A group of Somali Pirates attacked a tanker off the horn of Africa several hours ago. This would be sad but not remarkable as the piracy in the area has been bad for years and exploded in the last few months. However the tanker they attempted to board was the FGS Spessart, a German Navy supply ship.
The German sailors returned fire and pursued the skiff while also
calling in for support. Several naval ships â€” including a Greek and a
Dutch frigate, a Spanish warship and the USS Boxer â€” sped to the area
while a Spanish marine aircraft and two U.S. Marine Cobra helicopters
joined the pursuit. Five hours later, Greek sailors reached the pirate skiff, boarded it
and seized the seven suspects and their weapons, including assault
rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, the Greek navy said. The suspects
were disarmed and transferred for questioning to the German frigate
Rheinland-Pfalz where they remain Monday, pending a decision on whether
they will be legally prosecuted, Christensen said.
For a student of Japanese at ODU, the Virginia Beach Cherry Blossom Festival is sort of an annual requirement lest one get scowels on the following Monday. I had much to do today between work, family matters and studying but I was able to make it out to Red Wing Park in time to make the last hour or so. For the first time In my experience, the festival was held on a day that was warm and rain free.
Not only that, but the Cherry Blossoms were actually in bloom during the festival for the first time ever in the 5 years they've been holding it.
...and there are no fireworks. I must say that the attendance was surprisingly large. (These pics were taken as the festival was disbanding). Despite the mud (It's rained here for 5 days straight) the enthusiasm was high and many people decided to dress up for the festival in culturally appropriate attire...
One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes(tm) brings us news of a couple of reported breakthroughs in the refining of fuel from Algae.
First comes this story concerning a much improved refining process. What is described as a "continuously flowing fixed-bed" process allows a vast increase in efficiency and reportedly can be managed to produce no waste water. A big advantage of this method is that it uses a reusable catalyst rather than expendable reactants. Finally, as its name implies the process is...continuously flowing, which removes the "filling/emptying reaction tanks" stage and massively improves flow output. One of the developers This comes on the heels of the sucsessful testing of a seawater algal oil farm in Florida. This produced a thousand gallons of refined ATSM certified biodiesel on an eight of an acre...though the time interval is not mentioned. There is more on this here. This is particularly big news as they not only were using seawater..but open ponds.
Getting this performance from a SEAWATER species in open ponds vastly increases the potential locations and at a stroke reduces the fresh water demands of such an industry.
Finally, a recent breakthrough in biodiesel from discarded coffe grounds may at first blush seem to be of limited utility (one would want to use already used coffee grounds to avoid displacing excessive amounts of forests or cropland for coffee beans) but it could possibly have a non trivial benefit. You see, the Coffee diesel is reportedly much more stable than some other biodiesels so there exists the chance that it may have some utility as an organic additive. This last is speculation of course, but it bears investigation.
Hydrocarbons are very hard to replace for many mobile power applications (vehicles...especially aircraft) because they are so good as energy carriers. With that in mind, Brickmuppet Blog has been touting the advantages and potential of algal oil for some time as the potential energy density advantages over other oil crops are stupendous (300 percent or more). Unlike other oil crops it need not necessarily displace food acreage. It is very renewable, should not impose a severe environmental impact if properly managed and such farms can (in theory) do double duty in waste water treatment. With Nuclear power providing the refining and distribution energy we have the potential to have a clean, sustainable and damned robust energy network both electrical and liquid.
California uses about 13.5 billion gallons of gasoline per year. If 1/8 acre can produce 1000 gallons (in how long?) then you need 1.7 million acres in production. At 640 acres per square mile, that's 2636 square miles.
Hmm? In the end, the problem with any form of solar power (and that's what this is) is that it is extremely diffuse. It doesn't matter what you're paving it with; you have to pave immense areas with some sort of technology to make it all work.
As always, it isn't a question of whether the technology works. It's a question of whether it scales, and on that I'm profoundly skeptical.
If it can be made to scale - and algae is the one thing suggested so far for which that's plausible - and those back-of-the-envelope numbers are right, then the Woomera weapons testing range in South Australia could produce enough oil for the entire planet.
'Course, some of it would glow in the dark, but them's just details.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Mar 29 05:05:52 2009 (PiXy!)
