The first episode is one that could have been from the first season, except that it seems intended to introduce a new character to the crew. About 7 minutes into episode 1 I was like: "So THAT'S where that character is from!"I don't know much about the game this is based on other than it is popular and has several former Square Enix people working on it, but I do note that Alizia, appears to be a real fan favorite, because unlike the previously introduced characters, her fan-art is all over the place.
Probably because she knows Kung-Fu.
Aliza is a Draph, this IPs equivalent to dwarves at 4 and a half feet tall, she's easily underestimated. However, after discovering that she's about the most formidable hand to hand fighter they have ever encountered and after Aliza finds herself being genuinely impressed with the heroes idealism, and courage...and discovering that they have not identical, but overlapping goals and motivations and that the superpowered shortstack only lacks for transportation...they go their separate ways, making the episode essentially a pointless throwaway which doesn't actually advance the plot at all.
The next actual arc starts off dumb, with everybody acting dumb and saying dumb things while forcing the audience to flash back a decade to Katalina's training...which was exactly like a Japanese high school except for the trial by combat part.
However, this weird four episode (!) flashback to high school angst does end up advancing the overall story in spite of itself and it is kind of poignant towards the end.
The episode between 5 and 6 is a Netflix adaptation.
Allow me to explain:
Apparently, in the Gacha game this is based on you can play one of two characters, either Gran or a girl in the same village with a similar backstory named Djeeta (on the left).
Between the two seasons, Djeeta has had 3 episodes dedicated to her reality and apparently she's much better at this than Gran is.
Djeeta possesses fashion sense and commands a larger, hand-picked crew of snappierdressers than Gran does and it can be assumed that she's been waltzing all over the map rolling critical successes because her ship and crew does not have any of the money or maintenance problems that drive much of the decisions made in the main show*. The episode between five and six is a light hearted Halloween episode where Djeeta's crew discover a mystery involving animated dead people and everybody has a good time.
In stark contrast the actual episode 6 involves Gran and his smaller, fashion challenged crew stumbling upon a mystery involving animated dead people and it is a genuinely scary and fast moving three episode arc in which they come very, very close to dying while dealing with some very grim things, with nothing but their wits.
Despite being rather dark, it's in this second arc that the show actually regains its footing and from that point on GranBlue Fantasy is back up to its old standards.
This is a very atypical pattern nowadays with the first half of the series being an incoherent dumpster fire and the two arcs of the second half being quite solid.
The characters remain likable and the show's production values remain high. In fact, here's no noticeable change in look aside from a slight increase in quality despite switching studious from A-1 to MAPPA. That may account for the rough start in the scripting though.
CyGames has their own animation studio now (Which also did Manaria Friends, set in the GranBlue universe) and they've been very fastidious about the quality of their animation adaptations. I wonder if the sharp increase in script quality midway through was due to an intervention.
In any event, while I can't fully recommend the series given its rough start, I can say it gets better, and left me still interested in the story and hoping for a sequel.
* Though it is possible that the expense of her crew's solid gem and bronze armor caused them to skimp on the abdominal plates.
Djeeta has earned her way into about a dozen of my cheesecake roundups, based on her extensive Pixiv portfolio ("all ages" link, which is not the same as SFW...).
Posted by: J Greely at Tue Mar 31 14:52:16 2020 (ZlYZd)
Heh. I wasn't aware of her until the bonus episode (#13) last season where they took half an episode explaining who she was before shoehorning in a rather incongruous beach episode, because, reasons.
The joke is that Djeeta is playing the same game, but has money to roll on the gacha a lot.
(Playing the actual game, they're identical - you pick Gran or Djeeta, everyone calls you "danchou" anyway, and any time you feel like a gender change you just mash a button. Only difference is around Valentine's Day, where Gran gets a lot of chocolate and Djeeta gives a lot of it.)
Draphs definitely aren't dwarves - the guys range from "beefy" to "extra beefy" to "the difference between a meteor and a meteorite is if I punch it before it lands!" Just really extreme sexual dimorphism. Au Ra in FF14 except even more so.
