June 11, 2016

Bakuon! -- squick

I've done my share of ogling of Rin in Bakuon, as you all know, but there are lines. J-list is selling an adult toy now with Rin's picture on the box. (NSFW!!!)

Which merits a huge squick from me. It doesn't help that they made a huge Japanese ecchi pun with the name. Gross.

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June 08, 2016

Adding to the tropes

It always makes me feel good when I can add something to TVTropes. It feels like the way I could contribute to projects back when I could still work as an engineer. (I really miss that.)

I particularly like doing Wild Mass Guessing entries because I feel like I'm pretty good at finding odd ways of looking at things. And I got to do one today, for Musaigen no Phantom World: "Albrecht is a phantom".

(In case you don't remember, Albrecht is Kurumi's stuffed bear, who fights for her.)

UPDATE: I also added one recently for Dog Days to the effect that Sharl, the Ryuu no Miko, is actually a tochigami, like Yukikaze is, and Farine is. If so, Sharl may well be far, far older than she looks.

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June 06, 2016

Bakuon! -- ep 10

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Lime wins the cheesecake award for this episode with this eyecatch

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I just noticed that Rin is Zettai Ryouki grade A. I went back and checked the earlier episodes and she always was, but I never noticed before. (Wonder why?) Actually, the tropes page for Zettai Ryouki says that there's a Grade S: thigh high socks plus tsundere plus twintails, so Rin qualifies. Seems to me that she really should be S+ because she's got all that and she's blonde and stacked.

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The bikers twintail club! One of these things is not like the other...

Anyway, the episode? It's about Chisame. She still sucks the light out of every scene she's in and she cries at least three times, but we're making progress. She has joined the bike club. She wants to get a license, and her dad has offered to buy her a bike, though the one he suggested isn't appropriate because it's too big for her.

Meanwhile, Hijiri has turned 16 and she wants her license, too. So Hijiri and Chisame are going to the same school that Rin and Hane went to, but Chisame isn't learning anything. Her father is a famous GP racer and Chisame herself has a rep as a mini-bike racer, and all the teachers assume she already knows everything so they won't teach her. Finally she confesses in tears to Hijiri that she wants to learn, and Hijiri promises to teach her, and that's next episode. I hope.

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June 04, 2016

Summer 2016

Neregate's latest anime chart seems pretty mature, including 48 series, so is there any hope?

Man, it looks just as bleak as ever, maybe more so. There are only two shows listed that have even the slightest chance of being worth watching IMO. There's going to be a 4-ep anime-original story about Nanatsu no Taizai, and there's a sequel series to Shokugeki no Souma. And that's it. I didn't really think the first SnS series was worth watching weekly.

As to the rest, it's sequels, game advertisements, idols, and just general crap, not to mention an overdose of bishounen. Have a listen and join me in crying:

Fukigen na Mononokean -- a bishounen helping out youkai.

GraP & RodeO second season -- a random high school boy wants to be an idol.

Hatsukoi Monster -- A girl meets a bishounen and discovers that despite looking grown up he's actually in fifth grade.

B-Project: Kodou Ambitious -- a young woman gets a job managing three bishounen idol groups.

Puzzle & Dragons Cross -- an adaptation of a Nintento 3DS puzzle game.

Show by Rock!! Short!! -- A cat girl, a dog girl, a rabbit girl, and a sheep girl form a wannabe idol group.

Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma*Illya 3rei!! -- the third series in this concept, which seems to have eaten Fate/Stay/Night alive.

Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru! -- Cute girls doing cute art things at a girl's high school.

91 Days -- Period piece about a man seeking revenge.

Arslan Senki: Fuujin Ranbu -- another sequel.

Active Raid: something or other -- another sequel.

Handa-Kun -- trials and tribulations of a bishounen.

D.Gray-man Hallow -- another sequel.

Majestic Hour -- a repeat.

