May 04, 2016
I stopped watching this after the second episode and I'm not even downloading it any more. But Random Curiousity is following it, and they have a writeup for ep 4.
And apparently we have an explanation for why everyone has gone nuts: mutant mind-control hamsters. The reason it hasn't affected Harekaze is because it's got a cat on board.
Which means this series is now officially Idiotic.
(Oh, and I finally figured out that haifuri is short for high school fleet.)
May 02, 2016
Last episode was an onsen, and even so I think this episode was even more ecchi. And Hane wins the episode. Prepare yourself!
But first a bit of trivia. A couple of days ago I noticed that Rin's seiyuu also did the voice of Lelei in GATE. She sure is versatile; they're nothing at all alike! (Besides which, it gives me an excuse for putting Rin at the top of this post.)
(UPDATE: Apologies. I flipped the image so it would fit better in the site format. That's why the Suzuki logo is backward.)
Morning in Hokkaido. It's summer so sunrise must be about 5 AM. Hane is up for it and makes herself a cup of coffee, into which she puts four cubes of sugar. Blech. (I drink my coffee black.)
And they spend a night at a cheap inn, and have... problems... with one of their teachers who happens to be there, too. I'm not going to say any more about it except to say that laws got broken.
So they finally reach the dock and take the ferry home. So now it's time to clean their bikes!
And everything else is below the fold because a lot of it is pretty seriously NSFW.more...
April 25, 2016
Of course, I think it's a foregone conclusion that every episode of this series is going to have a healthy dose of fan service, but this particular episode probably takes that to an extreme. (It turns out this is the only mainstream manga done by the mangaka. Everything else was R-18 at least. So it's not too surprising that the girls look really good, especially Rin.)
A school vacation is coming up, and our girls decide they want to take a road trip. Destination turns out to be Hokkaido, because Rin went there with her father when she was little. The story started sweetly, as if a treasured memory, but it ended up really badly. So regardless, they're going to do it.
But nothing is easy when it comes to this group, and they end up late for the ferry and miss it. Raimu gets on; Hijiri and her butler try but fail and drown the latest Ducati, and order a replacement to be delivered by helicopter. The other three decide to ride to Aomori, 700 km away, to catch a different ferry. And on the way, Onsa and Rin end up racing and leave Hane behind. So the group is now scattered all over the country side.
Lots of spoilers below the fold, OK? Also NSFW.more...
April 22, 2016
It just didn't feel right to not try to harvest To Love-ru Darkness so I took a swing at it, and I got hooked on the story. So I downloaded the second cour of it (it was a split-cour series) and watched that last night and this morning.
Overall it wasn't anything like as fruitful to plunder. I got 51 candidates from both cours. But I had been watching it with the sound turned off, and I finally got curious and started listening to it. And got a huge surprise: I recognized a lot of the voices.
In particular, Nana has the same voice as Saten in Railgun. It was a perfect casting choice IMHO, and in fact this series has a really top-drawer cast overall. I wish they had cast a man to do the voice of Rito, though.
Darkness is a lot different than To Love-ru and Motto To Love-ru. Those two shows are simple comedy. There really isn't any significant plot line. (TLR did have a climax at the end when Lala's father showed up. MTLR didn't even bother with that.)
The format was that each episode was divided into thirds, with each third telling a funny story that didn't affect the situation, even if it seemed to. There were some changes to the continuity, like introducing characters, but for instance one third-of-an-ep of MTLR ended with most of the girls in the high school turned to little kids. The next third picked right up with everyone back to normal.
Darkness is entirely different. Each episode tells a complete story. A lot of them contributed to a long term story line. Maybe about half of them were serious overall. And continuity was maintained scrupulously.
And it reminded me a bit of Divergence Eve. It was loaded with gratuitous fan service which detracted from the story telling and characterization. It was in there because it was pandering to the existing fan base of the series, because TLR and MTLR had lots of fan service. It's really a shame; I spent a lot of time skipping through Darkness.
The main character of Darkness is Yami aka Golden Darkness, and the way that ended up developing and how it was resolved were disappointing. I'm sorry; it wasn't what I wanted. It was just too stupid. It should have been Mikan who saved Yami, not Rito. Having Ushizu save Mea was pretty cool, but it should have been Momo.
