April 20, 2015

Fairy Tail -- chapter 430


And that's all there is to it!

It turns out that Lucy has a Star Dress for each of her Zodiac summon, and in each case it gives her some of the power of the summons. They all look a lot different, too. So far we've seen three:


Star Dress Leo is an evening gown.


Star Dress Virgo puts her into a maid costume.


And Star Dress Taurus is a cowgirl, minus a hat.

I was wondering about Taurus (and Aries).

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April 19, 2015

Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box is a game that Microsoft published 15 years ago. Maybe 10 years ago I tried installing it on my computer which didn't have a 4:3 display, and it worked but was unplayable. It runs full-screen and it filled the screen, so the aspect ratio was wrong. Since a lot of the games involve unscrambling scrambled pictures, it was even harder, and anyway there was no joy in completing one since the image was awful.

Last night I tried installing it again, and glory be! It runs full-screen but it only uses the center part of the screen, so the aspect ratio is correct even on my 16:9 display.


One of the early images is a picture of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan, complete with the World Trade Towers, which of course no longer exist. The game copyright is 2000, and that image probably dates from even earlier. It kind of led me to a moment of silence and contemplation.

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April 18, 2015

Annals of good and bad design

BAD: Just now I wanted to buy something from Office Depot to be delivered here. (I've done this five or six times before.) My bank thinks my billing address is my brother's place. The zipcode there used to be 97006, but recently the post office rototilled the zipcode assignments (because population in this area has risen a lot) and apparently now it's 97003.

Well, my bank doesn't know that. It still thinks it's 97006.

So I entered my billing address for my credit card on Office Depot's web site, and it overrode the zip code I entered (97006) changing it to 97003. And when it submitted the charge to my bank, it didn't match so my bank bounced it.

So I went back into the form and manually changed it to 97006 -- and they overrode it again, to 97003, and the charge bounced again. I'm not willing to mess with it any more; there's a risk the bank will lock my account. So Office Depot loses a sale today.

And the hell of it is that Office Depot is wrong. I just checked and his zipcode still is 97006. The change won't happen for a few months yet.

GOOD: I have a Sharp Microwave oven with a rotating platform inside. I noticed recently that it rotates exactly once every ten seconds. That means when I put a Pyrex measuring cup full of cold water in it and run it 2:30 to make a cup of coffee, when it's done the handle of the measuring cup is exactly where it was when I put it inside, so it's convenient to remove it.

Some nameless, faceless, engineer at Sharp really thought that through.

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Nanoha Vivid ep 3


"I won her, fair and square, and now I'm taking her home with me."

UPDATE: No, that's not what's really happening...

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Re-Kan -- ep 3

OK, with this episode we're no longer trapped in 4-Koma hell. They actually told a story this time that ran most of the length of the episode. And it was a good story. It brought tears to my eyes. (I'm such a softy.)


In a show about ghosts, inevitably some of the stories will be about death and loss, and this one was. But Amami was able to use her special talent to help a couple of people heal.

One of those was Inoue, who no longer even tries to pretend that she doesn't believe. And as of this episode Inoue and Amami are now pretty close friends.

Amami is a yamato nadesico. Her character page on the show website says so. It's not a character type you see very often, and it was an interesting choice. I think it works. The danger is that it could turn Amami into a plot device instead of a complex character, but so far I think they've avoided that mistake.

Azumanga Daioh started out just doing gags but fairly soon started telling stories of varying lengths. I think that's what has happened with the 4-Koma that this show is based on, too, and that's the reason why the production company thought they could turn it into a decent anime. If it had continued like the first two episodes, it would have crashed and burned. But with this episode we can see the potential for more beginning to develop.

UPDATE: And next week we get a beach episode. I guess that was inevitable. Will we get an onsen ep, too?

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April 17, 2015

The uselessness of public opinion polls

A Japanese website asked Japanese readers: Which female anime character has the most curves?

Well, as stated the question is stupid. If drawn correctly, they should all have the same number of curves. Some will be longer and more bulgy than others, but if the character isn't malformed or diseased, they'll have the same number of curves.

