolute Duo. Episode 6 wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it still wasn't very good. Episode 7 is a swimsuit episode, and that's enough. Lilith is still ruining things, and I don't want any part of her. (Even when she's in a bikini.)

The Fairy Tail manga tosses in one-chapter stories occasionally, just for fun, and the last two episodes of the anime were based on two of those. Ep 44 was based on manga chapter 378.5 and ep 45 was based on chapter 376.5. (That's the official numbering scheme, and not my fault.)

The next arc they haven't animated yet is the one about the frozen village of giants and I suspect that's what's coming next.

The manga itself didn't end after the Tartaros arc, the way I expected it to. He pulled nearly all the Chekhov Guns off the wall for the Tartaros arc, but he left Acnologia alive (who is apparently the next big-bad) and Zeref is still out there.

He reveals (to us) that E.N.D., which all the demons in the Tartaros arc were attempting to activate, stands for and it'll be interesting to see what that means. It seems that all of this has been a very elaborate suicide plot by Zeref, who is immortal and doesn't want to be.

The guild broke up and scattered to the winds. Natsu and Happy went away somewhere to train and left no word. Lucy spent the year working at that wizard's tabloid, originally as a gravure model but now also as a reporter, working for Jason. Jason seems to be a flake, but he may be more savvy than that. Certainly he understands Lucy pretty well, and there's no indication that he's been doing anything improper. (Good thing, too. If he tried, Loki would show up and kick his ass.) Natsu just showed up again, and he and Happy grabbed Lucy and headed back out on the road -- without giving her time to tell Jason. But I think Jason won't be surprised, or particularly upset. He knows Lucy wants Fairy Tail to return. He knows she hasn't been really happy as a reporter and that she wants to go back to being a guild mage. Lucy has been keeping track of rumors about the activities of all the (former) members of the guild and it looks like Natsu wants to find them and pull the guild back together. We'll find out more about that tomorrow in the next chapter.

Hatsuyuki stopped subbing the new season of DBK about a month ago, but that's OK; it's now in the worst part of the entire canon, and even if they were doing it I would still probably have stopped watching.

WhyNot still hasn't released the sub of the Mouretsu Pirates movie. The "status" popup on their blog hasn't changed since mid-January. I don't complain (to them) because beggars can't be choosers, but the sheer lack of responsibility being demonstrated here is almost beyond belief. What's the subbing equivalent of vaporware?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:00 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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Lucy and Mirajane say...

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"Modeling is only a job."

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Cheesecake at 11:07 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 14, 2015

Dog Days S3 -- ep 6

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This week's eyecatch is Leo dressed in Yuki's clothes.

This episode was a lot of fun. Definitely a change of pace, for one thing, because it wasn't about the heroes. Leo is old enough to get married (I think the canon is that she's 16) and clearly is physically mature enough for it -- and has been for a long time. So every year they hold an arranged-marriage meeting.

more...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 01:20 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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February 13, 2015

It's all my fault

The governor of Oregon just announced his resignation from office.

Three years ago, my US Representative resigned.

And when I was living in San Diego, my US Representative there resigned.

Lessee, who should I target next? How about Jeff Merkley?

UPDATE: Before Duke Cunningham, my US Representative in California was Bob "Filthy" Filner, who later resigned from the office of Mayor of San Diego.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 03:40 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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