Regardless, Momo and Nana were awesome, so that part wasn't disappointing. I can't see myself ever watching any of this again, but it wasn't torture to watch it once.
April 19, 2016
Chapter 9 of the manga tells Raimu's story, which was the last part of ep 3. Chapter 12 of the manga is titled "Onsen!" and...
That was inevitable. I wonder if we'll get a school festival episode?
Also, it seems like Hijiri is buying her Ducatis a dozen at a time. By chapter 12 she's already ruined four of them, if I'm counting correctly.
April 18, 2016
This is turning out to be a lot of fun, and ep 3 has several laugh-out-loud moments. (At least I laughed. There are few things as subjective as humor.)
The show is slowly rolling out character backgrounds, and ep 2 gave us Rin's and explained why she's so hooked on Suzuki. Ep 3 gives us a load of background on Onsa. Neither of them are really monstrously tragic or anything like that, but they both explain the characters a lot.
When Rin was little, her father was in love with the Suzuki Katana (full sized version) but had trouble getting his license because he didn't want to shell out for a school. He was out riding, with Rin on the back, and piled up the bike. She came out safely but he was badly injured and for a while I was afraid he had died, but he ended up OK. Anyway, that brings up to the present. He got his license and he has a full-size Katana. She wanted a Katana, too, and he got her a mini-version (400cc) which is what she rides.
In ep 3, Hane gets her license and so the girls are off to a used motorcycle shop so she can buy one. Hane rides with Raimu, holding onto Raimu's boobs as usual. And the one they end up in turns out to be Onsa's family business. And it is... seedy. Like almost illegal.
They sell their bikes for cheap because they're crap. They seem to have low mileage because Onsa (herself!) rewinds the odometers. Raimu seems to have an uncanny ability to diagnose a bike just by looking at it and she says one of the ones on the show floor has a dead cylinder, one has a crooked frame, and all of them have odometer resets.
Onsa's own bike was built out of parts from two identical scrapped bikes. And it keeps going on like that. Onsa doesn't want Hane to buy from them because... well, it's obvious. But before she gets to that point, Hane has found the Super Four of her dreams (it's pink). Raimu tells her it was painted, but Hane doesn't care.
They haven't revealed it yet but it's obvious that it's the bike she trained on, which talked to her. At the end of ep 2 the school got a new load of bikes in and got rid of the old ones, including the one Hane trained on. I haven't got the slightest doubt that the one she buys in this episode was that one. But we'll find out when her bike starts talking to her.
Rin is the source of a lot of the comedy in this series, not to mention being the main purveyor of fan service. Her schtick is "I wouldn't join even if you asked me." To which Onsa usually responds, "We didn't ask you."
When Hane has her bike, the next issue is the bike club itself. Seems there isn't really one. There was one 20 years ago, but after a tragic accident it was disbanded. So our girls apply to create a new one. To create a club you have to have four members, and Rin gets to play her "Well, I'll do you a favor" card, only to find that she isn't needed. They have four without her.
And then there's a big reveal about Raimu. It's a spoiler so I'm putting it below the fold.more...
This is getting stupider and stupider. The real problem with it is that it's completely contrived.
In ep 2 we learn that the ship they hit with the practice torpedo later sank. It was a warship, and even though the torpedo had no warhead, it holed the hull, and the ship must not have had water-tight doors below or they were open. The crew safely evacuated before the ship went down, and the teacher who started this all is conveniently unconscious and thus isn't available to explain why she opened fire first, or anything else.
We also learn that we took a real hit in that battle. A shell hit the rear deck and didn't do as much damage as I would expect.
Oh, and that practice torpedo was the only torp we're carrying. From now on if we fight we have to use gunnery.
In ep 2, we're attacked by a German cruiser Admiral Spee which is visiting the academy, or something. Its guns are larger and have longer range and starts firing when it's out of our range. So by clever maneuvering or something we get in range and then fire one round from one turret and hit the rear and cause it to lose power, like maybe one of the engine rooms was taken out, and the cruiser slows and we can outrun it.