Anyway, ignoring that, the list that resulted was very strange. Three different girls from K-on ended up in the top ten. One of those, Tsumugi, arguably rates being on the list, but the other two shouldn't even have been also-rans. Lucy Heartfilia managed to make 14th place but she was the only character from Fairy Tail who rated.

No one from Senran Kagura was on the list. Super Sonico wasn't on the list, and being curvy is her signature feature. No one from Maken Ki was on the list. No one from Madan no Ou to Vanadis. Sylphy got ignored. None of the girls from Dragonar rated. No one from Momo Kyun Sword. Yukikaze Panettone was slighted. No Rias Gremory.

As usual, people ignored the actual question and just voted for characters they liked. I'm a bit surprised that Louise wasn't the winner; that would be in character. (But I guess her star is fading.)

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SJWs pop an artery

BoingBoing posted this picture on Twitter:


And the response was ferocious.

How many SJWs does it take to change a light bulb?



Who are you calling "Kitty kitty kitty"?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 11:07 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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April 16, 2015

Punchline -- ep 2

I guess the idea of this episode was to do character building. The only important event as far as I could tell was Yuuta breaking a bottle and getting a level up from it. Everything else was him observing the women who were all being crazy.

There wasn't even any fan service, and the world didn't blow up this time.

It felt like filler, but ep 2 is a bit early for filler episodes.

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Mundanes will believe anything

Someone in the UK is under the impression that underboob blue ribbons are a new fashion trend in Japan.

Which of course is baloney. The only place it'll show up is Hestia cosplay.

It's interesting going through something like Yandere (NSFW) to see what characters have, and have not, caught on with fan artists. And based on what I saw just now, Hestia is a hit. Dunno about the show, but the artists love her.

Fino Bloodstone whiffed entirely; there are only 11 (NSFW). Hestia already has 72 (NSFW) and that show has only been out for a couple of weeks.

UPDATE: Having said that, I'm sure the ribbon is part of the reason why Hestia is so popular so far, and it was a stroke of genius by the character designer.

UPDATE: Here are some others (without links):

Louise 567
Misaka Mikoto 738
Super Sonico 317
Sonsaku Hakufu 155
Rias Gremory 120
Millhiore F. Biscoti 128
Lucy Heartfilia 47
Eris 56
Sento Isuzu 218
Haramura Nodoka 185
Maka Albarn 131
Ishiki Akane 66

The popularity of Railgun is a bit of a surprise.


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April 15, 2015

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku -- eps 1-2


Oh, this is another bad one. Our heroine is Eruna, who is a raging lesbian, or maybe would like to be but doesn't yet have any actual experience doing that.

...not that there's anything wrong with that... I think is what I'm supposed to say at this point.

She makes Kuroko the Teleporter look calm and stately. But what she's actually been doing is playing dating games and imagining herself "getting the girl" -- and then running off to the nurse's office at the school because there are beds there.

She is near to graduating, or has graduated, from middle school and doesn't seem too interested in finding a high school to get into. Her cousin is just as weird as she is. His name is Shigure and he's hung up on Eruna and makes no secret about it. He keeps reminding her that since they're cousins it's legal. (Which is the case in Japan.) He shows up with a brochure from the high school that he attends, and she leafs through it.

She declares that the school uniforms are cute, and she also sees a picture in it of a gorgeous girl. He tells her that her name is Seisa Mikagura, and she's the granddaughter of the founder of the school. Eruna instantly falls in love lust, and decides to apply there.

The application process is bizarre. First, she's given an exam which is absurdly easy, consisting of things like "1+4 = ? 1+5 = ? 1+6 = ?".

And then there's an interview. The interviewer is a talking, flying cat, and he eventually tells her that anyone who can see him gets admitted.

And it gets crazier from there. The whole thing is run at farcical levels, and for that to work you need a single sane person in the middle, a rock in the storm for the audience to hang onto. There wasn't one as far as I can tell. It sure as hell isn't Eruna, who spends about half of these episodes drooling with lust at the various girls she meets.

There's probably a story here, but I don't care enough to keep watching to find out. There wasn't enough fan service to cover up all the flaws (as in, "there wasn't any at all") so it doesn't even have that going for it. I'm not sure who this is supposed to appeal to, but it sure ain't me.

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