March 29, 2015

Senran Kagura OVA

It seems to be happening long after the TV series, because there are a lot of schools involved. Five girls from each school, and when they meet they seem to view one another as rivals but not as blood enemies. Which suits me fine; I don't want to see girls getting sliced up.

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Girls from four schools all receive an invitation for an all-expenses-paid visit to a particular indoor water park on the same day at the same time. NSFW below the fold.

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Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Cheesecake at 02:47 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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Nanatsu no Taizai -- ep 24

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Hendrickson has been fully converted into a demon, and the normal attacks by the Sins and the Holy Knights don't seem to affect him. So Meliodas pulls out his final, best attack: Revenge Counter.

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Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 11:16 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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March 28, 2015

Dog Days S3 ep 12 -- And home again.

Compared to how the other two series ended, this one was surprisingly low key. No histrionics, no tears, no angst, just "Bye-bye, see you next time!"

And, well, a bit of a visual joke:

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This is a phantom beast, a thankyou gift from the Sky Priestess.

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Nope.

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Nope.

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Ah, perfect!

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Boing!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 05:11 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Surprising anime

There are a couple of recent anime which have surprised me.

When Madan no Ou to Vanadis was running, I caught every episode as soon as it showed up. But now that it's over, the surprising thing is that I have no urge whatever to rewatch it. The last time I looked at any of it was when I plundered it for the top rotation.

Strike the Blood is exactly the opposite. I didn't watch it when it originally ran. When a BD rip of it showed up I downloaded that solely for plunder purposes. But I've gotten hooked on it and rewatched various parts of it a lot of times.

I'm no big fan of vampire stories; on the contrary, most of them reek to high heaven. (Most of them are woman wish-fulfilment, and I ain't a babe.) Which is why I ignored it on first broadcast.

But in this case, the vampire (Kojou) doesn't consume blood for nourishment. It's a magical powerup, and in the course of the entire series I think he only drinks blood about six times. More to the point, every time the maiden in question volunteers for it, and not because he's using some sort of Vampire hypnosis on her.

Another thing that works well about the series is that it's divided into discrete story arcs, and none of those is long enough to be pretentious. There are seven of them in a 24-episode series, none longer than four episodes. Yet none of them feel rushed. They also don't feel padded.

Over the course of the series Kojou becomes more and more powerful, but itdoesn't skyrocketlike DBZ power inflation; that too is nice.

The kind of series that I find myself rewatching make me wish I was there, at least a little bit. And Strike the Blood does that.

There are a bunch of interesting supporting characters in it, and none of them are really annoying. Dimitry Vatler is probably the most annoying, in his intro arc, but they crank way back on that later even though he gets involved in a bunch of the remaining stories.

Yet another thing that's nice: one guy and several desirable girls, but it is NOT a harem show. The chosen one is the first we meet and it's obvious she's the one. (That's confirmed at the end, by the way, though it's subtle.)

Natsuki is probably the most interesting supporting character, and I was glad that one of the best story arcs was about her.

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She's a teacher and she claims to be 26, even though she looks like a loli, and wears Goth-Loli fashions. Is she really 26? Having seen the truth about her origin I'm still not sure, but she could be. Depends on the chronology, I guess. Anyway, because she looks like she's 12 years old, the other main characters all call her "Natsuki-chan", which invariably makes her mad.

She tends to be a bit disrespectful, which she can get away with because she's very powerful. She refers to vampires as "bats" and she calls Dimitry "hebi-tsukai" which FFF translated nicely as "snake charmer". (She's not the only the only person who calls him that, I should mention.)

She's always fun, and her arc was particularly nice.

There are also some rather interesting support characters who only show up once or twice. This one is my favorite:

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She's a computer hacker that goes by the sobriquet "Tank Driver". She's only on screen for a couple of minutes, but they are wonderful minutes indeed.

No, I'm not attracted to the show because of the lolis. Those two are the only ones, and there are other characters I like, too.

