October 03, 2015

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry -- ep 1

This was actually pretty good. Nothing astounding about it, yet, and a lot of romcom tropes to be sure, but there's spirit in it, life. And It's growing on me.

Our hero is Ikki Kurogane. In the school his rank is "F", which means he's flunking. His nickname in the school is "The Worst". But he isn't sullen or resentful; he is upbeat and cheerful and he's working his best to be as good as he can be, even though he has next-to-no magic. He attends a school in Japan for Magical Knights, so his lack of magic is a serious impediment.

Stella Vermillion is a princess of a foreign land whose magical power ranks "A". She has decided to attend this school, for reasons which come out later. The school headmaster assigns her to share Ikki's room.


Boy meets Girl, who has a spectacular figure and exquisite taste in lingerie. Shortly thereafter she powers up and is about to try to kill him, when the headmaster shows up to inform them both that they've been assigned as roommates.

Well, Stella ain't happy with that, and to settle the whole business they are going to fight a mock duel, using something like the rules and magical protections used in the InterMiddle championship in Nanoha Vivid.


The match is announced and a crowd shows up to watch it. Can't you just feel the excitement?


Given Ikki's reputation, and his nominal rank of "F", Stella assumes it will be an easy win. But she finds herself struggling, so she eventually decides to haul out her magic and become a supersaiyajin.



It isn't really a spoiler to reveal that it doesn't help, and that she loses. That was pretty much a foregone conclusion.


So the two of them come to an accomodation and agree to be roommates.


Stella had a talk with the headmaster about Ikki, and her main reaction was that categorizing him as "F" was blatantly unfair. The headmaster tells her that the problem is that the evaluation algorithm isn't tuned properly for someone like Ikki, because it only evaluates the ways in which Ikki is weak, without giving any credit for the multitude of ways he's actually really good.

When Stella first arrived, she told the headmaster that the reason she was there was because she was constantly put in a box back home, a box labeled "genius", and couldn't free herself from it to try to work to improve herself. That seems to be why the headmaster assigned her to Ikki as a roommate. She tells Stella that she should try to learn from him.

This is a harem show and in this first episode we met at least two other girls who are probably going to end up in the harem, but it's clear that Stella is the first girl, and the others are just going to be complications.

And I'm intrigued. There's plenty of potential here for this show to go completely off the rails, of course, but there's also potential here for a really good series.

The best thing is Ikki. He isn't a Marty Stu but he isn't a potato-kun either. He's just a really nice guy who is doing his best to overcome some serious failings, and trying to make himself as good as he can be. Ikki isn't competing with anyone else and he frankly doesn't care what anyone else thinks about him, which is why his nickname of "The Worst" rolls off him without leaving a mark.

If they maintain that, and don't descend into idiotic romcom tropes, it could end up being pretty good. Stella is giving tsundere vibes and the best thing would be for that to fade out, though I suppose that's too much to hope for.

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry gets a tentative thumbs-up.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 07:11 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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October 02, 2015

Hackadoll -- ep 1

Our first reject of the season is Hackadoll. The only good thing is an example of red half-rim glasses. (Or pink, anyway.) It's 7:30 episodes, about one third of which is taken up by the OP and ED.


Our three hackadolls are up in cyber-heaven or whereever unloved programs go to wait for assignment, along with their boss who cusses them out for being useless failures.


Then our victim downloads the Hackadoll program into her phone, and they show up.




They try to find some way to help our victim, and what they end up with is that she's an wannabe doujin artist. Here's some of her work:


So maybe the rest of the series will be about them trying to help her to do a yaoi doujin to sell at Comiket. Or maybe she'll kick them out, delete the program, and they'll go back to the karma farm to wait for another assignment. Regardless, they'll do it without me.

That's even despite the fact that Hackadoll #2's job seems to be gainaxing.


Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:29 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Beavers -- Taking it to the next level

I was looking out the window just now, and saw that the assistant handyman was out at the creek trying to disassemble the latest creation by our rodent engineers.

Suddenly he started batting at himself and ran away. It looks like he found a hornet nest.

