November 24, 2015

Dragon Ball Super

I hadn't been watching this, but the 20th episode came out and I got curious. So I downloaded all 20 eps and watched it in one sitting. The first 15 episodes tell approximately the same story as the first recent movie "Battle of the Gods".

In brief, there is a new character named Beerus (or Bills, depending on how you romanize it). He's the God of Destruction and he spend most of his time sleeping, for decades at a time. But once in a while he wakes up, and then he goes out and destroys a few or a lot of planets, for no obvious reason except that it's his job, or his role. He has a servant named Whis, and they both are millions of years old, if not older than that. Beerus is reputed to be the strongest person in the universe, and he terrifies the Supreme Kai, not to mention North Kai.

Anyway, during his last sleep he had a dream about a "super saiyajin God", who was able to give him a good fight. The Oracle Fish (one of his servants) confirmed that there was going to be a very strong opponent for him at this time, which is why he set his alarms to wake up.

So Whis informs him that nearly all the Saiyajin died when Frieza blew up their planet, but a handful survive on Earth. Goku is on North Kai's planet training, and Whis and Beerus show up there, and it ends up with Goku begging Beerus for a match. Beerus creams Goku.

Eventually, back on Earth, they summon Shenlong and he tells them the story about the Super Saiyajin God. It requires five saiyajin of good temper to push their power into a sixth -- which is a problem because there are only five: Goku, Gohan, Goten, Vegita, and Trunks. Well, actually there is a sixth: Videl is pregnant (with Pan). So they try it with Videl and it works. Goku becomes a super saiyajin God, and he fights Beerus and doesn't win.

But he gives Beerus a credible fight, and Beerus decides not to destroy the earth. End of story.

In the movie, that's about an hour and a half. In DBSuper it takes 14 episodes. DBS inherits the feature of DBZ of dragging out the fights to an insufferable degree.

In the movie, the process of making Goku a super saiyajin God takes two minutes. In episode 9 of DBS it takes 6 minutes. It just goes on and on and on. I thought the shorter version worked better.

Goku's fight with Beerus takes 15 minutes in the movie and takes fully five episodes in DBS. They took a 15 minute movie battle and stretched it to an hour and a half in the TV series. It drags. I started skipping.

I've noticed before that movies are often far better than original series. The Nanoha A's movie was a lot better than the A's TV series, for instance. Not that the TV series was bad, of course, but the movie was drastically better. (For one thing, they completely eliminated the "masked men" subplot, and the story was better for it.) And in this case the "Battle of the Gods" movie was a lot better than the DBS retelling of the same story.

And I thought the first Nanoha movie was better than the first TV series. (That movie was also a retelling.)

Of course, a movie has a larger budget per minute, and it doesn't have as rushed a schedule, and they can spend more time in preproduction doing planning and plotting and script writing, and all those things show.

It was interesting that the Mouretsu Pirates movie deliberately changed some of the continuity. In particular, they redesigned the bridge of the Benten Maru. The original bridge really didn't make sense; the new one is drastically better. But you can also see the advantages of more money, more time, and more care as well. It just looks cleaner and better, and the story telling is tight.

There's a Girls und Panzer movie. (It hit the theaters in Japan last weekend.) It isn't a retelling; what we've heard is that it happens two years after the TV series. Which means all the members of Anko team will have graduated from Hakuo Academy. They've taken their time with it, again, and I assume it has a bigger budget. I wonder what story they're telling? Has anyone seen anything about it?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:27 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Strike the Blood OVA

Strike the Blood is one of my favorite recent anime titles. I've rewatched it several times. A 2-ep OVA is coming out soon, with the first episode supposed to show up on Wednesday. Sunday morning it suddenly occurred to me that I should order it from CDJapan.

They usually preorder a big chunk of BDs for things like this, and if you get your order in soon enough, they will ship so that it arrives on street day. I've been hoping I was lucky, but if I were I'd have been told by now that it's shipped. And I haven't. So it looks like I'll probably get my copy next week.

The second episode is due December 23, and I just ordered one. This time I got in soon enough! (It said, "11 more copies left".)

UPDATE: And somehow the guys at Fapservice already scored a copy (NSFW). They say there's an extensive and uncensored bath scene featuring most of the major female characters.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 11:27 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 22, 2015


I just saw this:

If God wanted the Red Sox to win the World Series, He wouldn't have created the Yankees.

I think that applies to the Cubs, too.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 09:08 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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November 20, 2015

Speaking of Yoga


I find it a bit hard to believe that anyone could stand like that without losing their balance and falling over, but I'm willing to grant it on the assumption that it's an advanced Yoga position and that a yoga expert can do it.