It would seem that at this time there is no "one" solution to our energy problem. However, this kind of biofuel could be part of the solution puzzle. As we develop new fuels, one thing that will help is reducing our consumption... for example... if all of the cars in California averaged a minimum of 100 miles to the gallon... that would greatly decrease the needed acreage. Factor in some of the gas or bio powered cars replaced with battery and solar... that would help.
Seems mostly out West. ""What you're seeing is encampments that I haven't seen since the '80s,"
said Paul Boden, executive director of the Western Regional Advocacy
Project, an umbrella group of homeless groups in west coast cities." Recession tent cities, not depression tent cities. Yet.
Compare and contrast reportage for extra credit
Posted by: pulpjunkie at Wed Mar 25 10:45:14 2009 (/V3DX)
I'd completely missed the dates on those stories. They were among the top Google hits for "tent cities in the USA", since my initial search for "tent cities" alone turned up a news item from Ontario, which I took to be in Canada, but turns out to be near LA. Huh.
The world is confusing.
Posted by: pulpjunkie at Wed Mar 25 21:19:41 2009 (/V3DX)
Man, there was one picture of it at Bahrain which makes it look like the sail is bent to starboard by a good 5 degrees.
Really lucky they didn't spring a leak! But how in hell do you repair something like that? Somehow I doubt they'll be repairing it in Bahrain, except minimal patching. Looks like that sub's going to have to go back to Electric Boat for some serious work.
This blog post has some discussion in comments. They suggest it's possible the boat may not get repaired. Instead it would be pushed to the top of the line of LA boats to be retired and replaced by a Virginia.
More Ideas for Naval Numbers on a Budget
As has been mentioned here before, the combination of increasing unit costs, aging hulls in need of replacement an increase in the numbers of units needed and the unforced budget debacle facing the treasury has created a procurement conundrum for the US Navy and Coast Guard.
We need ships, lots of ships in a decade or less but given the economy we are likely to have have very little money
Given the high tempo 'medical diplomacy' operations pioneered by the Bush administration as well as the need to respond to disasters such as typhoons, volcanoes, plagues and tsunamis at least some of the vessels we build ought to have some sort of cargo capacity and a larger than average medical facility.
A converted or redesigned merchant design would seem to be the logical choice but if these are to replace the FFGs then it is important to ensure that such a vessel be capable of providing something in the event of a hot war other than terrible ways for bluejackets to die.
This is not unheard of. The Flower class sloops of world war one were built to commercial standards, had a modest cargo capacity and were intended to serve as minesweepers, troopers, escorts, picket vessels, gunboats and light replenishment ships. They were not frontline ships but they were not helpless either and provided sterling service as convoy escorts and on gunboat duties between the wars.
The challenges of modern warfare mean that an electronics fit is needed of course so such a ship will bear no relation in cost to whatever merchant ship it is designed from, but it might cost something akin to a modern corvette.
Lets take a standard American containership design, the Philidelphia Class, and assume the aft deck is used for helicopter operation and the aft holds are used as a flex deck for small craft and Littoral combat ship modules. The holds forward of the bridge have ample room for containers that can contain everything from food to hospital or war supplies. I'd use the midships below decks space (where pitching would be minimized )for a big hospital and a secondary helipad (if only to directly service the hospital). This would not have the capability of the Mercy or Comfort but it could conceivably approach that of the LHAs and could do a LOT of good on mercy missions. It might be less threatening as well. Note that while such a vessel would not be a hospital ship, and would therefore be targetable by law, most people we are likely to lock horns with are unpersuaded by appeals to human decency anyway. Forward of the hospital area, even 2-400 containers would be an impressive ammount of relief supplies in peacetime and still leave room for 16-32 VLS cells for ESSM. The large helideck would give a decent helicopter borne ASW and possibly even minesweeping capability in wartime especially if during a major war something like SCADS or the old ARAPAHO concept were put into place along the lines of this....
We might be able to build a dozen or more of these in commercial yards over the next few years. This would have the added benefit of propping up and stimulating our shipyard capacity during dark economic times in a way that dog parks in California are unlikely to do. Such a program might appeal to the current leadership in ways a more conventional naval procurement would not.
