April 28, 2016

Commas and Such

This is an important programing note to the subset of our moviegoing readers that are weeks behind on their new release viewing. 

At 04:09 this morning, we posted a Batman VS Superman review that, upon reflection, needed some further editing.

To wit.

...does a character study of Batman in the midst of an ethical dilemma that has driven him to distraction and an appreciation of Alfred, the butler...who is portrayed so very right.

...was probably meant to be...
 
...does a character study of Batman in the midst of an ethical dilemma that has driven him to distraction,  and  provides an appreciation of Alfred, the butler...who is portrayed so very right.

Note that while a single comma and the word "provides" were technically all that was required to salvage the post from the slash bin, I ultimately decided to do a slightly more comprehensive tweak of the paragraph. 

Apologies to those who were initially offended or who rushed off to see the film based on false pretenses. 

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All the World is A Lie




The Batman Versus Superman film has gotten execrable reviews, and, in any event, exams, term papers and various other adult responsibilities have precluded anything that took time or misallocated my already limited creativity reserves until this week. 

My friend BOB!1! claimed to have enjoyed the film, but he had really liked Wing Commander too and so is an unreliable gauge of such matters. Nevertheless, with some trepidation, I accompanied him when he went to see it again this week.

A southern gentleman is expected to comport himself with a degree of stoicism and gentility that makes adequate description of what I sat through difficult to express.

Fortunately, this blog employs some imaginary cartoon debutantes who are not so constrained. 
more...

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April 20, 2016

Umm...What?

Seriously. What?


This was announced on April first,which allowed us to blissfully ignore the warning, However, it keeps getting talked about by Rooster Teeth and reportedly has a release date of sometime in May. There is supposed to be a clip released on April 27th, so we'll know in a week if this is just a ponderous leg-pull...or perhaps something even more cruel. 





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April 17, 2016

Phantom World Ends

Myriad Colors Phantom World wrapped up with episode 13. Despite having to cram about half a dozen episodes worth of material into 23 minutes, this whirlwind episode manages to have quiet, even touching moments of introspection and character development interspersed with all sorts of delightfully escalating violence. The writers do resort to expediting the plot with a somewhat unlikely hacking montage...



"Somewhat!?"

...and don't quite clear up every single plot thread, but this episode is brilliantly paced and serves as a thoroughly satisfying climax. I never would have guessed that they were going pull this off so well. 

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April 02, 2016

A Reliable Substitute for Thoughtful Content

...is pandering to the audience, so here is a rendering of Hephaestus by Shima Shima.



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March 28, 2016

Zombjas in Snowflake Village!

If you understand this message, it is meant for you. 




Kurumi Ebisuzawa Crossing sign by Maboroshi Dandy

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So Very True...


(Some of her typings not subject to the 'Trust and Safety Council are here)

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March 27, 2016

It's Spring

...so watch out for snakes.






Milia cosplay by Shiro Ang

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What the HELL Did I Just Watch!?

Please Tell Me Galko-Chan! has been getting some positive buzz, so I decided to give it a whirl.


The series is a slice of life show revolving around three young ladies, who, in their own way, are...different. From left to right: We have Galko the EPONYMOUS ringleader of our group of misfits. She suffers from acute Steatopygia, Macromastia, and blonde hair. These tragic deformities have resulted in her having a completely unearned reputation as a...party girl. She is quite good at reading prose. To the right of her is Oujo, a young lady from a rich family with pitch perfect etiquette and an immaculate uniform, who suffers from the tragic handicap of being an airhead. Finally there is Outo, whose disabilities include myopia, frumpiness and being a smart ass. 



Over the course of the first 7 and a half minute episode they discuss such deep philosophical topics as nipples, pubic hair and poop...both spicy and sweetened.

So it's kind of like Katawa Shoujo meets Beavis and Butthead..but without the angst or the music videos. 

What the hell Japan?!

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March 26, 2016

All You Had to Do Was Say That They Were Cosplayers

Because Frankly, this picture does not look at all incongruous.




Yes, Gate is over. It will be missed.
 
The series was overall, quite entertaining despite having had an uneven run, which suffered additionally from being a bit rushed, especially towards the end. 


However, when one's biggest complaint about a show is that one wished one could have seen more, it could be a clue that he show's not bad. Overall GATE, was, most of the time, a thoroughly entertaining show and most importantly, it ended on a quite satisfying note.

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And Then Suddenly The Show Inadvertently Stumbled Upon its Long Lost Plot

Episode 12 of Phantom World begins with an explanation of the legalities that make folktale fanfic the safest fanfic...




....which  cleverly ensured that no one was expecting this week's villain to be Carmen SanDiego.