Onara Gorou -- is a story about a fart, if the chart is to be believed. (And I thought the Koreans were strange for doing a one-of show about a dog dropping.)

Servamp -- a couple of bishounen, one of which is a vampire.

Amaama to Inazuma -- a widower tries to learn to cook.

Nejimaki Seirei Senki etc. -- A bishounen leads an elite military group consisting of gorgeous girls and ugly guys.

Mob Psycho 100 -- the description is incoherent; I can't figure out why anyone cares.

Cheer Danshi!! -- Bishounen cheer leaders as an all-men university.

Masou Gakuen HxH -- a bishounen has the power to give girls huge powerups when he molests them. I saw a show before based on this conceit; one of the girls was a gorgeous redhead and another was a loli, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was called. (UPDATE: Got it! It was "Yumeria".) Anyway this time there's no redhead but there's definitely a loli, and one of the girls has twin watermelons on her chest.

Nanatsu no Taizai: Seisen no Shirushi -- a four-episode anime-original series.

Days -- Boys playing soccer.

Berserk -- Sweaty guys with swords.

Love Live! Sunshine!! -- idols, sequel (sort of).

Tales of Zestiria the X -- is so derivative that I can't even begin to describe it.

Saiki Kusuo no something Nan -- a bishounen with super powers tries to live a normal life.

Taboo Tattoo -- MAYBE this will be good. Probably not. A young man who is a martial artist gets involved in an international conspiracy after being given a tattoo on his hand that also bestows supernatural powers on him.

Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu --is about a bishounen who likes to read boy-love novels, which makes it a double-barf.

Paletarian ~Chiisana Hoshi no Yume~ -- is another one whose description inspires the response, "They can't be serious." It involves an abandoned robot that looks like a cute girl, among other things. And a bishounen.

Amanchu! -- Cute girls doing cute things in wet suits. The rest of the time they wear truly ugly school uniforms designed to totally obscure their figures.

Battery -- a bishounen is a good baseball pitcher.

ReLIFE -- A 27 year old NEET (bishounen, of course) gets kicked out of his parent's house and has nowhere to go, and then someone offers him a chance to relive his 17th year in high school to make it better.

Ozmafia!! -- crime families at war with one another.

Bananya -- is about a "banana cat" mascot for a stationery company.

Tsukiuta the Animation -- bishounen idols.

Qualidea Code -- Super powered children defending the earth against mysterious invaders.

Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars -- No season would be complete without at least one show with high school girls piloting mechas.

Ange Vierge -- adapted from a card game; cute girls with super powers attend a school to teach them to use their abilities.

New Game -- a high school graduate joins a game company.

Rewrite -- is a 6th route through a Key visual novel that I know nothing about.

Dangan Ronpa 3 -- apparently they decided that this show needed two sequels this season.

Orange -- a cute girl in high school trying to prevent a bishounen classmate from committing suicide. (That sounds like fun; loads of yucks!)

Scared Rider Xechs -- one young woman and five bishounen and I don't care.

I say this every season. I know. But usually there are a couple of long-shot series I at least sample. This time there's only only one: Taboo Tattoo, and I make the odds of it being any good no better than 1:20. I'm sure I won't want to watch Shokugeki no Souma weekly and there aren't any others I'm even interested in sampling.

It's gonna be bleak.

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May 30, 2016

Bakuon! ep 9

So we introduce a new character with this episode. There isn't any suspense about it since they changed both the OP and ED to include her. Her name is Chisame and she's Yume's classmate in middle school.

Both of them took the entrance exam for this high school and both were accepted. But Chisame is really dark. She sucks the life out of every scene she appears in. The last scene in the OP shows her smiling, so I hope she gets better, but in this episode she seems to be suffering from the world's worst case of depression.

