Looks fun. You can keep your "Buttman vs Stupidman" - I'm gonna go see Ultraman next summer.
Although I supposed that the producers of Ultraman don't want you to spend too much time thinking about all the people crushed to death in those buildings.
Posted by: L. Beau Macaroni at Sun Aug 30 19:19:53 2015 (P2Eio)
School Live Continues
In the latest episode of this season's surprisingly clever slice of life show, Yuki must catch and wash the dog. Hijinks ensue.
The girls discuss their plans (or lack thereof) for after graduation. Miki stops reading her horror books long enough to conclude that the school being equipped as a civil defense location is actually indicative of some sinister purpose. Yuuri organizes an expedition to sneak into the teachers lounge because SHE MUST KNOW. An attempt at a group photograph goes about as well as one would expect. Sakura Sensei practices her penmanship with heartbreaking results.
I am in genuine awe of this show and how it is able to elicit an actual emotional response from me.
LIKE SCREAMINNG AND CRINGING!
Oh...dear. I had previously assumed that the well equipped school was a function of an affluent zip code and an appreciation for civil defense in a disaster prone country. Alas...no
So what have we learned?
The zombie apocalypse happened because of a bioweapon...the school administration was made aware that this was a possibility. And the school is well equipped for a zombie apocalypse...because it was ACTUALLY equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse. (Apparently it happened at the worst possible time...as the gates were all open as the school was letting out).
One subtle bit...the school is increasingly looking like it actually is rather than as Yuki sees it. This may or may not be tied to Yuki's recurring nightmares.
They still don't seem to have found Megune's epitaph...Which makes sense if that heartbreaking flashback at the beginning...isn't actually a flashback.What I mean is, that it looks possible that when Yuuki says she's going to talk to Sakura Sensei, she could be telling the truth.
I am eager to hear the thoughts of anyone else who is following this show. But PLEASE, use spoiler tags!
Wow. The last few minutes of that reminded me of
"The Andromeda Strain" - the good one, from 1971. Esp about 2/3 into it where they find out that 'Scoop' was a military biowar project hijinks ensue.
I fear this series is taking its inevitable turn towards the horrible; and, thus, I'll have to abandon it at some point. My own fault, really: I just don't want to spend my downtime being miserable. Don't get me wrong: the writing, sound, dialog, and animation are great! I just don't need an outside source to be unhappy. Thus, I'll stick with this, for a bit, hoping for the best for these girls...but I dread.
Seriously. The implications of what they found are horrific. Japan cannot even face up to their own real-life demographic death-spiral, and yet they make an anime that implies it's even worse? The world wonders.
It looks like this is a single-cour season, so it won't catch up to the manga. I took a very quick look at the scanlations, and the good news is that
all four girls are still alive and functional ("sane" is perhaps too strong a word for anyone in their situation), and they've found evidence of survivors outside the school. I didn't read more than a few pages; I'm generally spoiler-immune, but in this case I just don't want to know too much too soon.
Posted by: J Greely at Sat Aug 29 11:17:00 2015 (ZlYZd)
Not clicking...I'm avoiding scantalation spoilers like the plague on this one.
I was ASSUMING that at least some of the balloons they released had useful information like their location and the fact that they had non-infected people on the roof post-plague. Now, I'm not sure that would do any good, since the implication of the manual is that they will just ruthlessly quarantine the valley, possibly forever. The fact that the school is intended for VERY long term survival backs this up. Of course, the contingency manual suggests that disease is so deadly that the whole world might be infected. This unlikely in the extreme given that it's not airborne...but then, it spread through the whole town much more effectively than fast acting rabies should have. Of course this is a trope of the zombie apocalypse genre in general. However, it's also possible that this had a weaponization vector in the early stages. Remember that the episodes that took place on the day of the disaster had news reports of multiple disturbances simultaneously and the very nature of the disease would have meant that hospitals were overrun quickly. Still, it seems too fast acting for lingering vectors to get very far before they become unwelcome additions to the random encounter table...In this sense a good public transportation system was probably not helpful.
Wow, looks like I might be wrong after all (for various values of "alive" obviously). That opening implies that Sakura-sensei managed to escape the zombies after locking them away from the girls. I wonder where the ribbon on her grave came from. Of course, that also brings up the question of the grave itself...which I just don't want to even think about at the moment.
Posted by: ReallyBored at Mon Aug 31 10:02:35 2015 (ulGxe)
Tonight on GATE: After Sneaking a Thoughtful and Intelligent Show Past Standards and Practices for 2 Months, They're Found Out!
Now boarding at GATE 9 bound for Fan Service with stops in Akihabara, suspiciously opaque hot springs, America bashing, dead G.I.s, a cool old dude, otaku affirmation and normally strong female characters doing the paper doll pander.