"Yeah, that's her, but she never mentioned anything about geography."

The seemingly inconsequential stretch of recent episodes actually provided a good bit of background that made this story more impactful. Besides important insights into the protagonist's backstories those installments offhandedly introduced some background characters who make this episode somewhat more impactful. 

This tale is a lot darker than the previous ones and the story is (rather belatedly) really starting to move.  Whether it will live up to its considerable early potential is unclear, but next week's episode certainly bears watching. Things certainly have gotten serious for our heroes.


Mai oh my!

One thing that I have begun to wonder, although Haruhiko is the narrator, I do wonder if Mai is actually the protagonist. 

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March 20, 2016

Concerns Appear Unwarranted

So this animation apparently showed up on the Kyoto Animation webpage recently. I gather that the translation of the text at the end "Thank you for everything!"  caused some...speculation.



Obviously, the cutest suicide note ever.

A quick perusal of their site indicated no resumes being posted, and there is nothing on the news about the company's demise...What there is is a news blurb halfway down the page and if one clicks on it it is illustrated with the above animation and a "Thank You!" for the fact that they've reached 50,000 hits on Twitter. 

Thing is...I didn't need to sit there with a dictionary or ponder the screen for several minutes. I was able to figure this out with 20 seconds of web searching and 4 seconds of Google translate. 

So "unwarranted" is rather an understatement.

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March 13, 2016

Yes, I Do Believe This Works

Language warning due to repeated use of that most versatile of words.  

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March 12, 2016

FINALLY! A Post That Write's Itself!

Phantom World Episode 9 continues the writer's habit of breaking the fourth wall....




Thank you for clarifying that.



So...their roots were in improvisational theatre?



The bear? 



The bear is there.


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Gate Episode 22

Steven and I have not always agreed on this series, in part because he's comparing it to the original books, whereas I'm just enjoying it as it comes out...but we are in total concurrence on this weeks episode. 

He sums it up nicely here.

The episode's portrayal of Leili in particular is malapropos. 

Remember, this young mage speaks multiple languages,  turned the tide in a battle against a dragon and can use chopsticks. 



She's not going to stand there passively...twice...to provide a damsel in distress to the local ecosystem.


Worse, we didn't even get to see her dissertation on her Middle Earth Sorcery as combined with the High School chemistry book the earthlings provided her with.


  " I was cheated."


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February 27, 2016

Warp Speed

 Instapundit reports that Nicholas Meyer will be executive producer on CBS's new Star Trek Series!


Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home (which Myer directed) were Star Trek at its best and the last that really kept faithful to the spirit of the old series before the deliberate shift in philosophy and tone that was evident in TNG. 

CBS seems to be shooting for the old Desilu magic. 

This could actually warrant some attention. 

UPDATE: Belay my last Meyer's role is not so critical as we were led to believe. So much the better...

...it will make the inevitable disappointment that much more exquisite. 




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Gate Episode 20

In our latest story, Itami and friends go dowsing for adventure, which takes them far, far away from the actual plot. 

Said plot focuses on the the continuing political machinations in the Imperial capital, the efforts of the Japanese government to not exacerbate the situation and a brave little girl who can think on her feet. 


"Well, sir, these may look like mother of pearl, but if you observe them closely you'll note they are, in fact, solid brass."


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Bad Day in Superhero School

Some days, even the best efforts just do not pan out.



The above captures a moment of introspection from this week's Sir Mix-A-Lot tribute episode of Phantom World which, despite a few cute moments and an amusing attempt to get Minase to smile,  pretty much involved the audience doing this for 28 minutes....  


"Oh man, that's just wrong!"
 

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February 22, 2016

Oh...So Marissa is a Necromancer?

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February 17, 2016

Phantom World Episode 7

This episode was just a weird occurrence at the school and was pretty episodic.. 


However, unlike most stories that mention a certain thought experiment, they got Schrödinger's cat right! 



Not only that, but our heroines all turn into catgirls for some reason. 



Thus the episode still counts as a win. 
This despite the fact that the "problem" is, regrettably, solved.  (To our hero's credit, he has nothing to do with that unhappy development.) Additionally, this story may tie somewhat into continuity going forward. We'll find out as we are still enjoying this silly, slightly pretentious, but surprisingly enjoyable show. 

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February 14, 2016

RWBY Season 3 Ends




I'm not sure how to react to that. Astonishment will have to do for now.


This final episode did not exactly end the series on an happy and upbeat note in much the same way that sticking ones hand in boiling fry oil will not exactly result in relief from sunburn. However it did provide the audience with surprises and emotional gravity in copious amounts.

