September 19, 2016

America's loony party

There was a Python sketch where they were announcing vote results for some national election or other, and one of the competitors was the Loony Party.

America seems to have its own Loony Party now. They call themselves the Greens. These are the people who think we can run the country entirely on solar power and wind power if only they can manage to force people to stop using fossil fuels. (And I'm not going to go into why that's idiocy. I really hate writing about "renewable energy".)

Today their candidate for President, Jill Stein, said that no one should be permitted to run for President unless they've spent time in prison.

Ummm...

You don't suppose we could get going on letting Hillary get her qualifications in, do you?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 05:24 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 18, 2016

Ouch Comcast!

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Comcast's local infrastructure is unstable this evening. It's not enough of a failure to be completely unusuable, but enough to make some pages not load properly or not load at all. I hope they get it cleaned up by tomorrow; there better be someone out there working on it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 08:49 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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Minami Kaburagi, MD

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Minami-san is one of the most interesting characters in Haifuri and probably the most important after Misaki kanchou. She arguably contributed more to the victory than any other single person in the entire show.

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Which is all the more impressive because she's only 12 years old. All her crewmates are 16, being first-year highschool. Minami is a super-genius and skipped a bunch of grades so as to enter and graduate from University. I am not actually sure if she's a finished doctor or merely a pre-med graduate, but if she isn't legally a doctor it's clear she's got the knowledge and skill. So she checks out some people rescued from a sinking ship.

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She's got brains and she's got guts. Hiding under a bed in sick-bay actually was intelligent in this particular moment:

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The way things turned out, the only way to save the crew of some of the ships is to board, and she's a necessary part of the boarding party.

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She's loaded up and ready to rumble.

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Well, she doesn't actually rumble. It's the job of the other four to bring down opposing crew, so that she can inject each one with the drug she's created.

If anyone beyond the captain gets a decoration or a personal commendation, Minami-san certainly will be among them.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 12:19 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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September 16, 2016

Sequels

Don reports that there's going to be a new entry in Girls und Panzer. Not yet clear if they're talking about a movie, or an OVA, or a new series.

Sequels are hit-and-miss. Sometimes the basic series concept can support innumerable sequels, or at least the customer base will. There have been about 47 Gundam series, and maybe 39 Pretty Cures. Case Closed has run an astounding 833 episodes so far plus more than 20 movies.

But sometimes the fundamental story idea just can't reasonably be stretched into a sequel, and they try anyway and bomb. There was an American TV series called Twin Peaks, which was a mystery story about a murdered girl, and at the end of the first season they revealed who the killer was and wrapped up the mystery. Problem was it got fantastic ratings, and the network paid for another season. And there wasn't any more story to tell. They did do another season but it stunk.

Sometimes it can't be reasonably stretched to another season and they recognize that fact and do something else instead. That's what happened with Mahou Tsukai Tai. The OVA was outstanding and at the end the aliens left and promised never to return. There were hooks that looked like they were trying to leave the door open for the aliens to return. But when they did a sequel, they told an entirely different story, that had nothing to do with the aliens. And it was really good, too.

Sometimes there's enough story for a couple of seasons, even three. I'm glad we got three seasons of Dog Days and I enjoyed them all. I see enough story potential there for one more, if they choose to do it. (Basically: what and where do all the demon swords come from, and can we end it?) But if they don't do another season, I'll be fine with what we have.

I'll take anything they want to give me in the Nanohaverse. It was a disappointment that VIVID didn't finish the story, and they don't seem to want to continue it. The new show coming up this fall (Vivid STRIKE) is placed in the same era as VIVID but isn't a continuation of that story, so far as I can tell. (Team Nakajima are in it but the story isn't centrally about them.)

I'll take a new Mouretsu Pirates series too, please. Plenty of story there left to tell.

Which brings us to Girls und Panzer. The plot driver for the TV series was two-fold:

For the movie they used the same plot hook. The sleazy bureaucrat said,

So if there was going to be another OVA, what would it be? Actually, they did to another half-hour OVA; it was included on the BD for the movie and it was about Alice Shimada visiting Ooarai. Basically a comedy, and it worked.

