March 31, 2013

New HSOTD Series Announced

This is a spinoff,  NOT a sequel and has a different cast.  According to the ANN article Daisuke Sato says that this series is backstory for the new characters being introduced in the manga.

Curiously Kyo-Ani and not Madhouse is listed as the production company.

"In another part of Tokyo, a few hours before the events in High School of the Dead a group of girls  enjoy their high school graduation party late into the night. But when they decide to call on a friend from another school (which being on the quarter system does not graduate for 3 months) they discover that Tokyo is becoming the epicenter of a worldwide nightmare!"




Well, winter 2013 is already looking good!

UPDATE: Oh my! The soundtrack is going to be by Shonen Knife, Aural Vampire, Nightwish and Caravan Palace!

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An Easter Mishap


I'm indisposed, but I saw this at Ace's and it made me smile.  Happy Easter everybody!

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March 30, 2013

They Brought Over Tobikage!

Tobikage was a show from the mid-80s that was sort of a hybrid of the super-robot and 'Mech' genres. It ran 43 episodes and was considered sort of odd as it didn't quite adhere to the tropes of either genre. It's perhaps best known for it's theme song, Love Survivor,  which was fairly catchy.



I saw a few episodes some years ago and the only thing I remember is that despite being a low budget filler show, it looked fairly interesting, had a different feel than a lot of mech shows and one of the villains was named Dog Tack.

Tobikage was VERY 80s in its aesthetic but it was quite unusual in one respect. A large number of it's production staff including the Director (Masami Anno who also did the storyboard)  were women*.

This was, you see, a Studio Pierrot MECH show.

 I found this out only recently and the prospect of an 80's Josei giant robot show...well that's just different. This at least has the potential to be interesting. Of course the chances of blundering into the show now are slim.

So Imagine my surprise when I discovered recently that the whole series had been licensed for US release...and in fact had aired on Cartoon Network.

A quick search turned up...
......OH DEAR GOD.




You BASTARD! You linked to that on purpose!


I DON'T think I'll be sitting through that.
There is no sub.
I occasionally forget how bad dubs used to be.


*The only other Mech (actually a super robot) show that that was true for prior to recent years, was Acrobunch...which was about a family of adventuring archaeologists ..and their giant robot.

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7.62 EM-2

About a year ago, the glorious Gun-Nuts at Forgotten Weapons got hold of an actual, honest to gawd EM-2.

For those unaware, the EM-2 was a British Assault Rifle designed in the late 1940s that took into account all the 'lessons learned' from World War 2. The rifle had design input from Poles who had had the unpleasant experience of tangling with the German 'storm guns'. It was a bullpup, which made it very compact and had something akin to an ACOG sight. The gun was designed around a new 7mm round that was intermediate in power between the very heavy 7.62mm and the varmint sized 5.56mm NATO rounds. In other words exactly what the lessons from current unpleasantness in Asia would seem to indicate is ideal.

In tests, the rifle wiped the floor with US, Belgian, French and Swedish weapons besting even the FN-FAL in reliability and accuracy.



It was adopted by the UK but was withdrawn in part because the US ignored the tests and forced NATO to adopt the .308 Winchester round (as 7.62 NATO)*.  The Belgian gun was better suited to the larger round and  was also much cheaper to manufacture so the EM-2 never enterd full production and only saw very limited use in Burma and Malaya before it was consigned to the dustbin of history.

What I did not know was that there was actually a small lot of EM-2 rifles made in 7.62 NATO....and here one is, courtesy of the Forgotten Weapons crowd.


That's AWESOME! I want one of those shooty culverts in MY basement.
Also: I want a basement.


It should be mentioned in passing that aside from a superficial resemblance in layout this excellent weapon was in no way related to the disastrous SA80/L/85 design which until recently bested other rifles only in ease of dis-assembly...and then only as an unwelcome surprise.

With so much of our kit worn out after a decade of fighting we could do far worse than dusting off this old UK design. In fact, we probably will.


*this is somewhat ironic. In the 1920s and 30s the US Army had determined the best rifle/machine gun round would have ballistics nearly identical to the 7mm British, and in fact officially adopted the .276 Pedersen for the M-1 Garand. However the financial crunch of the Depression meant that the army had to make due with the obsolete .30-06 round, the Garand was re-chambered and the lessons learned were, it seems, lost. With hindsight it seems that the Springfield armory of the 30's and Enfield in the 'late '40s were both completely right.