These would probably not able to be procured in the same numbers that 600 ton corvettes might but they could ad a considerable complementary capability to the low end of the hi/lo mix.
At any rate it may bear considering. Any thoughts?
UPDATE: In the comments James Rummel takes the time to comment at length about the idea and makes some lucid points but also indicates that I may have been unclear about as few things. These are not replacemtnts for our cruisers and destroyers, but a low end complement. If they replace anything they might best replace part of the production run of the LCS vessels.... IF they can be procured more economically and IF they would be a net improvement in capability . These are indeed big "IFs". There are certainly all sorts of issues with this concept
both political and practical. However, I am of the opinion that, if
built, these would be warships with peacetime duties similar to a 19th
century gunboat but with much greater utility to assist the main force.
Mr Rummel makes another comment that deserves mention.
You suggest that this is only a temporary change until economic
conditions improve. But anyone interested in military procurement will
tell you in a heartbeat that it would be almost impossible to get
Congress to pony up for actual, very expensive warships after a decade
of building cheaper cargo ships. Once the change is made, there is no
This is a very real concern.
It is probably one reason the navy doesn't
build some smaller carriers to increase survivability through numbers.
This was tried in the 70s ant the congress made it plain that it would
ONLY buy the smaller carriers and not increase numbers...thereby
gutting the navy but giving the impression that congress was providing
It does not always work out that way though.
In the 1880's the UKs shipbuilding program was terribly screwed up,
with problems that included cost overruns, excessively long build
times, ships massively over budget as well as overdue, quality control
issues, problems integrating new technologies and simple corruption
(sound familiar?). The response was to, for a time, order only second
line vessels such as gunboats and auxiliaries as well as a few
experimental technology test beds such as experimental high speed craft
(the torpedo boats).
These were often ordered outside the usual defense procurement clique.
In the meantime the procurement system was overhauled, investment was
made in physical plant improvements at the shipyards and the
procurement system was reformed, Concurrently, a determination of what
sort of vessels were needed was made. Then rational, attainable
requirements for the various types of vessels were drawn up that
matched the then current technologies, the national strategy of the
time as well as the gamut of potential scenarios.
After several years of building gunboats and finishing the dubious
vessels that were already ordered, the Royal Navy began building ships
under the Naval Defence Act.
William Whites design team produced the finest ships that had been
built up to that time and for nearly two decades, every subsequent
class was an improvement on their design predecessor in some way.
I really enjoy your blog Brickmuppet, there are very few places where you can read about ships while looking at cute anime girls! The specifics of your proposal have been intensely debated for years with the Falkland campaign cited by both sides: The necessity of logistic support vs survivability and recoverability. The loss of Atlantic Conveyer in the face of all the brits efforts and all the handicaps argentina had to overcome shows that defences alone are not the answer. On the other hand S&R principles and merchant ship construction are not totally incompatible (ref. the ww2 exploit of the tanker Ohio in the relief of Malta). If we accept that our ship is going into harms way we can modify the design for fire main capacity and access, critical system seperation and redundancy, compartmentilization, etc. These changes coupled with a large well trained crew would give our ship a fighting chance. As for equipping, have you considered drop in modules for the container wells? many possibilities there.
Posted by: Larry Schumacher at Sun Mar 22 23:13:26 2009 (jBw+d)
Well, the whole ship procurement program has become totally broken due in large part to political corruption, primarily on the part of Congress critters. The rest is due to contractors and Naval "gold plating." Until that procurement process gets repaired, somehow, we are screwed. For and example look what happened to the super and stealthy rail gunned destroyer project. Pretty much looks like it is going to be two ships as tech demos since on cost as much as a fleet of Arleigh B's. It's bad enough, that I'd suggest purchasing warships from Korean yards or course that won't happen because things have to be built in the US.
Maybe we could get the Koreans to build a yard in an "Open Shop" state.
Posted by: toadold at Mon Mar 23 00:45:30 2009 (zcbXo)
I want to make sure that I understand your proposal.
If I'm reading you correctly, you are suggesting that the Navy pretty much assign building dedicated warships a lower priority. Instead, they should throw their clout behind acquiring the type of vessels you discuss above.