But for the upcoming show, I don't see what they could do that would actually make sense. They can't go back to the "OMG the school will close" well for a third time because it would be a ripoff. There are a lot of stories which could be told about those girls, but it isn't obvious how senshadou would be central to them. For instance, Miho could reconcile with Shiho; it would be a huge change for Shiho but it's not entirely implausible.

For the upcoming professional league, someone could scout Miho for one of the pro-teams. (I think it's a foregone conclusion that someone will considering everything Miho has done so far; she's definitely an ace.) But they wouldn't scout the entire Ooarai team, so the audience wouldn't get to visit Rabbit team again, or Anteater, or Hippo, or Leopon, or any of the other eccentric groups which are as much a part of this series as Miho is. They might not even scout Miho's crew from Anko.

I don't see it. Unless someone gives me a tremendously pleasant surprise, I'm afraid this new show is going to be really derivative and stale.

So give me more Vivio. Give me more Natsu and Lucy. But I think I don't want any more Girls und Panzer.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 06:18 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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September 14, 2016

Nihongodict rises from the dead

Last weekend Nihongodict went off the air. The URL was parked by GoDaddy. And I feared the worst, because I use it a lot.

I sat down this evening to write an obituary, and tried it one last time AND IT WAS BACK AGAIN! YAY!

Probably someone forgot to pay the registration fee for the URL, and fortunately it wasn't instantly grabbed by SEO vultures or porn spammers. I guess GoDaddy gives you a grace period before auctioning it off to the vultures.

An SEO vulture tried to buy "denbeste.nu" from me one time; they contacted NuNames who forwarded the offer to me, such as it was. Anyway, I've got it paid up to 2022.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 07:08 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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September 13, 2016

Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST

There are basically two different attractions to this series. First, there are hyper-powerful girls fighting spectacular battles, firing energy bolts at their opponents. I always like that.

Second, there are lots of rather explicit sex scenes. They're about as explicit as they can be without the show becoming hentai and requiring lots of censorship under Japanese law and being sold under a plain brown wrapper.

You might be surprised to learn that I always skip through those parts. The reason is that while it isn't exactly rape, it isn't really consensual either. It's Maria's fault.

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Maria is a succubus, and of course succubi are all about sex. That's what they do; that's what they are. Maria has cast "master-servant" spells on all the women bonding them to Our Hero, and if they have fulfilling sex with him they powerup. Which isn't exactly a new concept, but this show handles it somewhat better than most. There are side effects of this spell which Maria doesn't bother telling anyone about until they come up, and she didn't do that spell for herself, mainly because she doesn't need to. As a succubus, hot-and-heavy sex has always powered her up. And she's ready, any time, any place. (Also, she has a super-saiyajin mode for real emergencies.)

Anyway, after most of the women have taken on this spell, every time the team faces a huge challenge and has ample warning, then they have an orgy the night before. Which I always skip.

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No one except Maria (on the left) looks eager, do they? They're all doing it voluntarily, but not for the right reasons. Our Hero (not included in that picture) has about the same attitude; he does it, but he doesn't really want to because he's not a lech and he's got too much other stuff on his mind. So usually it's Maria that gets everyone together for it. And no one really resists too much because they don't want to die in the upcoming battle.

Anyway, in addition to all the other things you'd expect from a succubus, Maria is also a voyeur, and I really like the fact that her "bland name" camera is NOSY, a beautiful pun.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 05:37 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Windows 10 -- Humongous update

I woke this morning to find my torrent machine turned off. Which means Windows UPDATE installed something that required a reboot, and it timed out and auto-shutdown afterwards.

So... power on, log in, start uTorrent again, and then switch over to my main machine and manually invoke the same update.

Man, it was huge. Between downloading and installing it took about 4 hours! They must have replaced most of the OS.

It pinned Edge on my task bar, so I gave it a try. It doesn't interest me, if for no other reason than because it doesn't run flash. I visited Chizumatic and the top rotation was blank. It also doesn't like the way my LAN is set up; it works, but when it starts it complains that it isn't working, even though it does work. It also used Times New Roman (which I despise) as the default display font. Probably there are ways to fix those things, but frankly I can't see any reason to bother trying to find them. I did try to figure out where the font was controlled and spent about 5 minutes before giving up. I don't need the hassle.

So it got unpinned, as well as a couple of other cruft icons which automagically appeared.