The ending of this leaves several issues unresolved and lays the groundwork for either another season (or perhaps a sequel series).

 

If, as seems likely, that comes to pass, then rest assured, we're going to give it a try. 


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February 13, 2016

And She Can Drive Too



From Episode 18 of GATE, a series where Leilei has, until recently, mainly to her laconic mannerisms, been something of a background character. A competent apprentice mage with a knack for languages, she has been absolutely vital to the progression of the story, having acted as interpreter, had enough on the ball to inquire about the dragon scales and add her knowledge and the authority that comes with her status to the group's tookit. Leili finally got to shine in a big way last episode when she turned the tide in the fight against the dragon. . 



Now, despite her very young age, she's going to a city of mages where she is going to attempt to give what amounts to a dissertation in front of a group of elders and gain the title of Master Mage. (Some time ago, she got her hands on a middle school chemistry book and learned the basics of covalent bonds...her demonstration should be entertaining).

Meanwhile, Itami,  got sacked and relieved of his command (for abandoning his post to kill the dragon...despite the wink and the nod he received prior) . He was also presented with multiple medals, awards as well as titles of nobility (and a slave girl!?) from the locals. Itami is told to just "go out and explore".  He is to keep reconnoitering the new world paying special attention to its resources. Thus he decides to accompany Leili on her journey since she's really useful to have around a city of mages sounds potentially facinating and rich in a resource that warrants some study. Rory is along because, I gather, she wants to desecrate a local shrine and the jeep beats walking, Yao insists on coming because she's the aforementioned slave girl (WTF!?). Tuka tags along for...reasons. Leili brings a letter of recommendation from her teacher which is sufficiently glowing to get her an audience.

The result of this is that the group is nowhere NEAR the Imperial capital when Princes Penã throws a diplomatic soiree involving the Emperor and a bunch of minor characters that successfully kicks off the peace talks. With our heroes, the chaos magnets, on the other side of the Empire, and the Japanese ambassador and Penã overseeing the event, odds seem pretty good that nothing can go wron...



Almost nothing can go wrong when two very different societies meet and one has no concept of a statute of limitations and considers giving a necklace to a 12 year old girl a contractual promise to marry.  

Also Leili has a sister.

Next week: Hijinks ensue.

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Puddles

Puddles are an under appreciated menace in our modern world. They can contain all manner of perils such as typhoid, cholera, water moccasins, brain eating amoebas, mosquitoes, industrial pollutants, snapping turtles, leeches, trench foot, ducks, Guinea Worms...portals.


Portals in puddles portend  a parade of peril to people predisposed to perplexity 

From Episode 6 of Myriad Colors Phantom World, which is titled Kurumi and the Teddy Bear Kingdom and, astonishingly enough, is exactly what it says on the tin. 


You have found the intersection of cuteness and existential dread.

Even by the standards of this show this is an unexpectedly odd story, but actually works beautifully and has a surprising amount of character development in it.  This series definitely warrants further attention.

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February 05, 2016

Why Japan Still Has Payphones

When our protagonist got the call from Ruru (Lulu?) I immediately asked myself how the hell the 12 inch tall genie got a cellphone, and if it's magical how does she connect to...oh...



I've heard of a hair-shirt, but a hair-wallet is new to me.

From the latest episode of MC Phantom World, which is another in a string of character background stories, but this one felt much less like a discrete, stand alone tale as it not only references previous episodes, but manages to intersect with what appears to be the larger plot. 

A ferocious but poorly drawn dragon is menacing middle school chicken-coops and rabbit hutches and our heroes are...unaware of the situation actually since no one would trust them with this assignment. However, due to a series unrelated misunderstandings they manage to thoroughly screw things up anyway and end up trying to come to the rescue of the young lady assigned to their school's lepus lounge and save the bunnies...



Things do not go as anticipated

I'm convinced that the club advisor is manipulating the protagonists, whether for good or ill remains to be seen.

The story seems to be back on track and resuming its quirky and occasionally thoughtful direction. If we can avoid a Maudlin episode about the loli I think we'll be fine. 

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January 31, 2016

OK This Episode Finally Did It

We've stuck with RWBY for a while, despite the infinitesimal budget...



...the sometimes clumsy plotting....



...the breaks in production...



... and the dorks.



There have been some good characterizations to be sure...



...but this episode finally forces us to confront the fact...

  
...that reason we've spent spent 5 hours of our lives watching this damned show...



...IS BECAUSE IT ROCKS!

My oh my! They've got two more episodes to screw up this season, but damned if they didn't do good by this one. 


Aside from one awkward edit, the only gripe about this episode is that the next one is about 80 hours away. 

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