See, she's really little. Short, short, short; when she sits on her dad's motorcycle her feet won't reach the ground. She is also weak and uncoordinated and has always done really badly in sports, but she found herself in motorcycle racing, in a version where the bikes are tiny. There, her small size is an advantage because she doesn't weigh as much as her opponents so she can go faster. So she's been winning, but she's always lonely when she's on the victor's podium.

We were told that she doesn't think motorcycles should be ridden on the street. Actually, it's just that she herself can't do that because she's tiny.

Also, she's flat chested. Shows like this nearly always include a character who suffers from "A-cup angst" and originally I thought it was going to be Onsa but I was wrong. They were saving it for Chisame. (That's a guess; so far she's had other reasons to be depressed.)

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I'm pretty sure she rides a Honda PCX. That's a scooter that doesn't really look like a scooter and there's a pretty low spot in the middle she could straddle when stopped so that her legs reach the ground. And it weighs a lot less than a full size bike (like Lime's Ninja) so she should be able to do the "lift".

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So will Hane's irrepressible cheerfulness defeat Chisame's depression? If this picture is anything to judge by (and it may not be) then Hane will win. I do hope so; one of the attractions of this series so far has been that no one is angsty. (Not even Rin. She's disgruntled but not angsty.)

There's an interesting link here between Chisame and Lime. 20 years ago (or however long it was) there were two girls who were friends of Lime and made the mistake that led to her catastrophic crash in that race. One of those eventually became the principal of this school. The other one got married and had a daughter that grew up to be Chisame. Seems like that has to be a plot point since if it wasn't there really wouldn't be any reason to include it, but I have no idea what it will mean. Anyway, Chisame's mother knows Lime and seems to know about her.

I have a bad feeling about this. Up to now the show has been very light-hearted but I'm afraid Chisame is going to drag it down into the darkness and make it serious.

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May 28, 2016

Girls und Panzer Movie

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Miho's secret weapon!

A torrent for the movie just showed up. It's a raw and the torrent is a whopping 15G. It's three files, one MKV and two MKA files, and it turns out you don't need the MKA files. They're alternate soundtracks; but the MKV has one that works just fine.

It is a BD rip, which surprised me; I didn't think the BD was going to be out until like August.

So how is it? Awesome! Tremendous! It doesn't feel like "been there, done that". It's enough similar to not feel like a stranger but enough different to not feel like a guest that's worn out its welcome. Even though I don't speak Japanese, it wasn't too difficult to figure out what was going on.

There are two major battles in it. The first is about half an hour long, and the trailer from last year is all taken from it. What's going on is an exhibition battle with two teams on each side. One side is St. Gloriana and Pravda; the other side is Ooarai and some team I never identified.

Their tanks were crap and they had spirit but no brains and got themselves slaughtered. I thought for a while that their equipment was Italian, but the theme music played for them sounded oriental. Maybe they were using Japanese tanks? Actually, I think they really were supposed to be another Italian team.

So that battle ended after half an hour, and it was so well done and so absorbing that I thought the movie was over. Instead we get about half an hour of plot, and then a second battle which ran fully an hour.

Huge spoiler:

It's a BD rip, ultra high quality, and it has Japanese subtitles. (Which should be particularly helpful because in a couple of scenes two of the girls from Pravda speak Russian to each other.) I suspect it won't be long before we get an English sub, but you never know.

Assorted frame grabs below the fold.

more...

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May 25, 2016

Bakuon -- retrospective

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It's a lot more pleasant watching anime stored on a flash drive than it is on my NAS, you know that? The NAS ain't blazingly fast at the best of times, for one thing, and if I stop using it for a few minutes the drive spins down. Which is what it's supposed to do, in order to increase the drive life. It's just annoying because sometimes I try to use it and have to wait ten or so seconds for the drive to spin up again.

Anyway none of those things get in the way when watching from the flash drive. So I decided to go back and rewatch all of Bakuon! this afternoon, in part because I wanted to grab and post all the eye catches. But along the way I spotted something that annoyed me a bit the first time and still annoys me.