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A You-Tube Question

Is anyone else having any issues watching You-Tube videos?

They seem to "stick" at about 25%, 60% and 90% of their length. This has been going on for a few nights on my machine.

Note that this has not been an issue on Crunchyroll. It seems to be You-Tube specific.

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March 29, 2013

Prince Rupert's Drop

One of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes has been perusing Scot Lowther's blog and found some science!. It's her favorite kind of science... the 'splody kind!

Also: bonus fire and melting.




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Preview clip for the 5th Yamato 2199 Movie.

This is different from the trailer below. It's the first 9 minutes of the 5th film (which translates to episode 15-18 of the series that airs this spring).
Spoilers abound so beware.




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As they say...ZOMG Sauce

I ran into a couple of intriguing animated .gifs that have defied my attempts to find a source.

Does anyone know what they are from and if said shows are any good?

They're a bit large so they're below the fold.

more...

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Why Austin?

OK, so the North Koreans, as part of their perpetual saber rattling have released a picture of Kim El Porker and his junta sidekicks studiously planing a strike on the US with missile trajectories mapped out on the wall behind him. 

First off those are not the most efficient or realistic courses for a missile. It looks like someone drew them without taking into account the Mercator distortion. In actuality, a ballistic tragectory from North Korea would, on a Mercator plot appear to arc north. It would pass over Alaska and possibly the arctic circle (for the same reason that flying to Japan from the US frequently involves a trip over pack ice).

That aside....The targets are Pearl Harbor, Los Angeles, Washington DC and...ummm...Austin.




WHY WOULD YOU WASTE ONE OF YOUR 4 NUKES ON AUSTIN?

It's an eclectic and neat town, but depriving the nation of a cool art scene and dinner theater does not seem to have the strategic benefits of, say, wiping out San Diego or the SSBN base near Tacoma.

I see 3 possibilities:

1: It's a cunning ruse, intended to trick us into moving our ABMs to Austin.

2:The Norks, being lefties, just HAETS them some Texans and aimed at the capital, not realizing that Austin is...well...Austin.

3: They are going to use the nuke to mutate the bats, turning them into giant flappy, fire-breathing, blood-sucking horrors that will terrorize the continent and lead to the collapse of the US.

Ubu, Avatar. We need your perspectives on this.

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March 28, 2013

Girls und Panzer Ends



I must confess that in spite of everything, I like Kadotani a lot. She's enthusiastic, calm under pressure and has balls of brass.  She's a departure from the rest of the cast in that she was developed beyond the  trope she represents.

Girls und Panzer is in a lot of ways a collection of tired old tropes and annoying recent ones. There is no new ground here. It's a sports anime with mechs aimed at a demographic that is so insecure that they can't abide male characters in their anime potentially competing for their 'waifus'. The result is that we get the galling notion that the war on boys has been carried to its logical conclusion so that males aren't allowed to compete in the sport at all.

Given this set-up and an overly large cast that seems to have been concieved by 31 die rolls compared against a moe/tsundere stock character generator, the only real question about the show would seem  to be "To what depths of squalor will the panty shots descend?" But that is not the question I find myself asking. Instead I find myself grasping to figure out how this collection of mediocrities can have kicked so much ass that one can be forgiven for worrying about a trans-Pacific ass shortage.

What the HELL? How did they do that? This show is not refinement  of stale tropes. This was frickking alchemy. It was lead into gold. Oh, and the answer to the unasked question above is "None". I don't think there was a panty shot in the whole show...they get points just for that alone. However, this show is about way more than propriety. Girls und Panzer manages to deal with ethics, sportsmanship and honor in a way few shows have.

The show does this without being preachy. Furthermore, despite what ought to be a completely predictable storyline, it manages to keep the viewers on the edge of their seat. The use of WW2 tanks was inspired and the battles with them were thoroughly entertaining and well thought out. Even the fairly by the numbers characters were well written to the point that one actually cared about them. These girls are smart and make up for their vastly inferior equipment by being clever and audacious.

The few problems with the show did not stem from the writing, or the directing but with a subcontractor who flamed out requiring two 'clips' episodes be inserted and the last two episodes be delayed over three months. After the spectacular surprise hit the show had been nothing could live up to the anticipation the last two episodes engendered.

Despite this handicap the two episode finale is a thoroughly satisfying rollercoaster that still manages to surprise.

I am in awe.



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