Again, if I understand correctly, you are saying that this is simply acknowledging basic reality. Ships are becoming so old that they must be retired anyway, redesigned civilian cargo carriers would fill a great many more roles than dedicated warships, and the most common type of mission the Navy is tasked with today is humanitarian.
Besides, at least this way there would be some active ships around, instead of a steadily shrinking number of aging warships.
This is a sub optimum solution to be sure, but the situation, both financial and political is pretty messed up. We are broke and our obligations are not going to obligingly taper off while we get our house in order.
We have a fair number of underage first rate destroyers and a dozen or more of the Ticos can probably soldier on at least a decade. I would hope that very low rate destroyer production would continue to make up for aging and attrition. These vessels have lots of missile tubes and with Aegis the ability to use them quite effectively. We have no shortage of tubes, but we need more hulls.
What we need is a successor to the FFG7s ( frigates) and something to augment the 2 overworked hospital ships. Assault ships can do the latter but they are expensive to operate, a little threatening, and the gator navy is being used already.
Note that I don't advocate flying jump jets off of these despite the diagram above. It was the only ARAPAHO graphic I could find. Several helicopters, a few being flying cranes to offload humanitarian containers, would be adequate. I wouldn't want the electronic suite to be much more than a modern version of what the Perrys have.
Brickmuppet your hospital tasking is one of areas in which I see LCS1 as being useful. Her nimble shallow draft hull enables her to get into small ports. State would rent a warehouse on the quay while LCS would bring in equip. and materiels in her hold. Additional personel would be flown in by V22. These units would set up clinics in the warehouse as well as classrooms for health and hygine ed. I have done this on a small scale in mexico and have seen great results; a few inexpensive basic items and an afternoon of instruction can make a huge difference in sombodys life. While all this is going on in addition to basic support the ship could host an NOAA survey crew to update the chart info for the area; such info is always valuable.
Posted by: Larry Schumacher at Mon Mar 23 10:14:49 2009 (jBw+d)
<i>"...the situation, both financial and political is pretty messed up. We are
broke and our obligations are not going to obligingly taper off while
we get our house in order."</i>
The problem, as I see it, is that you have completely ignored the only real reason why the Navy exists in the first place. What is worse is that you are ignoring the reason people seek out a career there.
You see, the Navy exists to make war against America's enemies. That's it. Nothing else.
Every single ship under Navy command was planned, purchased, budgeted, and operates to conduct combat operations, or to support the ships that do. Even prototypes are purchased to test new technology that might go in to a warship, not so we can develop designs to bring medical aid to 3rd World nations.
It is true that some humanitarian missions have gotten some press lately, but the idea is to support combat operations through PR work. Hearts and minds. Get a hospital or aid station set up in equatorial Africa so the locals are less likely to join al Queda. After all, if the Navy's purpose was to bring medical services to those who needed it, you would see them setting up clinics in Canada, where socialized medicine has caused huge waiting periods for even basic care. But you don't.
Your scheme calls for the Navy to throw all of their resources, budget and political, into building nothing more than support ships. What is worse is that these ships won't be supporting warships conducting combat operations, since you propose simply retiring an entire class of ships.
So how do you think our professional fighting sailors would view the change?
It would be seen as complete submission and defeat. The Navy to which they devoted their lives, making some extreme sacrifices so far as raising a family and enjoying watching their children grow up, would be changed into some sort of shipping concern.
You suggest that this is only a temporary change until economic conditions improve. But anyone interested in military procurement will tell you in a heartbeat that it would be almost impossible to get Congress to pony up for actual, very expensive warships after a decade of building cheaper cargo ships. Once the change is made, there is no going back.
Another thing you failed to take in to account is what the Marines would have to say. One of the big debates that rage amingst military circles is how the Navy has ignored ship designs with guns, in favor of missiles and anti-submarine capability. The idea is that the Navy is not interested in supporting amphibious landings, even though that is one of the more likely operations we will be forced to use if there is ever another serious shooting war.
But, lack of big guns or not, at least most warships have a gun of some kind. They can still support landings, just not in the style to which the Marines were accustomed in WWII.
