Monday, April 30
I wrote a nice little summary of all the shows from the Spring season, and then I clicked on the wrong thing and the editor ate it.
You'll just have to read the posts for now.
Okay, I'll at least list the ones I plan to watch:
El Cazador de la Bruja - May be a rehash of Noir, but I haven't seen Noir. First two episodes are solid.
Darker Than Black - Mysterious, without the incoherence of Kiss Dum.
Rocket Girls - Looks like fun. Rockets. Girls. What more do you need?
And the ones I'll give a try:
Tengen Toppa Gurrren-Lagann - Extremely silly, but I'll give it at least a couple more episodes.
Claymore and Sisters of Wellber - Both show potential, but could fall into the great Cliche Swamp without warning.
iDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA - Rocket Girls seems to have taken the same formula and distilled it down to its essentials, but this still looks like it's worth a try.
Kami-chama Karin - But only because I want to know what the hell is going on.
Once you get past the opening theme - recorded, I understand, by a tone-deaf badger with a three-pack-a-day habit - you discover the real reason why classic 70's manga are rarely translated into 21st centry anime: Because they are total crap.
What exactly did the Moon do to deserve this?
Truly awful. Playstation One grade CGI poorly integrated with lousy cel-style animation. Ugly characters. Ugly everything, really. No plot appears to be presenting itself.
Abandoned at eight minutes.
The year is 2035. Seeking to develop new revenue streams, the U.N. General Assembly votes unanimously to declare war on itself. Mankind is wiped out, and replaced by scary lemur-people.
At last, the world war between giant robots, called Gigantics, will begin at 0:00 tomorrow. Due to the International Date Line, the Republic of Kiribati will start the war earliest, but our nation will start the war five hours later.I really, really hope that something got lost in translation here.
Remarkably ugly character designs meld perfectly with the utterly nonsensical plot and thoroughly hackneyed dialogue to produce an abomination upon the face of my laptop. I'll give it another minute to see if it improves...
Nope. It gets worse. Abandoned at the eight minute mark.
Thank you very much. We have an announcement to make: On July 4th of this year, America will blow up the moon.
And Japan will be there to clean up, using the most powerful technology known to man: Giant robots piloted by cute teenage girls.*
Oh, and chalk up another victim of the pupillae reconditus menace.
Character designs and animation are quite good, so worth a watch if you can overlook its flaws.
* Who would have thought that the most practical way to defend Earth from meteors was to send a giant robot into space and punch them?
The Solomon Space Association has a problem: Its new high-performance LS7 boosters, the key to a successful manned space program, have a reliability record of, well, zero. The old LS5's were reliable, but using those would require drastically scaling back every aspect of the mission...
... including the astronaut.
Silly but fun. I really like the characters in this one, making it the polar opposite of Bokurano.
That first scene with the Solomon Islanders, though. Wow. Just wow.
From the TV Tropes entry on Expy:
Shii from Puni Puni Poemi is quite a lot like Hyatt from Excel Saga, only excluding the tendency to cough up blood, drop dead, and come back to life, and including glasses and outrageously huge Gag Boobs.So Shii is like Hyatt... How, exactly?
Australia's Federal Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd, is against nuclear power but for expanded uranium mining. Leaving aside his hypocrisy on the subject of global warming - attacking the government's plans as inadequate while supporting the continued use of coal for base power generation - it's clear that his claim that he just wants to sell the uranium to other nations is disingenuous.
He really wants to build bombs.
That's the first policy that has endeared him to me in any way. Now if only he had the courage to admit it openly!
SDB wrote:Wilhelmina's de arimasu (an affectation she shares with Keroro of Keroro Gunsou), like the desu of Kurumi and her ilk are at least vaguely grammatical (I believe). And the ~nya and ~nyu of catgirls is almost universal.
What's with this business of particular characters appending idiosyncratic endings to their sentences? The robot Pyoro appends "pyoro" to most of his sentences in Vandread. Ogres in Hell in DBZ end their sentences with oni. Wilhelmina in Shakugan no Shana ends all her sentences with de arimasu. (That's not quite the same, but it's similar.) And Domino also has a unique ending. Dejiko and Puchiko end their sentences with nya or nyu (or something like that), which in that case is a deliberate affectation because they're trying to be catgirls.
But that geeto in Puchi Puri Yucie floored me at first; I wasn't following the subtitles closely and I thought that the gate was addressing Yucie in some strange manner I'd not previously encountered. Then I twigged that the gate was, well, a gate.
It could be that this was popularised by Lum, but I'm made to wonder what we might find if we dug up a subtitled version of Astro Boy or Kimba...
In modern-day Japan a tough fighting girl with inexplicable attachment to cloyingly cute Japanese schoolgirl must fight evil opposite number while alien armada overcomes '50's monster movie style resistance and occupies the earth and the story starts all over from the beginning.Clearly one of the Project A-ko sequels.