The show never feels as if it's bogged down, like it's run out of momentum. Things are going on constantly, and there's plenty of action. I really enjoy it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:55 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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March 27, 2015

Sitemeter -- going to town, or going to hell

I've been noticing lately that links from some sites redirect to something called x.vindicosuite.com instead of going where I want them to. I've got it in my block file, so I just get a fail instead of the bogus advertising they're trying to feed me.

This guy says it's Sitemeter doing it. I have no idea if that's the case. This kind of random redirector is a common characteristic of certain pieces of malware, but Microsoft Security Essentials says I'm clean, so I don't think that's what's happening to me. Also, it isn't happening everywhere; only just a few sites (mostly PJ Media, but just now also Random Curiosity).

Anyway, you shouldn't see it happening here because I deleted Sitemeter months ago. If you do, I need to know about it.

If Sitemeter really is responsible for this, they've apparently decided to commit suicide. This is the kind of thing that can make a company a total pariah.

UPDATE: Yup, It's Sitemeter. I loaded the RandomC page into Firefox and stored it "web page complete" into a directory, then used WinGrep to search for "vindicosuite" and found it in a file called "counter.js". The first line in that file is:

// Copyright (c)2006 Site Meter, Inc.

I think I'll let them know.

UPDATE: And guess where it was loaded from?

http://s22.sitemeter.com/js/counter.js?site=s22randomc

OK, I'm blocking sitemeter.com now.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 06:30 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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Spring 2015 previews

RandomC and Tenka Seiha.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 06:14 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Strange thoughts

When I'm playing Master of Magic, I have this strange mental image. End of the game comes and I cast the Spell of Mastery, and all my opponents pop like soap bubbles and are gone.

But then the game ends, and I imagine all my loyal people in my cities watching as the universe disintegrates around them. People are running through the streets screaming in fear; mothers grasp their children and hold them; the cathedrals are full of people praying for salvation; and then in an instant they're all gone.

It always makes me feel like a mass murderer.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 10:04 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 101 words, total size 1 kb.

server issues

We're having intermittent server issues this morning. I'm sure everything will get back to normal soon; please be patient.

UPDATE: All better now!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Site Stuff at 06:01 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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March 25, 2015

Shinmai Maou no Testament -- ep 12

I downloaded the raw for the last episode. I dropped it after two because it was looking like a brain dead fan service fest, so I was expecting the worst from the ending.

It was a surprise. I can't say it was good but it wasn't at all what I thought it would be.

The first half or so was a major battle featuring Our Hero, the Redhead, and some demon I'd never seen fighting against some bad guys. Lots of action, lots of magic, and no MCSA. About all there was for fan service was some gainaxing.

And then the second half was "back home, and they live happily ever after". No shower scenes, no accidental compromising situations, no tsundere antics. Five different girls (I think) all kissed Our Hero, thus establishing the harem, but that was it.

It makes me wonder if I misjudged the show; it might have been better than I thought. (Not good, but not as miserable as I originally expected.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 05:27 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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You don't want a war, but the war wants you...

It's beginning to look like the crash in the Alps was deliberate. One of the black boxes was recovered and it was the cockpit voice recorder. What they found when they played it back was that one of the pilots left the cockpit, and the door was locked after him. He tried to get back in and couldn't, beginning by knocking and ending by trying to break the door down.

The other black box hasn't been found yet, but we have records from air traffic control telling us that the jet went into a shallow dive which ended with lithobraking.

Some people are trying to say that the cockpit depressurized, leaving a dead or unconscious hand at the controls, but that doesn't explain why one guy left the cockpit, nor does it explain why the plane went into a dive.

As Ace says, "What was this pilot's name?"

For the time being, we don't know which one left the cockpit, but I can't see any reason for not releasing both names (unless they are still trying to reach family members with the news).

I know what ethnicity I'd put my wager on...

UPDATE: Looks like it was the copilot, who did it deliberately. But I was wrong about the ethnicity.

We may never know why he did it.

UPDATE: Oh, boy. There are rumors that the copilot recently converted to Islam.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 04:17 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 241 words, total size 2 kb.

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