Posted by: Avatar at Wed Apr 1 01:13:26 2020 (v29Tn)
A Reading Analysis
Darkness creeps back into the forests of the world. Rumor grows of a great and terrible power in the East, whispers of a nameless fear stalk the very language itself, and a plague descends upon the land. In these troubling times, we all need a laugh at The Guardian's expense.
This is great! Smaug as reformer. I'm sure the dwarves and citizens of Dale thought so!
Posted by: Rick C at Mon Mar 30 16:16:40 2020 (Iwkd4)
I wondered if that was a troll article that made its way through the layers and layers of fact-checkers at the Grauniad, but it looks like the writer had a regular gig posting stupid stuff like that from 2012 through to 2016.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Mon Mar 30 19:12:09 2020 (PiXy!)
For those of you who support artists via patronage services, Pixiv Fanbox, (which is Pixiv's rough equivalent ofPatreon and SubscribeStar) is moving from pixiv.net/fanbox/ to Fanbox.cc. The creator's individual sites will also change url's for some reason.
Back in November, Pixiv forked off their microblogging site Pawoo. This might lead to some speculation that dreadfulness is afoot, but Pixiv is saying that this is to facilitate marketing for the artists by simplifying the URLs and making them more artist centric. Anyone who has tried to use the Deviant Art shop might find this argument compelling.
However, the artists are responsible for submitting their own URLs by the end of April so I predict some confusion.
Anyway, shorter version:
In about a month some people who follow artists on Pixiv Fanbox are going to have to update their bookmarks to new urls, which are yet to be determined.
CopyPasta of the message to users is below the fold, and the surprisingly good Giggle Translate of said missive is below that.
Hacking as I understand it is generally copy and paste, not cut and paste, and even in the latter case, there would be backups and X-Box test beds so Microsoft ought to still have their code. Presumably this a threat to release it to competitors, but I can't imagine that the X-Box is that far in advance of other consoles in the graphics department that 100 million would be warranted.
IT people please explain this to me, because it looks like a Hollywood screenwriter's idea of a pitch for some mid-budget thriller.
UPDATE:See also here, here, here, and here... So it's AMD And X-Box graphics card schematics then? That makes more sense.
Chip designs are code these days, in specialised languages such as VHDL or Verilog. You specify the functions you want and the constraints they need to fit within, and then a very clever compiler turns it into the patterns that will be etched onto the chip.
So it really is source code, just of a different kind to what we usually see.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Mar 26 09:03:08 2020 (PiXy!)
Note: no legit competing maker of graphics chips, specifically Intel and nVidia, but also including Arm, Imagination, etc., would go anywhere near this because of the ma$$ive law$uit$ they'd inevitably lose.
Posted by: Rick C at Thu Mar 26 10:50:03 2020 (Iwkd4)
A Note About Priorities
In theory, in order to free up shipping capacity for Hospitals, triage areas and such, Amazon and other online shops are prioritizing deliveries of food, and necessary household products like the few remaining cleaning supplies.
As an hourly employee at UPS allow me to suggest that 149 pound trampolines, 130 pound gaming recliner-chairs, and 144 pound barbecue grills do not, in fact, meet those criteria.
They do, however, seem to be being shipped in greater numbers that we saw even over Christmas.
I don't have any idea if my center is an outlier in this matter, but I know that a few of these things will fill up a package car.
I also know that every bit of me hurts.
Adding to the overall happiness level is the fact that one is not only man-handling these boxes, but everyone who has sneezed on these boxes in the last 2 days.
On the other hand, If this was pleasant, I'd have to pay admission.
Instead, I'm getting paid overtime to work out with free weights so all the people who are PAYING for those 130 pound Nordic-Tracs are saps!
Given how Amazon's tagging system works, I'm sure trampolines are filed under healthcare, gaming chairs are listed as medical devices, and grills are gourmet meals.
Posted by: J Greely at Wed Mar 25 18:43:25 2020 (ZlYZd)
The article specifically said 48 hrs for cardboard. I was surprised that it lasted on copper for 8...copper self sterilizes. Still; Undetectable after 48 hours means it's of minimal risk long before that.
