May 30, 2016
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.)
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".
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.
May 28, 2016
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.
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...
Steven Hayward has trolled me.
I have to admit that it took me something like 10 seconds before I noticed something really wrong with this picture. Which I guess proves I'm Cis, not Trans, and that I'm old but not dead. (Whew!)
I think this is really sweet:
Here's how he did it:
This one is pretty good, too:
Warning, lots of NSFW elsewhere on his page.
May 25, 2016
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.
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.
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...
May 24, 2016
A hundred thousand flying foxes have invaded the town of Batesmans Bay, south of Sydney.
The article says they're a threatened species so the authorities can't kill them. It would be stupid to kill them anyway; they're major insectivores and taking that many out of the ecosystem would have significant consequences. (Kind of like the farmers who shoot all the hawks and then complain about being overrun by rodents.)
So the authorities are going to have to come up with a way to scare them away. I wonder how the bats feel about firecrackers?
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.
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.
So my order to NewEgg was for two flash disks and two cans of compressed air "dusters", and as always seems to be the case Newegg divided them into two orders and shipped from two locations.
The flash disks shipped from Oakland by Fedex overnight, and Fedex tracking says they're at the Portland sort facility and on track to deliver today "before 8 PM".
The dusters shipped from Tukwila, WA by UPS overnight, and UPS tracking says it's in Portand and on track to deliver "by end of day".
So who will win the race, Fedex or UPS? Stay tuned...
UPDATE: AND THEY'RE OFF! UPS tracking shows "Out for delivery" as of 0701.
UPDATE: Fedex shows the package at Lake Oswego as of 0817.
UPDATE: Starting from the pit lane, Fedex now reports the package on a truck out for delivery at 0852.
UPDATE: And there's the checkered flag! 1220 Fedex wins. Now to see how well these memory sticks work.
UPDATE: I might have known; like all mass storage makers, they're using 109 as a "gig" instead of 230. Windows says 468G.
UPDATE: And a 22G transfer went at 33 MB/s, compared to about 12 MB/s for the USB2 drives. I think we have a winner here.
UPDATE: And UPS limps across the finish line at 1320. And now I can go take a nap, thank goodness, because I really need one.
May 23, 2016
I'm really looking forward to this:
Lime is really getting into it, baby!
It might be in the next episode, but it's probably the one after that.
He stabbed her 20 times, including once in the neck. The only reason she didn't die immediately is that he was using a pocket knife. But there isn't anything else good about it. Depending on what he hit in her neck, it may be impossible for her to fully recover. With that many wounds it may be impossible anyway, and even if she can it'll take a long time.
Anyway, according to the report she hasn't regained consciousness, which is never a good sign.
(Note: there are apparently two idols with this name. This isn't the one who is in AKB48; this is the one who starred in the show "Secret Girls".)
UPDATE: Of course, there isn't anything new about rabid fans; ask John Lennon or Jodi Foster. But it's still sad when it happens.
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