OK, this show is a farce, and when you watch a farce you turn up the "suspension of disbelief" dial to 11. I understand that. But it still didn't work in this case.

Some background: Rin's bike is a 400cc Suzuki Katana. There are a range of sizes of bikes sold under the Katana brand name, ranging from 50cc up to 1100cc, as far as I can tell. Part of Rin's character is that she's pretentious. So one day the bike club decide to go out for a touring ride, just because the weather is nice, and Rin decline to join them. She really wants to go but she wants someone to beg her, and no one does. So she follows them and pulls in at the destination shortly after they arrive.

But when accused of following the other girls, she claims she's there for another group. Onsa points out three guys with full-size Katanas and asks if that's them.

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Well, she's stuck. So she rolls her bike over to them and says, "Hi, fellow Suzuki riders. Mind if I join you?"

And they snub her. Her bike is too small.

No. Not a chance. I can't buy that. Yes, it was a funny scene but even the rule of funny doesn't excuse this.

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There isn't any chance that those guys wouldn't immediately try to hit on a girl that looks like this, especially when she went to them instead of the other way around. Of course, if they had done that it would have been really creepy and this isn't that kind of show.

Oh, well. That's what I get for refusing to turn my brain off. Now, as to the eyecatches, they're all fan service, each featuring a bike which doesn't appear in the show and one of the girls dressed as a race queen. And they all look good. One thing that's nice is that Hane is always with a Honda, Rin with a Suzuki, Onsa with a Yamaha, Hijiri with a Ducati, and Lime with a Kawasaki. So there have been 8 so far and they're all below the fold.

more...

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May 24, 2016

Vivio cries

I really like Nanoha Vivid. I liked the anime and I like the manga, but it looks like most of the rest of the world doesn't agree.

The anime stopped in the middle of the story (right after Einhart and Corona fought in the tournament) and clearly was intended to be the first half of a split-cour series. But they didn't release it on BD, which is a very, very bad sign and there's no indication whatever of another cour coming in future. I think it's dead.

As to the manga, that's still ongoing. Chapters come out once a month, and a circle called "Vivid Translation" has been working fitfully on it -- or not, as the case may be. The most recent chapter they've translated is #62 and that was in January.

They just posted an explanation and said they haven't given up. The art cleaner is dropping out, or may as a practical matter have dropped out months ago. They just faced reality and recruited someone new, so maybe we'll start getting chapters again. That's what they're saying. But they've been saying that for months now without delivering.

I sure hope they mean it this time; I want to know what's happening with Ixy.

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I also want to know why Corona had to fight Tao in the middle of a limestone cave. And who the blonde chick is who stole Sacred Heart and forced Vivio to fight without it, and why. And a bunch of other things.

Volumes have been released about twice a year, and the most recent volume (#16) came out in April. It begins with chapter 78 and probably contains 5 chapters. But we don't know because no one seems to think it worth scanning and posting anywhere I've found, and I've looked.

I understand that they're volunteers and at best crabbing at them would be counterproductive. They owe me as much as I'm paying them, which is to say "nothing". But it's frustrating, especially because they put together a "B-team" who have been translating other titles from the Nanoha manga canon and making lots of progress doing so.

If I had a choice, I'd prefer lower-quality output from a B-team to nothing at all, but that apparently isn't how they feel. It's a shame.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 06:06 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 23, 2016

Bakuon -- in the future

I'm really looking forward to this:

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Lime is really getting into it, baby!

It might be in the next episode, but it's probably the one after that.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:39 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Bakuon ep 8 -- Punny Christmas!

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It's winter and we're approaching the end of December. Which means Hijiri's birthday is coming up and soon she'll be 16 and elegible for a driver's license. In fact, she already has one. There's a country which will issue one for enough money (and if there's anything Hijiri has it's plenty of money) and the Japanese government will accept it and roll it over into a Japanese license without any test.

more...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 01:34 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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