January 28, 2015

Nanatsu no Taizai -- ep 15

Introducing the Fifth Sin:

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This is Gowther, the "Goat Sin of Lust". And in a very strange bunch, he raises the strangeness bar.

Gowther is autistic. In many people stricken with autism it's coupled with other forms of mental retardation, but that's not invariably the case. Some autistic people are actually very smart, and he seems to be one such. He's also absurdly powerful; he doesn't give anything away to any of the others in that regard.

But he has absolutely no ability to understand what other people are thinking or feeling. He's aware of the lack, but can't do anything about it.

UPDATE: There was also some back story about Meliodas, and a big hint that

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January 26, 2015

Absolute Duo -- ep 4

Introducing the fourth haremette, Lilith (and her servant Sarah).

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She's a transfer student from the sister campus in England. She heard stories about Thor, being an "irregular", and decided she wanted him as her Duo. So she marches into the classroom, hauls him out of it, and tells him he's going to break up his Duo and join her instead.

He tries to be polite but at a certain point he's had enough. He tells her "no" and walks out on her, much to her surprise. She's obviously spoiled rotten and is used to getting her way.

They say that "beauty is skin deep but ugly goes right to the bone." Right now that's my guess for a description of this character. Whether she's nobility or simply filthy rich isn't yet clear, but she hasn't given up on him, and thus hilarious harem hijinks are born. It says here.

Lessee. Oh, yeah: the psycho teacher is back. The head master was impressed by the fact that Thor and Julie defeated Tsukimi, and credit her with being a good teacher. And never mind that she was trying to kill them all; that apparently doesn't matter.

Um, Thor takes Julie clothes shopping. Tomoe and Miyabi think they're going on a date and follow them. Four thugs try to hit on them. It's obvious that Tomoe could handle them all, but Thor and Julie hear it and join them, and then Lilith uses her blaze to knock them all out. Turns out her blaze is a rifle -- and that's why she's an "exception".

And then we get blatant fan service at the end with Tomoe and Miyabi taking Julie shopping for bras. Ye Gods.

If you're getting the idea that I didn't like this episode, you're very perceptive.

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January 24, 2015

Dog Days'' -- ep 3

So this week it hits the fan. The enemy demon has been identified as a "dragon eater" and it represents an existential threat to the entire continent. All three nations mobilize fully for battle and they all march to the Dragon Forest. It's regular troops only, not militia, so it's a force of about 10,000 -- which ain't puny.

It's the real thing. This isn't like one of the scheduled wars. But it becomes clear in watching how the battle unfolds that Roland was right (at the end of the first series) that the scheduled wars help them stay prepared for cases like this one where they need to fight for real.

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Some parts of this were actually scary, but not too bad because a lot of parts of it were slightly tongue in cheek.

more...

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January 23, 2015

Fairy Tail -- Celestial Mages FTW!

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Fairy Tail is getting stranger and stranger. Spoilers below the fold.

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January 21, 2015

Red Half-rim Glasses watch -- Kancolle

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Mochizuki.

UPDATE:

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Here's another one, but I'm not sure who she is.

UPDATE: "A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things." -- attributed to Admiral Grace Hopper

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January 18, 2015

Absolute Duo -- ep 3

I think this series may have potential. This episode wasn't harem hijinks (mostly); instead, it was combat. Usa-sensei (Professor Bun-bun) tells them that today's lesson is called New Blade Battle.

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All the duos spread out all over the campus, and between 5PM and 7PM they fight any other duo they encounter. The goal is to be the last duo standing.

More, including spoilers, below the fold.

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January 17, 2015

Dog Days'' -- ep 2

Season 3 is turning out to be more like season 1, which was something I hoped would happen. Season 2 was a lot of day-in-the-life stories, which was cool because it was the life of Earth Kids on a world full of animal-people who used magic and did all kinds of cool stuff. So it wasn't anything at all like my life.

But season 3 looks to be telling longer term story arcs, and they're back to dealing with demons again. I don't know if the current arc is going to end up occupying the entire series or not; that could go either way. But episodes 1 and 2 are part of a story arc and it's only just beginning.

At the end of ep 1, Nanami and Shinku had found their luggage and reequipped, and were finally able to fight at full power, which they did at the last moment to defeat a demon which was attacking Sharl.

"Sharl" seems to be her name (probably "sharu" in katakana, but the "L" sound is definitely coming through in how everyone pronounces it). She's a horse-girl (which is awesome).

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This one looks like an iPad.

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Things have changed since series 2. The obvious utility of "Brave Connect" has led to a lot of other people creating magical video phones of various forms, and it seems that both Shinku and Nanami had them in their luggage. (Why?) so at the beginning of this episode they both phone home, to Milliefiore and Leo respectively. So the panic is off; everyone knows that Shinku and Nanami are fine, and knows where they are: The Dragon Forest on the Corone Plateau.