My biggest problem right now on the main computer is that the clock at the bottom of the task bar is displaying in black on a black background, making it pretty useless. Strangely, it's white-on-black on the other computer.

I really don't like having the taskbar being black, anyway, but I can't find anywhere that allows me to control that color. Anyone know where it is? And it would be nice if I could make the clock be white again instead of black.

I just noticed something else: windows used to be blue on the top line and gray all the rest of the way; now they're blue all around. (When selected.) Which is an improvement, but I would like to find the place where that's controlled and do some adjusting.

I do hope I'm not going to regret installing this update. I always feel a bit of fear when I install something like this. I don't think it's going to be a problem, however. The torrent machine, which installed it first, seemed to be working fine afterwards before I did the update to my main computer.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 11:31 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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September 12, 2016

Ange Vierge ep 10 -- catching up

The basic plotline of Ange Vierge seems to be the same, told many times about different girls. Sometimes it takes one episode, sometimes it takes two.

Girl Of The Week sits in the bath, accompanied by fog and gratuitous beams of light, and angsts about how she was mean to Amane (the "Alpha Driver", also the human player avatar, currently locked inside a giant crystal) and about how someone she knows from her own dimension has turned to the dark side and represents a mortal danger. She may be accompanied in the bath by one or more other girls from her team, and ultimately GOTW decides she has to return home and take on the Dark Side Girl (easily recognized, because her eyes glow red). There's a tremendous battle, interleaved with scenes back at the fortress of other girls bathing, and in the end GOTW wins and the Dark Side Girl's eyes stop glowing red and she stops being of the Dark Side.

Each of the five girls of the team ultimately have to go through this. Ep 10 was the fourth, the girls from the green world named Nya. In her case it wasn't so much that she couldn't defeat Dark Side Girl as that she couldn't work up the will to let loose. Finally she did, leaving an immense crater with DSG laying (otherwise unharmed) at the bottom of it.

The next-ep trailer says ep 11 is going to be the same thing, this time for Saya.

Every episode has copious baths. I think those girls spend two thirds of their free time bathing. And I think it's a foregone conclusion that the BDs are going to be decensored. For instance, I bet these four aren't wearing convenient shirts and shorts in the BD version.

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They were bathing and got attacked and tried to fight back, and convenient yellow glowing clothing appeared to make it so they didn't have to fight shrouded in fog. I haven't got the slightest doubt the yellow clothing won't be on the BD. Or the towel, and the one on the right won't be covered so thoroughly in bindings. (Yeah, they lost and got captured.)

This continues to contend with HxH for the pandering trophy for this season and though I haven't watched anything at all of HxH I think Ange Vierge isn't winning. But in terms of quantity Buy-the-BD shots it is certainly doing its best.

In terms of how it ends, my guess now is that all five end up holding hands in a circle around Amane's crystal and firing up their power, which will feed to Amane and cause her crystal to shatter, freeing her. Then the team will take on a BigBad and win, and the crisis will be averted, temporarily. But the war will go on. Of course. (If the war ended, there wouldn't be any reason for you to buy cards and help fight it!)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 06:14 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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September 10, 2016

Game consoles

Today's search term is "handheld_game_console. I've never owned one, you know that? I've never even tried to play a game on one. The first few I looked at had, by my standards, dreadful displays; grainy and not backlit. I suspect my impression is many years out of date, though. If they can put a 1920*1080 backlit display in my phone, then surely the displays in the consoles now must be better than I remember.

But I doubt I'll change; I was never a big one for twitch games, and anyway if I wanted to play games like that I'd get them for my FireHD.

Nonetheless, they seem to be popular with anime girls:

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more...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Cheesecake at 10:20 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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Basket of Deplorables

Can I be part of the Basket of Deplorables?

"To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”

Well, I don't think I fit into any of those categories except maybe the last one. Surely being an otaku is "you name it". (It's always convenient to include a wildcard in a list like this.)

Of course, to liberals, anyone who denies that they are racist, sexist, and so on automatically proves that they actually are what they deny. So maybe I qualify for the basket anyway.

I think this might turn out to be like "Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse", only a lot bigger. Instead of trying to insult a handful of bloggers, Hillary has expressed contempt for a quarter of the citizens of this country. Let's all embrace the insult! I want a "Proud to be Deplorable" T-shirt!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 10:06 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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