That isn't true with the ships you propose. They have an extremely limited self defense capability, but really can't do anything to add to the firepower being brought down on trouble spots. And yes, I am counting the VLS pod you mentioned in your post. A few dozen cruise missiles simply can't take the place of thousands of artillery shells that a single warship can fire off, not to mention the VLS pods that the warship would also have available.
I think that, should your scheme be adopted, we would see a migration of talented, dedicated people who would find other work after their term of enlistment expired. Smart, dedicated warriors who we need to keep our 1st class warfighting capability intact would fade away, and we wouldn't see too many of their ilk stepping up to enlist and replace them. What warrior would be interested in making the sacrifices of spending all that time away from homw and family, hust to serve on board a cargo vessel that is helpless to any submarine that happens along?
This is a terrible idea! Lucky thing that just about everyone with a military background would laugh it into the ground just as soon as they heard of it.
Mr. Rummel, I think you are seeing things that are not there...
The problem, as I see it, is that you have completely ignored the only
real reason why the Navy exists in the first place. What is worse is
that you are ignoring the reason people seek out a career there.
You see, the Navy exists to make war against America's enemies. That's it. Nothing else.
I agree completely that the purpose of the USN is to make war against Americas enemies. Nothing I have said here would indicate that I don't appreciate that.
However, you also wrote:
It is true that some humanitarian missions have gotten some press
lately, but the idea is to support combat operations through PR work.
Hearts and minds. Get a hospital or aid station set up in equatorial
Africa so the locals are less likely to join al Queda
...and it seems you think that might be a worthy goal. Weaken the current enemy by reducing his ability to recruit.
Your scheme calls for the Navy to throw all of their resources, budget
and political, into building nothing more than support ships. What is
worse is that these ships won't be supporting warships conducting
combat operations, since you propose simply retiring an entire class of
I do not propse the navy put ALL of its rescources into this. This is intended to provide additional low end hulls at a minimum of sacrifice in frontline production.
I don't propose retiring an entire class of ship.
I do point out that the FFG7s are at the end of their useful lives.
Note that the projected replacement, the LCS is very lightly armed and quite expensive. It is also built to basically commercial standards. This vessel might be a better fit for many missions.
As I pointed out in the follow up comment the navy has many destroyers and cruisers to fight with. It has aircraft carriers and submarines. However, for duties like we are asking the navy to do now (hunting pirates, show the flag and the humanitarian missions) the navy needs larger numbers than we have. We can't afford to build all the needed hulls as destroyers. Additionally, it is a waste of materiel to use an AEGIS cruiser to hunt pirates and give out water packets. Those vessels need to focus on drilling for a hot war.....killing enemies and breaking their ships.
One proposal is to build lots of vessels like the navies Cyclone class patrol boats....but those would be basically useless in any sort of hot war.
As to the utter uselessness of these vessels lets look at what I actually said
....and still leave room for 16-32 VLS cells for ESSM. The large helideck
would give a decent helicopter borne ASW and possibly even
minesweeping capability in wartime especially if during a major war
something like SCADS or the old ARAPAHO concept were put into place along the lines of this...
32 VLS cells equals 128 Evolved Seasparow missiles. This is not a defenseless ship, though being built to civilian standards it might not be terribly survivable if it were hit.
The ASW and minesweeping helicopters would be very useful in supporting the fleet.
A fleet that would then be better able to make war against Americas enemies.
With 3 times as many AAA missiles and 4 times as many helicopters, one of these vessels would be a fine replacement for the Perry class frigates in convoy escort. One of the greatest threats the navy faces right now is cheap quiet diesel boats. This is a possible way to deal with that problem.
Just to clarify: by "deal with" I mean sink.
The hull I proposed using is an off the shelf comercial design...but it is 23000 tons. There is no reason that it could not be fitted with the same gun as a 9000 ton destroyer, and carry enough ammunition to exhaust the barrel life of said gun (7000 rounds for the 5" 62) before reloading. However, not every ship needs to be able to conduct fire support ops.
You suggest that by buying ships that have some support capability that the Navy would not get recruits. Well the Navy has oilers, repair ships, water barges, hospital ships, combat stores ships, survey vessels and torpedo recovery ships now. Those sailors are not going to fail to reenlist because they got a billet not on a destroyer.