Please direct your attention towards the EYES of the EGL at the front of the cabin as she adjusts your belt and attempts to convince you that even if she looks 13, her actual age of 961 means it won't really count as loli.
After 8 episodes of sublime storytelling and pacing, this heretofore excellent show surprises us in an entirely new way.
Mind you, it actually does move along a rather tendentious subplot and there is some character development so this is not a complete non-sequitur of an episode, which is, perhaps, unfortunate, as is it were, I could advise you to skip it....especially if yo've been watching this show with your kids. It just doesn't at all fit with the tone of the series thus far and that feeling rather increases as the episode progresses.
There is at least one bit that I hope is foreshadowing though...
I predict ARCHERY!
We also do find out offhandedly that Leili's magic does work in this world...which ought to be a big deal.
This series is now 8 stellar to 1 meh so I'm not by any means dropping it as of yet.
Well, This Could Be BetterMonster Musume is faithfully following its comic book inspiration into imbecility and squalor, wasting what is admittedly a fairly interesting cast on prurient pandering to the dolorous, disaffected degenerate deviants that make up its target audience.Obviously this is a show I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in admitting to watching...
"Oh..umm...This?...Uhh...Thi...This is a...a cooking show."
This is not to say that the show is without potential. For one thing, a spinoff centered around the Mrs. Smith and her commando team of mythological monster-maiden myrmidons has a considerable likelihood of being quite entertaining.
UPDATE: In fact, as a friend recently pointed out, such a show would probably be the most enjoyable G.I. Joe sequel possible.
The dimensions of that cockpit are giving me OCD fits. Even if the top of the seat goes into the head-piece cavity, the whole thing looks far too much like mechanical origami. And growing up, we had a neighbor who got badly mangled getting launched out of a crashing military jet, I have a healthy respect for just what tight tolerances can do when you're using an ejector seat at speed.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Tue Aug 25 09:16:46 2015 (jwKxK)
Maybe the seat is intended to flip out the back hatch before firing? (Still crazy: in that case, the design depends on that elaborate seat-deployer hinge thingy being unbent, and the hatch opening as it should.)
Ah well, it's anime world, where giant robot designers have infinite budgets, and neon pink is an acceptable hair color in a professional setting.
Posted by: ams at Tue Aug 25 16:57:29 2015 (GtPd7)
Also, the first aid kit mounted in the hatch is going to be under/behind the seat when she's inside. That seems like the least useful place for it possible other than outside.
Posted by: Rick C at Tue Aug 25 23:02:24 2015 (FvJAK)
Tonights Recitations From Kipling Will be Performed by Rory Mercury
From episode 8 of GATE which continues to be highly intelligent and entertaining. This is despite having a girl in a Gothic Lolita outfit adorned with fake wolf ears speaking before the Japanese Diet...or perhaps because of it.
The last episode indicated that our heroes would be returning to Japan from fantasy Middle Earth Land to be debriefed, and the civilians representatives from the other world would be interviewed. This was pretty much what happened. Of course coming out of Middle Earth into Shibuya rather IMPRESSES the visitors. In short order, Itami, Leili (acting as translator)Tuka and (God help us all) Rory Mercury all are asked to testify before the Parliament...
Now. Pick out the person from the above lineup most likely to cause the whole thing to go to worms...
The testimony quickly becomes heated as an opposition MP accuses Itami and his squad of negligence and/or cowardice during the battle with the dragon, resulting in 150 civilian deaths. Tuka(sp?)and Leili are somewhat confused by her line of questioning but answer honestly, giving her nothing to work with. She then calls up Mercury, misreading her formal veil as indication that the is in mourning for the dead rather than enjoying their aftertaste.
Rory knocks it out of the park. In the process of articulating a shorter, less poetic version of this, she points out that the 3rd recon unit did not allow one quarter of the refugees they were escorting to be killed. Rather, they saved three quarters of the group from being slaughtered by attacking and driving off an entity (the dragon) that had them seriously outmatched. She also admonishes the MP for being a whiny little child, after which things almost do go to worms, but for the timely intervention of Itami, who points out that the ages of Roary, Tuka and Leili are 961, 165 and 15 respectively.
Meanwhile, PenÃ£ and her guard had a separate, secret interview from the rest, and learned amongst other things that the Japanese have 6000 POWs and are looking to release them.
Oh...yes...we also learn that Itami is a divorcee, his ex-wife is a fujoshi (and possibly a hikkikomori) and he seems to be paying her alimony in food.
We also learn that Mercury's Halbard/Pike/Tuning Fork weighs several hundred pounds.
There's no combat or other action whatsoever in this episode aside from an attempted mugging and a collateral hernia but a ton of stuff happened that moved the show forward including a bit of suspense involving intrigues facing our heroes in Japan, both foreign and domestic.