I do NOT trust the WHO. They've been carrying China's water on this whole thing and still are.
In other news, I'm adding filters to my plague mask. I was pleasantly surprised that my work goggles fit in it so well.
I spent 90 minutes today trying to figure out how to completely, once and for all end my AOL account that I've had for 21 years. (I got it on a disc!)
I finally regained access to my old Blogger Blog, which was really the last hurdle holding me back from canceling AOL. Most everything else has either been closed out or switched over, or is utterly irrelevant.
After an hour and a half of trying to figure out how to do this task, I finally called customer support to be informed that the accounts termination office was closed due to COVID-19.
I kid you not.
I finally got a person though and after about 5 additional minutes I did manage to get the account removed only to discover that I still have an AOL account. A free one for long time customers.
AOL is, on paper, a fine service with a lot of bells and whistles, but I pay one third as much for both Earthlink & Proton combined and we live in a digital age so paper performance is irrelevant. and the 6,000 emails I got since the first of the years will not be missed.
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Mar 22 17:36:50 2020 (ZlYZd)
Guess I'm still in the 20th Century... I've had my AoL e-mail since 1995 or so, and I don't see myself getting rid of it anytime soon. I'm not paying anything for it, so why not?
And it's funny to see the reactions on Reddit when it comes up; too bad I don't remember my prodigy account ID...
Posted by: Wonderduck at Mon Mar 23 00:54:24 2020 (cTMj+)
The 21st Century is turning out to be less than was promised. My advice is to go back to the 20th. The 80s were good, opt for then if you have a choice. Otherwise the late 40s through mid-60s. No internet/Web, but that can be seen as a positive. Not much TV either!
Posted by: jabrwok at Mon Mar 23 16:17:33 2020 (BlRin)
Okay, I'm amazed that AOL is still a thing. E-mail only? If it's free, where does the money come from?
Posted by: Mauser at Tue Mar 24 00:12:43 2020 (Ix1l6)
Ads, of course. And I have no doubt they've sold my information to every company on the planet by now.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Tue Mar 24 16:35:59 2020 (cTMj+)
Ever wonder why Amazon no longer includes full details of your purchases and shipments in email? Because all the "free" services (and quite likely most paid ones) were harvesting them for information to sell.
Posted by: J Greely at Tue Mar 24 19:15:02 2020 (ZlYZd)
Lowes was also the last place I saw with stocks of toilet paper and sanitizing wipes, before empty shelves became the new normal. I guess it took a while for people to figure out that contractors buy that stuff in bulk.
Posted by: J Greely at Sun Mar 22 00:17:24 2020 (ZlYZd)
Find someone with two bottles of glycerine and you can make hand sanitizer together.
Also, you're a good man, Charlie Brown.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sun Mar 22 07:00:22 2020 (PiXy!)
Tess Ti FAYH
This is a short video that gives voice to what most of us were thinking about "product as service". I wasn't going to link to it as my embedded video to actual content ratio is all out of whack right now. But, there are a couple of things mentioned as asides that really got my goat. First, I had no idea until this brief mention of it just how malignant Google Stadia is. It really is the worst of every awful trend in video games concentrated and wrapped in maliciousness. Likewise the PS-5 looks like it is going to be, well, evil. I had seriously thought about a Tesla pickup in the future though not so much after this. However, the thing that got me so mad that I got up walked out and left the room and had to come back after cooling down was the "letter of concern" at 15:06. Which indicates that whatever firm the individual is working for (probably a bank or investment firm) has a corporate culture that makes them unfit stewards of other people's money. It also speaks how important superficial fashion is becoming in our society and how perniciously powerful it is for enforcing conformity. With the mean girls in high-school one could avoid them or ultimately matriculate. Now that our corporate class are overwhelmingly foppish aristocrats, there is no escape.
One thing that SFO only lightly touches on in the above disquisition is that this isn't just a terrible idea from a consumer standpoint. This blog mentioned how bad this could potentially get when discussing the Patreon situation back in mid-December of 2018, and SFO did a really good, source heavy and long deep dive into the antics of the payment processor about two weeks after that.
