April 23, 2014

DBKai 2014 -- eps 2 and 3

Hatsuyuki finally came through with the second and third episodes of DBK.

And they're really cooking through the story. In ep 2 Gohan becomes "Great Saiyaman" and Videl figures it out and blackmails him. In ep 3 she is halfway through learning to fly, and Goten and Trunks are both revealed as super saiyajin. And Goku has called in from the afterlife to say he'll be coming to the tournament.

So these three episodes cover all the material which in the original series went from episode 200 to 207.

What they mainly did was to cut out most of "Gohan's high school" and most of the Great Saiyaman vignettes, which quite frankly is no loss.

The surprising thing is that these two episodes didn't feel rushed. They cut entire scenes, but most of the scenes they kept weren't edited down at all.

And... we got our first view of North Kai in ep 3 and he does have a halo, so I guess the canon is that he really did die.

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April 22, 2014

Say what?

What does WUG mean?

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Blade & Soul MMORPG

It turns out that the Blade & Soul anime (home of the massively gainaxing gun girl) is based on a Korean MMORPG which premiered a couple of years ago. They've been slowly rolling out versions in other languages, and so far they've done Chinese and Japanese. They plan an English version for this year.

So the anime is effectively an advertisement for the game, and I guess that explains why it feels so empty.

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April 21, 2014

Spring season status update

Here are the shows I planned to watch, or try.

DBK: Hatsuyuki has only subbed one episode and no one else is doing it. Maybe someday they'll catch up, and then I can.

Mahou Shoujo Taisen: As expected, it was crap. Dropped.

Soul Eater NOT: Had a really fascinating first episode, but I peeked ahead at the manga and it emphasized all the things I wasn't interested in, and neglected the parts I enjoyed. I've rewatched that battle scene about ten times, but if the show follows the manga there will only be one more battle, period. (By which I mean that whatserface is only going to transform into a halberd one more time.) Dropped.

Blade and Soul: The art is beautiful and the women are gorgeous, and there's a gunner hunting the lead who gainaxes like nobody's business, but it's fundamentally a stupid show and despite how good she looks, the lead has the personality of a rock. (And she's evidently just about as smart.) I've watched a couple more episodes and each time my interest has declined. Dropped.

Seikoku no Dragonar: is turning out to be pretty good, because so far it's concentrating on the dragon story line and not emphasizing harem hijinks. While it's been about action, or about the dragon mysteries, it's been very absorbing. And they're tossing in enough fan service to spice things up without letting it take over the show. FFF is doing a good job of prompt releases. Still watching.

Fairy Tail: Hatsuyuki is falling behind on this one, too. Two episodes out so far and they're both good. The section of the manga they're in now is dense and the anim isn't trying to rush through it, which is good. Still watching. (I've been downloading HorribleSubs, watching once, and then deleting, so I'm up to date. Then when Hatsuyuki shows up, that goes in the permanent archive.)

So three shows I'm still watching, except that one has fallen off the table because Hatsuyuki seems to have taken on too much this season.

UPDATE: Below the fold, the Blade-and-Soul gainaxing gun girl.

more...

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April 19, 2014

Red half-rim glasses watch -- Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin

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Well, pink.

And the blood is red.

Not watching this show, but spotted the frame grab over at RandomC.

UPDATE: And then I scrolled down and the next show had one, too. "Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou"

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Seikoku no Dragonar -- ep 3

I got tired of waiting so I downloaded a raw and got my framegrabs that way.

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more...

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April 16, 2014

The ultimate sniper?

When it comes to gunners, it's hard to top Uni.

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She has a firing graticule in her eye.

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And she can become a super-saiyajin. (And her gun upgrades, too.)

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More on trigger discipline

Speaking of trigger discipline, I always cringe when I watch this scene:

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Lynn is about one mistake away from blowing that guy's head off. On the other hand, Sasha and Chiaki do it right:

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Chiaki's finger position is a bit odd, but that's because the grip on that blaster was designed for someone with bigger hands. She can't lay her index finger along the trigger guard because it's too far away.

Sasha, of course, is doing it perfectly. She's aiming the weapon straight up, where there isn't anything she cares about, and holding it with both hands, and her finger is extended, not on the trigger.

Beauty and brains.

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April 12, 2014

Seikoku no Dragonar -- ep 2

So we've got an antagonist. Nasty woman with huge boobs, a dragon researcher who wants to dissect Eco. Bah.

This show feels like a transparent attempt to remake Zero no Tsukaima. It's got all the same ingredients, except they're all mixed around. Eco (the dragon) is very much like Louise, and Mariya Ise is doing her very best Rie Kugimiya imitation on the voice. (When I first heard it I thought it was Kugimiya.)

And we've got a princess. And we've got a maid. And we've got a dragon in human form. And they're all at a school. And one of the girls is tsundere. And so on.

The naming sequence, on the other hand, was right out of Magician's Academy. Ash kneels down and looks at the girl and says "Your name is Eco" and then she glows and his arm glows. And we're told that their astral flows are bonded, whatever that means.

All of which is to say that this is just about as derivative as it can be.

That's OK; it's still fun. It just isn't particularly profound. But that damned teacher could ruin the show.

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April 09, 2014

Soul Eater Not! -- ep 01

This was really good!

I somehow had the impression this was going to be a slapstick comedy. But it began light and then got serious. It isn't silly at all.

The basic conceit of the series is that some people have the ability to become weapons, and other people known as Meisters learn how to wield them. Obviously the weapons are doing something magical, but not clear that the Meisters have any equivalent.

When a weapon transforms, their consciousness continues and they can move and control themselves to some extent.

Our protagonist is Tsugumi, and she's a weapon. But at the beginning she hasn't learned to control her transformation -- which is part of why she's at the school. At freshman orientation the new students get told that they need to pair off for training. But what with one thing and another, Tsugumi ends up tripled, with two Meister candidates named Meme and Anya.

We do get to see Tsugumi do her full transformation in this episode and it's pretty cool; turns out she becomes a halberd, which is a fine weapon no matter how you look at it. It's certainly nothing to apologize for. Anya was wickedly good with it, too. Evidently she's had training fighting with pole arms. (I liked her smile when she saw that Tsugumi had become a halberd.)

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My biggest surprise in the show was seeing a character who had the same voice as Mami Endo from Mouretsu Pirates. It's not the same character, by any means, and she's only in two scenes, but I expect she'll be around some more.

I'm definitely hooked and will certainly watch more of this.

UPDATE: I suppose I should make something clear: I never watched the original Soul Eater so I have no baggage. Taken on its own, I really liked this. The concept is intriguing, and I'm looking forward to seeing why Meme was admitted to the school, and I imagine that we're going to get some wonderful training scenes. Anya's fighting in the first ep was magnificent (and really well animated).

UPDATE: From what I'm seeing on other blogs, people who did watch Soul Eater don't seem to happy with this one.

UPDATE: The character with Mami's voice is named Maka, and apparently this was a cameo. (There were several cameos which I assume were characters from the other series.)

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