Above the Fold
OK. I have very little time right now but this needs to be said.
Give the POTUS a break.
The other night the President made a self deprecating comment about his bowling score. In the process he offended some people. It was not a politically correct comment and was inartful for a political leader to utter.
Big Effing Whoop
For one thing the fact that the President tried a self deprecating remark is a major improvement over the mini Parthenon of his nomination speech.
This kerfuffle should be given a rest.
Many of us on the right are making the bleedingly obvious point that if Bush , McCain or Palin had said this it would be run into the ground by the press incessantly. Well yes...and it would be wrong...and you know what?We would say so.
This flubbed bit of self deprecation is a non issue.
He has made some cringeworthy faux pas over the last few days and like many of my friends my face is often embedded in my palm over them. But he is our president and this is an exceedingly trivial issue. There are quite a few issues pertaining to policy that we can, and must oppose him on...I have and I will.
However it is not good to be playing the "gotcha" game and crowing about hurt feelings over a joke. This is stupid and bad for the country.
Political correctness is a bane of our nation and its corrosive effects
on free speech need to be fought tooth and nail...including here.
Yes it is delightfully Karmic crow over this and give the Dems a well deserved dose of their own poison, but it is unfair to the
office and bad for the country to hound our President over
trivialities. It also cheapens our outrage over the many very real,
nontrivial issues we have.
I am no fan of the current resident of the White House, but Barak Obama is the President of the United States...he has taken the weight of the world onto his shoulders on our behalf. He damned well deserves not to be hounded over PC trivialities for the good of the nation.
God knows there are enough substantive issues to oppose him on .
Anime News: Some Regrettably Accurate..Some Regrettably Not THAT Anime Blog has a roundup of most of the upcoming season. It makes an interesting comparison with this prediction I recently received via E-Mail.
As your brains may grudgingly recall, this time last year I predicted some of
the anime trends we'd be seeing soon. For those of you whom time has been a
balm to soothe the mind, let me rub raw some old wounds: remember Hobos,
Hairdressers, Veterinarians, and Mushrooms.
I confidently measure my
predictive powers against the track records of such luminous benchmarks as
Nostradamus, any economist (other than Adam Smith), and the Christian Bible.
As we venture forward further, the producers of Japanese manga and anime have
begun to make their intentions known. I predict 2010 shall be the year
1) Demolition Derbys (a.k.a Banger Racing in Europe) 2)
Reptiles/Dinosaurs (listed separately because there are too many people on
this list who know the difference). 3) Gardening 4) Belgians
usual, at first the new elements will be introduced into fairly safe
Thumb Green : A heartfelt series about an orphan,
Tanazaki, who is adopted into a family of estate gardeners. Mom works in
topiaries and Dad prefers tea roses, but the adopted son follows in
bonsai-enthusiast grandfather's steps. When the last Japanese heir to the
estate dies and the manor falls to the young Belgian heiress, can Tanazaki
learn to forgive her shameful secret and teach her to live in harmony with
the back lawn? And will Tanazaki's new sister, who may feel more than
sisterly-affection for Tanazaki, ever perfect her compost pile? Look for the
hidden symbolism of the koi pond as it reflects the state of romance between
the heiress, the orphan, and the possibly-insane sister.
Crash 1911 :
A truly anachronistic and jingoistic offering, Crash 1911 is set in 1914(!)
in a Miyazakiburgstein (one of those generic Western-Central European with
steampunk touches) setting. "Crash 1911" refers to the undefeated reign of
driver Josef Tildeff's and his 1911 season winning twelve-competitor
collision. Now in 1914, most of the participants of that epic season have
returned with even more-outlandish cars and unlikely proteges, including a
deaf Mongolian, a Cajun zydeco-playing grandmother, and Tildeff's own protege
who is (you guessed it) a Japanese orphan. How will each of the competitor's
life experiences aid them in the upcoming derby? And why is it every
non-Asian character except the son of the Belgian calvary officer painted in
such a negative light? Still, all the mechanical designs will look like "the
Secret of Blue Water" meet "Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bag" to the point that the
only fan disappointment will be that none of the cars actually
Sensai Crocogator-san's Class Trip : Middle-school Crocogator takes
his students on a different class trip each week, visiting factories,
places of historical interest, zoos, etc. Students from different walks of
life (dirt poor, privileged rich, brains, jocks, and just-average-losers)
all learn important lessons each week while they face the challenges
of growing up Japanese. Each week at least one student will be eaten by
this pedagoguish member of Osteolaemus holtzus (common name: the
Too-Clever Crocodile), but never fear - they tend to reappear in the middle
of the episode with no apparent ill-effect. The series will impart a love
of history. Season highlights will include the hilarious Alligator-wrestling
episode and the tour of the Diet building.