About 18 months ago the Chinese social credit system was very topical. "Product as Service" makes that sort of tyranny far worse and much easier to implement.
This is nothing new, but implications of this are terrifying.
The only proper response to that Steve Thompson scumbag is ÎœÎ¿Î»á½¼Î½ Î»Î±Î²Î.
Posted by: Rick C at Sat Mar 21 00:51:32 2020 (Iwkd4)
XYZ as a service is a model that really annoys me. In small things, it's tolerable. In large things (housing, cars, etc) it leads to serfdom. If you own nothing, then the rent is always going to be grow to be as high as you can pay, with nothing left over.
I try to impress on my peers the importance of owning things when I can. In a healthy society there would be a broad distribution of ownership - the people who do the work would own things, own their livelihoods in many cases. In the unhealthy society we can see developing, rentiers and 'providers' own everything and grant it to the people who make society function 'as a service': That way lies communist revolutions, because feudalism sucks enough to make it seem like progress.
Posted by: MadRocketSci at Sat Mar 21 23:52:03 2020 (+G8SK)
There's promising news of a treatment regime using a combination of cheap and readily available drugs (hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin) that together clear the virus from your system in a week. Not a full double-blind randomised trial, but they ran the COVID-19 test before and after on both groups, and the group on both drugs were all virus-free by day 6.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thu Mar 19 07:41:00 2020 (PiXy!)
I've heard this too. I read somewhere that the Koreans were trying basically anything and this worked, so a group did a more controlled test in Italy and got promising results. I've also read that the Chinese have been using this for a while but didn't mention it. Sadly I lost the tab and I'm not gonna put something like that last bit in an actual post without a citation.
One of the problems with these sorts of things is that in extremis, double blind studies become ethically questionable. (do you let the placebo group die when treatmentX seems to be working). Of course without that you don't know for sure and then if you rush it to market you're rolling the dice on how it will react with a wider variety of phenotypes. In the USA and Canada we've got the benefit of people from most everywhere on earth.
Being fat while doing hard labor comes from suboptimal eating: at wrong intervals, eating potatos, and the like. Even not drinking enough can do it (your kidney stone story hints strongly that it may be a factor). Unfortunately, it's not easy to fix: performance food is more expensive, and you do need those calories. Eating at the right intervals is no easy task when not having a luxury of sitting in your office. I cannot presume to give advice over the Internet. But it's something that can be fixed if you find someone among your local friends who knows about food and metabolism and is not a new wave quack.
"if you rush it to market you're rolling the dice on how it will react with a wider variety of phenotypes"
The good thing about both hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin is that both have been on the market for so long that the side effects are well understood on a global level. In fact it's even been long enough that both are off patent and generics are made worldwide. Azithromycin is one of the go-to antibiotics prescribed when you walk into a doctor's office with a bacterial based cold. It's interesting that it has an effect on a virus as antibiotics usually don't. Doctors can legally prescribe them for COVID-19 today, the trials are mainly about confirming that hypothesis that they work, determining how effective they really are, and quashing any remaining malpractice liabilities and insurance reimbursement issues.
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Fri Mar 20 20:22:35 2020 (BqCPe)
"While we wait for the cops to respond, let's read the super-chats."
Gentleman Criminal and LaBrava are two obnoxious LARPers who stream their petty (Ever. SO. Petty.) crimes in pursuit of clicks. Being supervillains, their campy videos keep getting deplatformed, which is playing havoc with their income stream. Given that monstrous propoganda videos by actual psychopaths continue to stay up (and get more clicks than the silly antics of these two) it seems that their targeting by content providers stems mainly from the fact that they keep embarrassing bad actors who have a lot of clout.
I'm 3 episodes behind, but this subplot now looks to be rather more consequential than it first appeared. This show, an ode to American comic books, has had some villains that are both well realized and truly terrifying, so I find myself both surprised and amused that this world actually has some 'silver age' villains running around.
Staying in, having a Guinness for the holiday, and some Johnnie Walker Green in memory of departed friend, as has been my custom for a few years, now.