But part way through that battle, a girl from the cruiser is on a motorboat and tries to move through the waters inbetween to reach us, and she takes a near miss from a round from the cruiser and her boat is destroyed. She doesn't get a scratch, of course. And she was far enough away from our destroyer so it looks like the cruiser was actively shooting at her. So our Captain takes her water-motorcycle out and rescues the girl in the middle of the battle, leaving "I'm so unlucky" in command and it's her that actually orders the battery to fire, though that was the captain's plan.
So the german girl is brought back on board but she's conveniently unconscious so we don't know what her story is.
And then at the end of the episode they receive an emergency call from Musashi, the battleship commanded by Captain's best friend, asking for help. No details, and it reeks of "trap" but that's next episode.
Lots of people have come to the same conclusion I have: this is a ripoff of Girls und Panzer. GuP was a fantasy but they never pretended otherwise, and they sold the fantasy very well. This series isn't even trying.
"We want a show about schoolgirls on a destroyer fighting other ships. But we don't want to do mechamusume because Kancolle already did that. So it's gotta be real schoolgirls. Now how can we get them into that situation? Hey, Satoshi, pull down that storage box full of deus ex machinas and let's see what's in it!"
One of the main reasons I hate mecha shows is that too many directors think that if they include a neat mecha they don't need to bother with things like story and logic and characterization.
And it seems like this show is the same thing. If we can get schoolgirls firing the main guns of a destroyer against an apparent enemy by the end of the first episode, the audience will cheer and swoon and won't care about how contrived the situation was that led to it.
April 16, 2016
I'm not watching this any more but I just noticed something from RandomC's writeup of ep 2.
I remember seeing a comment once (when I was a kid) to the effect that there was no longer any article of men's clothing that women could not also wear, because fashion. Well, this episode proves that wrong.
One of the girls, who was playing a male character in the game, decided to change her avatars to female without bothering to change the character's clothing. This is what she looks like IRL:
And this is what her character looked like, as a guy:
A bit odd, but not really scandalous... for a guy. But...
If she went out in public like this, she's be arrested.
UPDATE: It reminds me of this, from Seikoku no Dragonar:
She goes out in public like that, so maybe I'm wrong.
April 15, 2016
Dragon Ball Super has been pretty silly, not really living up to DBZ in most regards. It's a sequel, picking up shortly after the Majin Buu arc, so Trunks and Goten are still little kids.
And for the most part it's been pretty dumb. We're in the third plot arc now. The first arc introduced Beerus, God of Destruction, and gave Goku his latest powerup, the "Super Saiyajin God" level. It corresponds to the first recent movie, but tells the story slower and at greater length.
The second movie is about the revival of Freeza and his death again. And it also kills off all the minions he had remaining, so I think it's the last time. And that became the second arc in DBSuper, again told at greater length. The main contribution it made to the canon was to show that Goku had gained complete control over the Super Saiyajin God level, which changed from red to blue. Also, Vegita had gotten it, too.
The third and current arc introduced Champa. There are twelve universes and up to now we've spent all our time in universe 7, where Beerus is the God of Destruction. Champa is the twin brother of Beerus and is the God of Destruction of universe 6, and through some plot machinations which aren't worth going into the two of them have decided to have a tournament, where each brings a small team consisting of the strongest fighters in their respective universes.
The two universes are very similar, though not identical. There was an Earth in U6 but it's gone now because its inhabitants blew it up. There are Saiyajin in U6, and it seems they're good guys. They never suffered genocide. And some other stuff like that.
Anyway, in episode 37, Vegita fights against Kyaba, who is a saiyajin from U6. And it's awesome. Easily the best episode in the series so far. For one thing, it showed us a side of Vegita we don't get to see very often.
Another thing that was cool is that I picked out Kyaba's seiyuu without looking at the credits. He also voices Loki in Fairy Tail.
April 11, 2016
It's another 3:30 show (I seem to be sampling a lot of those this year) and it's a waste of time. In the first episode, the air conditioner in the student council room is broken and everyone is dying from the heat.
So obviously the solution is for everyone to take their clothes off!
Yeesh. That was the gag for this episode. It's obvious there isn't going to be any story here, and no characterization to speak of. They gave us some cheesecake shots but I don't feel like putting them together right now (maybe later).
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