July 17, 2010

Mystery Meat -- Battle Programmer Shirase

I think I downloaded Battle Programmer Shirase because the name was wonderful. But it's been sitting on my server unwatched for several months now. And having nothing else to write about now, I decided it was time for another installment of Mystery Meat.

Shirase is the uber-nerd. He's so laid back he's nearly comatose. He's living in a tiny apartment behind the house where his... niece... lives. She's actually older than he is, by quite a lot. He seems to be in his 20's. His niece has a daughter who is in high school. Her name is Misao, and she calls him Onii-chan. She's got a key to his apartment, and she shows up a lot and cooks for him.

Shirase is legendary in certain circles as being the best hacker alive. He's known as BPS, Battle Programmer Shirase.

At the beginning of the show, someone hacks the delivery system for BHL (a take on DHL) and gets a supercomputer going through SeaTac delivered to his home in Portland OR. (I didn't do it! You can't prove anything!)

The computer belonged to an electronics company in Japan who had, at one point, made a certain model of PC but cancelled it. Our bad guy (who is fat and obviously has never had a girl friend) sends a rather incoherent blackmail letter demanding that they begin to make that PC again.

A nervous salaryman seeks out Shirase, asking for his help to stop the bad guy. Shirase eventually agrees. They're in a cab heading towards the company HQ, when there are a couple of huge explosions on the building.

So Shirase borrows the salaryman's cell phone and takes the bastard on, by remotely controlling the server in his own apartment. Then we get cuts between Shirase and the bad guy as the battle goes into full gear, with an occasional flash to the salaryman showing that he doesn't at all understand what's happening.

There's nothing serious about this show; it's a 5-ep OVA and it's all comedy and satire. But whoever did it clearly has known real programmers. These three pictures, of Shirase's apartment, are more than enough to prove it:

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And here's the nerd and his great-niece:

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Anyway, that apartment is instantly recognizable: cardboard boxes, girly magazines, anime posters, more computer equipment than any normal person would ever own, and Jolt Cola. Homo Nerdus in his natural habitat.

I really enjoyed this, in part because it's about me and people I've known. My place doesn't look like that any more, but in the past I've lived like that. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of it.

UPDATE: Well... I've lived like that except for the cute girl coming around to cook for me. (sob)

UPDATE: That's interesting. ANN says it was 15 12-minute episodes. What I've got is 5 30-minute episodes, and no indication of a break in the middle.

UPDATE: Mystery solved. There was a 5-ep version of it.

UPDATE: I'm watching ep 2, and I was wrong. The great niece is in grade school.

UPDATE: Finished.

Only it isn't. It feels like the introduction to a longer story. In fact, it feels like a prequel. The other series, the 15 12-minute episodes that ANN described, I wonder if they pick up from here?

The first episode was all broad humor, but it gets more serious, and they start laying out back story.

I did enjoy it and I'm glad I watched, though there was one running joke I could have done without. There was a different running joke that I didn't understand, probably a cultural reference I don't know about:

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Mystery Meat at 08:06 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
Post contains 610 words, total size 4 kb.

1 I have no Jolt Cola.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 17, 2010 10:00 PM (PiXy!)

2 I've never had a chance to taste it, myself. I've been curious about it, though, because they say they make it with cane sugar instead of HFCS.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 17, 2010 10:59 PM (+rSRq)

3 I remember back when I was 16, I drank a two-liter bottle of Jolt during a three or four hour gaming session.  By the end of it, I was quivering enough to turn pencils into sawdust with just the touch of a wingtip.

Even though I was young and stupid, I remember thinking that such power should not be in the hands of mere mortals.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 18, 2010 12:20 AM (iJfPN)

4 I don't think I've ever had soda made with HFCS.  In Australia, it's all cane sugar.  That's what Queensland's for.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 18, 2010 03:21 AM (PiXy!)

5 Honestly, Jolt's real kick doesn't come from the caffeine (it's still only, say, a third as caffeinated as a glass of tea). It's also got that much more sugar in it, and when you're young and susceptible to sugar rushes...

It doesn't taste that great, though. Not as good as Dr. Pepper (even the DIET Dr. Pepper tastes better these days).

Though Dr. Pepper with cane sugar instead of HFCS is quite nice indeed...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at July 18, 2010 10:00 AM (mRjOr)

6 I tried Jolt when it first came out, and rejected it for poor taste. Drinking two sodas that tasted good was a more effective method of caffeine acquisition than drinking one Jolt.

-j

Posted by: J Greely at July 18, 2010 10:39 AM (2XtN5)

7 The other iconic highly-caffeinated soft drink is Mountain Dew, which IIRC is grapefruit flavored.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 18, 2010 12:08 PM (+rSRq)

8 Squirt is the only one I know of that's grapefruit-ish in origin. I'd say that Mountain Dew is Mello Yello-flavored.

(and I think my second-greatest culture shock in moving to Silicon Valley was the discovery that Mello Yello wasn't available)

-j

Posted by: J Greely at July 18, 2010 10:49 PM (2XtN5)

9 I haven't had Jolt in years (I don't recall seeing it in South Carolina, Tampa, or Texas, although if someone wants to tell me where to find it in Dallas I'll go looking) but if I remember correctly it tastes similar to RC Cola. It is somewhat of an acquired taste. I remember the first sip I ever had: it was like a mild Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. You really notice that *kick* to the back of the throat.

Posted by: RickC at July 19, 2010 01:08 PM (qgE3i)

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