In a hellish future world a team of young Ninjas battle gang of evil psychics/androids/criminals and kill them.This Fist of the North Star/Naruto crossover never made it past the storyboard stage.
In Chicago a team of tough professional female pirates/mercenaries/soldiers accompanied by a cute robot battle evil alien armada and win.Gunsmith Cats 2040.
In outer space a young brooding hero accidentally falls victim to demonic possession and is thus brought into conflict with secret society bent on world domination and suffers the torments of the damned; sequels appear with diminishing frequency and eventually stop entirely.Irresponsible Devil Hunter Nadia.
I was listening to the latest Geeknights podcast - not one of my favourites, but I've already listened to all my favourites - and they happened to be capsule-reviewing shows from the current season.
They more-or-less panned El Cazador de la Bruja, which I quite like so far. They agreed that it is pretty to look at, and pretty to listen to, but said that it's a direct remake of Noir, and not worth watching for that and other reasons. Now, I haven't seen Noir, so it's quite possible that they are right, and if you have seen Noir, you won't find much reason to watch El Cazador de la Bruja.
But then, they liked Bokurano. A lot. So you can safely ignore everything they say about El Cazador de la Bruja (and Noir) because they are IDIOTS.
Books. Bugs. Boobies. Lots of things blowing up. Cute monsters wreaking havoc. Ludicrous biology.
They should have swiped the Mk II Plotomatic from Nagasarete Airantou, because this thing makes no sense.
Azumanga Daioh recuperating post-charmectomy. Purple hair. A swing and a miss from Kyo-Ani.
Girls with great... big... swords.
But I don't want great big swords!
Son, you live in the conveniently-located desert! You need all the swords you can get!
Demons. Demi-demons. Miscellaneous bodily fluids. Great heapings of grim and grit, but fairly engaging nonetheless.
Hapless highschool housewife... No, hang on.
Beautiful and contented housewife and mother called upon by God to once again take up her magical girl costume and fight evil.
Live action with extra cheese, but the lead actress is pretty cute.
A different take on the Okusama wa Mahou Shoujo theme.
Hapless highschool student drowns while running away from home, washes up on island populated entirely by beautiful but insane ninja girls. Engage Mk II Plotomatic!
Hapless highschool student drowns while on holidays, runs afoul of Yakuza mermaids.
Yeah, I think that says everything necessary.
Hapless highschool student joins the cycling club to win the heart of the prettiest girl in school. Dismally unfunny slapstick.
I won't write this off completely on the basis of a single episode, but it's pretty bad. Naturally, it appears to be the most popular show of the Spring season.
Strong, though somewhat cliched, followup to the first episode. I could have done without pervert-boy though. It would be nice if Nadie shot him at the start of episode 3, but I expect he'll be around for a while.
Saturday, April 28
I've had a couple of glitches with mee.nu and the mu.nu beta site over the last couple of weeks when updates didn't go quite as planned. I have a development environment here at Pixy Central, but updates go straight from development to deployment, with nothing in between. I'd been thinking of getting a new PC or two, so I specced out a staging/test server, and lo, it was cheap. And then I added a faster CPU and more memory and disk, and lo, it was still cheap. And then I realised that if I added even more memory, it would still be cheap, and I could run VMWare Server or OpenVZ and use the one box as my development, staging, test, and experimental server all at once.
Between the rising Aussie dollar and generally falling prices, I'm looking at $1000 for a system that's more than twice as fast and has twice as much memory as anything I have now. That will let me run six or eight virtual environments, so I can have everything live at all times.
Since I say farewell to Haruhi after Tuesday - that's my computer at my old job, and my support contract with them essentially finishes then - this will be the new Haruhi. And the virtual environments will be Kyon, Mikuru, Yuki, Itsuki, um, Ryoko, Tsuruya, Kyon's two friends - does Kyon's little sister actually have a name?
If it turns out I need a little more power or memory, I can just buy a second one; gigabit ethernet is plenty fast enough as an interconnect for this. I'm not going to buy eight servers just because I need eight servers, but I can certainly buy two. The only hard part would be coming up with a matching naming scheme...
Friday, April 27
I needed a break from coding, so below are some quick impressions of shows from the new season in Japan. More tomorrow.
Hot police chicks. The classic line "Shit, he's a contractor." (I've thought the same thing many times.) Misuse of Messier numbers. More pupillae reconditus. Much assorted weirdness.
Possibly too convinced of its own cool... but not necessarily wrong. One to watch.
A magical boy team? A heroine whose transformation phrase is I am God!? Cliche bomb! And then... not?
I'm going to have to watch the second episode of this one and report back. Meanwhile: Aieee! The cute! It burns!
A redheaded girl with a big flame sword fights demon-type beasties.
Okay, it's not that similar.
Points for making the head of the clan not an overbearing asshole, but in fact the sole level-headed character so far. Otherwise unspectacular in both story and art, but at least it moves along fairly quickly.
Class 1A vs. the volleyball-hearted mecha-lobster of doom. I doubt I'll bother with episode two.
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