On the other hand, I do not believe for a moment that anyone could get into that position without help. I don't believe anyone could raise their foot like that and catch it with their hands without someone else lifting the foot that high. No way. I don't care how good, how flexible, how strong Meme is; not gonna happen.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 02:45 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST -- ep 7


I suppose I should have expected that they were going to stretch this out. Leohart (the usurper) has challenged the good guys to a tournament consisting of seven individual duels and for whatever reason (mainly to prevent a full-out civil war) the good guys have accepted. So they've travelled to Leohart's capital and spend a bunch of time preparing. The rest below the fold.


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November 19, 2015

Sorry for the pause

I was going to make a post today about the next episode of Shinmai Maou no Testament BURST but it hasn't come out yet. Sorry about that.

UPDATE: I got confused. Today is Thursday, not Friday. So it'll be coming out tomorrow.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Site Stuff at 07:34 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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November 17, 2015

What are these from?

The keyword is "card (medium)". What are these (NSFW) from? One of those smartphone games, maybe?

A bunch of them are from High School DxD, but I've also seen Senran Kagura (NSFW) and some idol as a loli maybe? And idolmaster and Madoka? And I've seen a bunch from IkkiTousen, too.







Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:11 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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Yozakura quartet language usage

There are two peculiar things about the dialog in Yozakura Quartet I've been curious about.

First, a lot of the characters (and particularly Hime) greet each other with something that sounds like maidou instead of something like konichiwa. "Maidou" isn't a word but "Maido" means "thank you for your continuing patronage". It's something a clerk in a store would say to a customer. Is that really what she's saying?

Second is more complicated to explain. One of the youkai in the show is named Rin. She works for a ramen shop and does deliveries. She is a zombie.

She doesn't stagger around and say brainz brainz and in fact if you weren't told she was a yousei you wouldn't know it. Regardless, Akine calls her Rinoji. In the show's wiki, that means "Rin-shaped person".

OK, so I got that "ji" means "person". But how do you get "shaped" out of that? Is it Rin no ji that he's saying?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Japanese at 09:33 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 15, 2015

The French Respond

Today French air assets dropped 20 bombs on Raqqa, a town in northern Syria which is the ISIS capital. The bombing targeted military and government installations and "they were all destroyed".

Which is fine, and congratulations to the French. The real question is "what comes next?" Back when Bill Clinton was president, a couple of our embassies in Africa were attacked by Al Qaeda, and he responded with individual bombing attacks -- one each. The results of those attacks may have been serious (though one of them hit an al Qaeda training camp that had been abandoned), but that half-hearted response is a lot of what convinced bin Laden that the US had no balls.

If tomorrow the French say, "Let that be a lesson" and return to quiescence, it's going to have the same result this time. So I want to see the French (how strange it is to be saying this) hit them again and again. This shouldn't be a single response, it should be the beginning of a sustained bombing campaign, and I mean a serious one. Today's bombing raid was made by 12 planes. That's a good start, but there needs to be a lot more than that. They need 40 or 50, each flying a mission every other day.

The worst thing they could do is what Obama has done: just enough bombing so that he can say he's doing it, without being so great as to have any practical significance.

(How odd it is to say this:) I hope Hollande has more balls than Obama.

12 years ago I spent a lot of time cursing at the French. Now it's an odd feeling to find myself placing my hopes in them.

UPDATE: However... though the situation is catastrophic, to some extent it's giving me a bit of schadenfreude.

Obama is the president that the Europeans all hoped for ten years ago. They despised Bush; they wanted an American president who was more European. And with Obama they got one. When he was elected the reaction in Europe was, "America has finally come to its senses."

Well, now they're complaining about it. America is too weak. America won't lead. America (or actually, Obama) won't fight.

America is now trying to free-ride, the way Europe always has. Obama wants to "lead from behind", which is a fancy way of saying "abdicate all responsibilities in the world". Obama wants someone else to do the fighting and take all the risks.

Europe, be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 06:21 PM | Comments (24) | Add Comment
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November 14, 2015

Targeted advertising fail

A few days ago I wanted to add a suggestion for a product to a thread on So I hit google with a few keywords and found the thing at LL Bean. I linked to it, and done. (And as I think about it, the link I followed was one of those "sponsored search results.)

Now I keep getting ads for that thing at LL Bean on web sites all over the place. They're using Google for their ads, and Google has decided that I want to buy thousands of copies of this gizmo.

They aren't giving me "things which are similar", they're giving me the exact thing I linked to originally. It would be annoying if it weren't so funny.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 10:50 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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