July 17, 2010
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:
And here's the nerd and his great-niece:
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.
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: Pixy Misa at July 17, 2010 10:00 PM (PiXy!)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 17, 2010 10:59 PM (+rSRq)
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)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at July 18, 2010 03:21 AM (PiXy!)
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)
Posted by: J Greely at July 18, 2010 10:39 AM (2XtN5)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 18, 2010 12:08 PM (+rSRq)
(and I think my second-greatest culture shock in moving to Silicon Valley was the discovery that Mello Yello wasn't available)
Posted by: J Greely at July 18, 2010 10:49 PM (2XtN5)
Posted by: RickC at July 19, 2010 01:08 PM (qgE3i)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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