Posted by: Canthros at Tue Mar 17 20:47:54 2020 (mToqK)
We made the corned beef and cabbage twice this year. We mistakenly thought the St. Patrick's Day was last week. So, we made it. And now we made it again. Well, "made" is more like "cooked", because the American food industry did the job of fermentation of the brisket.
On January 30th this was posted on 4-chan's /pol/ board. Ignoring the anti-semitic vermin trolling the thread's OP it lays out a bunch of very good guesses about what would transpire over the next two months.
This was not hard to see coming.
It was actually in the news. A bunch of mid-level you-tubers were on it like ugly on a moose ringing the church bell to get the word out.. HUNDREDS of videos many on site from Hubei were posted about it. A frickking shiposter on /pol/ played Cassandra and laid out a prophecy two months in advance that proved to be every bit as accurate as Nostradamus wasn't.
Hell, even your humble Z-list blogger saw this coming and advised all 4 people who drop in here to buy canned goods two months ago.
This was not hard to see coming. The cold equations of exponential growth and the reality of logistics leave few options and present difficult decisions, but there is one question that infuriates given the ample warning and coverage...
How is it that there are so many of the powers that be, and the media acting so surprised?
Because too many people did not want to make the PRC get upset at them.
It is ironic that the only nation that truly anticipated and took near immediate actions regarding the Wuhan Flu, is the single biggest target of international ostracism by the PRC, to the point the PRC got Taiwan kicked-out of the WHO a few years ago.
Posted by: cxt217 at Sun Mar 15 23:17:10 2020 (LMsTt)
Getting a broken picture icon above the embedded picture, which is apparently actually a Twitter link.
Posted by: Mauser at Mon Mar 16 00:07:09 2020 (Ix1l6)
Wasn't there something else happening in January that had the complete focus of the media, congress, and much of the executive branch? Even though it was a pure exercise in political theater and election year battlefield prep, not a matter of actual substance? In a just world, the democrats and media (but I repeat myself) would be being raked over the coals for that right now.
Posted by: David at Mon Mar 16 04:05:54 2020 (UmjNG)
And thank you for the warning. I tend to be "have a couple weeks of at least a minimal diet on hand at all times" person but I gradually stocked up starting the first couple weeks of February. Decided to buy my 15-pack of TP for the year on the 29th of February, glad I did. Glad I have a crapton of books and fabric and knitting yarn and can just hunker down in my house.
I guess a national curfew is coming here, like it did to Italy and Spain, because the people who got begged to stay home either figured they were immune (because they're 21 and, apparently, planning on consuming mass quantities of alcohol) or because they've somehow been convinced this was a hoax.
My university will be finishing out the semester online. I hope I have a job, still, come fall but I fear that I won't. I don't know what the moonscape our society will become will look like after this. I am just praying my 83 year old mother (who is staying home as strictly as I am) stays safe, and that my uncles and their families stay safe.
Posted by: fillyjonk at Mon Mar 16 11:04:59 2020 (+MBAo)
The blog's crack team of embed management technicians has encountered a conundrum.
(Actual footage of our North American IT department at work.)
If someone is watching an embedded a Bitchute video, is there any way to watch it on Bitchute the same way one can with Youtube? Given Bitchute's diffident search engine, this seems like it's another hurdle for new channels to get traction.
Obviously this has no real impact on the blog's active channel, which has had 6 posts in 14 months. The active Bitchute channel is just to post videos for this blog especially stuff that's likely to be taken down by You-Tube. I don't create much content and don't migrate stuff unless it's run afoul the YT censorbots.
Yeah, I've run into this issue several times on this blog. I have figured out a workaround.
1. Hit F12 to bring up the page code
2. Look for a link that looks like: https:///www.bitchute.com/embed/kSd1Jzuhzihp
3. Copy and paste into URL bar
4. Change 'embed' to 'video' and hit enter
Or alternately the person posting the video embed int he blog could include a link to the page with the video
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Sun Mar 15 18:48:12 2020 (BqCPe)
Yeah, that works. Besides revealing that I suck at puzzle games, I was genuinely curious as to whether I was missing something obvious.