Later, as fallow
ground goes further a-weed, we will see:
Caimen Maid Crisis! : This
rather pedestrian tale will be a complete ripoff of last season's
'Matic-Panic Stylist Yuki, except the cybernetic-valet will be replaced with
an alien Crocodilian Princess and the original threatening alien invasion
will be replaced by Atlantean golems. There will be no plot-twists that
couldn't be predicted by hyper-active ten year-olds. Sales of the figurines
of the Caimen Maid will convince the producers to put out 19 OVAs, each of
which feature her in a different provocative outfit that can be lucratively
Pumpkin Road-rage: It's the future, and a growing segment
of the transportation market features mutated, semi-intelligent vegetables.
The smartest of these appears to be Pumpkin Buggy, an orange sports-car with
a seed-spitting cannon. When rogue cars from the Belgian-based
Zucchini Biotechnical begin causing traffic havoc, Pumpkin Buggy and his
owner are drafted into the Tokyo Police Department to fight these
street-racing, squash-smashing renegades. It's "Jayce and the Wheeled
Warriors" meets "Speed Buggy" with a hint of "Riding Bean" and "ADP
(Name Witheld For His Protection)
Lest you judge my corespondent too harshly I would point out that he really did guess...unlike the above linked bloggers who I strongly suspect...peeked. Note too that unless there is some hapless cypher-nebish added to Queens Blade he was surprisingly prescient in not predicting any Harem shows.
Which is one of the few bright spots of the upcoming season (For me anyway)
Regards the actual upcoming season, my corespondents predictions certainly showed more innovation than the real thing. Queens Blade looks to likely to take 'fan service' well into the realm of diminishing returns...(the trailer is age blocked by You Tube...and rightly so ). However, while the reverse harem show Hanasakaru Sheishounen appeals to me even less, it is neat to see that there actually is one.
As to things that I'm actually looking forward to, the upcoming season is sparse pickings...with shows that seem to be ranging from the dystopic to the insipid. There are some things that seem to have some promise however. Providing I have any opportunity to watch anything, the long awaited sequel to Full Metal Achemistis certainly high on my "to watch" list, and I take comfort in the fact that it is the only one I'm reasonably confident will be brought over.
The brief synopsis given of of K-ON looks interesting...
The story about four high school girls that try to sustain their
schoolâ€™s popular music club despite being unable to read music or play
Heh...This could be cute.
The return of Hayate the Combat Butler is unlikely to suck, while the original was not high art it was enjoyably demented...For those unaware it tells the story of a competent and practical but...unlucky young lad who lands a job as a butler/bodyguard for an insanely rich and sheltered debutante and her bizzare household.
Of particular interest to me (being that I'm an utter geek) is, of course, that show the THAT crowd tossed onto the end of their post...as if it was an afterthought or something. (Infidels!) It appears that the next several weeks will see a straight up remake of... Mazinger Z!
Oh be still my beating childhood!
Wow...Sad case of arrested development that I am, I fear I am going to have to watch this. I mean what could be cooler?
Hmm, that QB trailer looks pretty bad. I wonder if it were even possible to create one so bad for Sekirei.
K-ON looks like Manabi reprised, of course I'm watching that.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Wed Mar 18 22:43:10 2009 (/ppBw)
The character designs for K-ON are great, and the concept sounds like it could work well, so definitely on my list.
Queens Blade looks like a train wreck. And while a train wreck with boobies is still a train wreck, it is also still a train wreck with boobies. So I'll give it about half an episode. Maybe a little longer if the girl with the magic hair shows up.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Fri Mar 20 10:40:49 2009 (PiXy!)