Apparently the beavers are tired of having their work destroyed, and set guards this time. Armed guards! Angry armed guards!!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 07:55 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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October 01, 2015

Umpqua Community College shooting

I've been following the news reports of the latest school shooting. This one happened at Umpqua Community College, about 180 miles south of here, so it's a bit more of a shock than usual.

As I write this now, the reports are that it was a single shooter, 20 year old male, and the cops killed him. Everything else is hazy (fog of war) and it probably won't be until tomorrow before we really have a good idea what happened.

But there are two things that are absolutely certain.

1. Lefties will start droning about how guns are dreadfully dangerous and we need more "common sense" gun control. (Which usually means preventing the law abiding from owning guns, without having any effect whatever on whether criminals and the violently insane can get them.)

2. Righties will start talking (more correctly, IMHO) about how "gun-free zones" are dangerous and idiotic.

And everyone will talk past the real reason for the Second Amendment. (Hint: it has nothing to do with hunting or self-defense.)

UPDATE: There's only one thing that can change the above non-conversation even slightly: If it turns out the shooter had an Arab name, the right will also talk about immigration and about the dangers of Islamic extremism.

But it won't change what the left has to say, including the President -- who has scheduled a speech this evening, in which he will call for "common sense" limitations, yet again.

UPDATE: It is interesting that they haven't revealed the shooter's name yet. That could be because they're having a hard time contacting relatives (which, presumably, will be easier this evening) but it could be because he is a lone-wolf jihadi, or even a "known-wolf jihadi".

I guess we'll know tomorrow.

UPDATE: His name was Chris Harper Mercer, and he was 26.

UPDATE: Here's more on him. Looks like a lone nutcase.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 02:08 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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September 30, 2015

Here's how to make F1 exciting

Picture here. I bet that car would win every race.

UPDATE: It wouldn't work. The blades would be shoved towards the sky by the tires.

Besides, if it did work, it means this car would be hugging the bumper of the car in front of it when that one loses control. Is that really where you want to be?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in linky at 07:29 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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Metanorn Fall 2015 preview

Here it is.

UPDATE: And here's the preview from Tenka Seiha.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in linky at 07:12 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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September 29, 2015

Who is this Who?

To say that I'm not very conversant with "Dr. Who" canon is an understatement. The only Doctor I ever watched was #3 #4 (Tom Baker), and that was back in the 1970's.

However, the Doctor is a special guest star in the second and third parts of "Ensign Sue Must Die". A running joke in the third part ("Crisis of Infinite Sues") is that the Doctor keeps getting killed, and regenerates in another of his forms. Sometimes they don't last long.


This one, for instance, only lasted one frame.

The final form, at the end of the series, is the one I'm confused by:


Um... when was the Doctor a hot blonde? Is this canon?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Entertainment at 03:58 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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September 28, 2015

Red half-rim glasses watch -- Isuca


Her name is Nadeshiko and she's a teacher, among other things. I downloaded this series just now, for the hell of it, and I've watched 4 episodes already. It seemed like a good candidate for plundering, and I think it'll be worth finishing. It's only 10 episodes anyway, and watching it isn't really painful.

But it sure is cheesy. No one will claim this one is high art. Much more, including lots of NSFW, below the fold.


Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:26 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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September 27, 2015

I must be doing something wrong

Someone on Metafilter just linked to me and didn't insult me. I thought it was in the rules there that any mention of me had to demonstrate disapproval.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in linky at 09:37 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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September 24, 2015

Random Curiousity Fall 2015 preview

Here it is.

UPDATE: OK, I'll watch one (repeat one) episode of each of these:

Hacka Doll (Search engines anthropomorphized as cute girls.)

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry (A guy and girl assigned as roommates)

Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan (Loli Kami of hot springs)

JK Meshi (High School Girls cooking)

Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou etc. (One boy in a school full of girls)

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka (Cute girls doing cute things in coffee shops. Also, Rize's guns.)

Ani Tore EX (Isshoni Training without Hinako, and probably no gainaxing)

They're all cheap thrills, and I think it highly unlikely I'll want to watch any more of any of them.

(And I have less-than-zero interest in "One Punch Man." Words cannot express how uninterested I am in that show.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in linky at 10:07 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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