Sharl introduces herself as ryuu no miko desu. Which means "I am the dragon priestess". Interestingly everyone knows the title. She's been living alone, so suddenly having dozens of visitors, let alone such important ones, is kind of overwhelming for her.

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She gives Shinku and Nanami a bit of a tour and shows them a couple of the true dragons. The demon attacks started a few months ago, and they are weakening the true dragons. The true dragons seem to be elemental gods, even more important than the tochigami (land gods) like Yuki, and they seem to be weakening. The smaller demons are coming from a large one somewhere and Sharl hasn't found it yet. She's very worried.

She doesn't want help, but she's going to get it anyway. You know that.

There's a demon attack while they're waiting, and Sharl goes out to fight it. She tells Shinku and Nanami to not get involved, but of course they don't listen. Sharl stops the first demon, but the second one, which flies, almost bags her. Shinku saves her. And this is when Couverte shows up. The sky knights then fight the demons.

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D'Arquien is obviously concerned, and asks Valerio and Adelaide to look into it. They're talking and then have an "oh shit" moment when they realize what it is. They stand up and start issuing orders for a full military alert and movement of all forces to the dragon forest. They also order messages sent to the other nations. Seems that the demon in question could eventually threaten the entire continent.

So it looks like the quest I hoped for is going to happen: everyone hunting some titanically powerful demon. The central force looks to be the three heroes, Couverte, Gaul, the Genoise, Rico, and Eclair. Those are the people who are with Sharl now. And I couldn't have hoped for better.

Here's a bet: We've seen that it's possible for two ring-wearers to combine their power in a single attack. Millefiore and Leo did it against that giant rabbit. I bet we see a six-way attack, three monarchs plus three heroes, before this is all done, because I bet the final boss is too strong even for Brioche.

Will this story arc fill the entire series? I think it's possible it might run like 10 episodes, leaving two at the end for wrapups and character moments. If so that will be just fine with me.

UPDATE: I'm not at all surprised by this. The second series does feel like "day in the life" stories, but if you look closely they're laying a lot of groundwork. They introduced two new heroes, one entire new country, set up the relationships between them all, introduced Adelaide and Valerio and Itsuka, and gave us a lot of back story. Since they didn't intend to use any of it in the second series, they took their time and did it in small pieces, spread out over all 12 episodes. But look at how much different the situation is at the end of the second series compared to the first!

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Rokujouma no Shinryakusha -- the rewatch

I'm rewatching Rokujouma no Shinryakusha and it's not terrible. It's far from being the worst harem show out there.

I know that's damning with faint praise, but it's true. If I have any complaint it's that like so many shows based on light novels, it doesn't actually complete the story. Sometimes that's because they're trying to leave themselves open for sequels, and sometimes it's because the books don't finish the story either. I have no idea which is the case this time, but the biggest questions are about the character, who might be or at least possessed by one.

Since there have been 20 books so far in the series, either the author has resolved this or doesn't intend to ever do so.

My other main complaint is that I wish that Yurika wasn't a "butt monkey". The show is really cruel to her, and she doesn't deserve it. I never understood why she didn't just do some spectacular magic in front of all the others to prove to them that she's really a magical girl, and not a cosplayer.

That said, it's nice to watch the relationships between the characters develop, and watch the characters themselves develop. I call this a harem show because it's one guy and a swarm of attractive (albeit rather odd) girls, but in fact there isn't really a lot of romance going on.

I think episode 5 is my favorite in the series.

It's a major turning point in all the character relationships. And it's awesome watching Theia using her shoulder-mounted blasters to zorch a whole swarm of enemy ghosts.

UPDATE: Wikipedia says there are 16 light novels, but the web site for the series lists 20.

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January 14, 2015

Shinmai Maou no Testament -- eps 1 and 2

When I first heard about this show I assumed that it would be like High School DxD, an excuse for major league fan service. It even features a busty redhead demon, just like HSDxD did.

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I wanted to see just how bad the pandering was, so I downloaded raws of the first two episodes, thinking, "I don't even want to know what they're saying."

But I got halfway through the first episode and I got intrigued. It looked like it might well be better than I had assumed. So I went back and downloaded subs of both episodes, and then watched them again.

Well, now I'm back to thinking it's mainly about pandering. I'm not going to recap the episodes, exactly, but I will spoil the story and provide a few typical screen caps below the fold.

more...

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January 13, 2015

Nanatsu no Taizai -- ep 13

We're into the second half of the series now, and things are beginning to get serious, and complex.

more...

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