...enjoying their aftertaste. I'm glad I drink cheap wine; I don't feel so bad when spitting it onto my monitor when I laugh. That, sir, is priceless!
My wife was cheering towards the end of Rory's little speech. But then, we are old, and have very badthoughts such as nationalism, patriotism, and love of Western Civilization (even if its Standard is carried by the East). We just adore this series; yet, looking at places such as the ANN forum, most of the hate seems to based on a reaction to "it's pro-military" or "it's too nationalistic." Ironic that Rory addressed both of those issues in her little homily.
Sometime we feel as if we are aliens within our own country.
I think Itami's ex-wife is a manga artist or animation piece-worker. Clues: She's flat broke and starving, but still has a working computer and says something like "Have to turn in one more page by tomorrow...."
I just watched ShiroBako which has any number of characters like that. Plus an only slightly fictionalised Hideaki Anno.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Aug 22 08:44:32 2015 (PiXy!)
Brick, that's a jewel of a line. Well played, sir.
School Live Episode 6
In the latest episode of School Live, Yuki organizes a school athletic event, Sakura Sensei tries to get Yuki to address her properly and not drive off a potential new club member and Miki gains some insights into why Sakura Sensei seems so clumsy. Later Kurumi and Yuri explain to Miki some important facts about the school's rooftop garden and the yearbook project is finished.
In the meantime, hijinks ensue.
I must say that the music in this show is used to truly excellent effect.
"Good grief Yuki, you're SCARING the poor girl"
This is actually much more than a show about a bunch of girls in school...
ReallyBored called it. I had given up on this theory because of the fact that Yuri was speaking to Megune (Sakura Sensei)...but she's just been humoring Yuki's insanity...Megune has been dead for...well for a while. Possibly since the first day of the outbreak.
I began to suspect the possibility again in this episode only because they were doing very peculiar things with POV shots moments before....wham. The music here was just sublime, capturing the sheer madness of the situation perfectly and the pan and zoom into Yuki's blissfully insane eyes capture just a hint of rage that Miki might contradict the elaborate edifice that Yuki's psyche has built...Yuki's not just pitiable she's quite scary.
I had not realized that pretty much ALL of the school looked like this and most of what we've been seeing is Yukivision.
Sakura Sensei had apparently been a Christian, at least she'd been wearing a crucifix throughout the series, so it was a particularly nice touch that they buried her and put a cross on her grave.
For all of its grim, post apocalyptic nature, the show is about people retaining their humanity and remaining upbeat and decent against all odds.
...in its own bizarre way this show almost one of those Iyashikei (healing anime).
As usual, gentle readers, we admonish everyone to use spoiler tags in the comments.
And if you are not yet watching this show we admonish you to start with episode ONE.
Posted by: J Greely at Sat Aug 15 22:59:38 2015 (ZlYZd)
I just did...and was reminded that #3 was the episode that had really convinced me that she was real. Yeah...that bit at the end of the episode takes on a whole different meaning now. As to what happened, she was definitively ON THE ROOF with the others. Assuming the office segment with her writing her epitaph was real, she may have survived for some time and gotten the girls on their feet. Of course episode 4 is full of hints but she really seemed to be part of the conversation. Of course the more egregious moments of Megune's utter fecklessness are no longer contrived or problematic anymore.
I also don't rule out the notion that RB was right and she's a ghost.
My initial thought was that she died on the roof around the same time as the flashback*, but I don't think that squares up the timeline properly. I don't think that gives her enough time to write the diary and I think that is a real scene. I think there will be another rooftop fight, probably to retake the garden/water supply/solar charging system. The diary entry is written immediately before that.
*The really downer version of this is that Yuki opens the door they had blocked off, letting the zombies in. Megu-nee gets attacked and bitten then shoves them out another door. Some combination of guilt and horror at causing this causes Yuki to fully break.
Posted by: ReallyBored at Mon Aug 17 08:35:28 2015 (ulGxe)
...it just does NOT pay to get out of bed.
Exemplifying this today is Dame Bozes Co Palesti, one of the highest ranking members of the Rose Order of Knights....
"My orders were as follows: to oversee the full mobilization of the Rose order of Knights and proceed via forced march to rendezvous in Italica with the detachment you had led to reconnoiter the probable area of operations. The overall mission of unit Rose was to be reconnaissance in force of the national cultural heritage site Arnus Hill, which has been taken by an invading force of unknown nationality. This force had defeated two Imperial and five tributary armies with astonishing alacrity and suffered no apparent losses. These facts made the proposed reece mission of paramount importance in assembling some effective defense of our nation. Additionally, the gravity of the situation indicated that we be marching in a state of tactical readiness and be prepared to engage any hostile forces we might encounter.
AS PER THE TACTICAL AND STRATEGIC SITUATION AS WELL AS MY LAWFUL ORDERS: Yesterday at approximately 15:00 we encountered a small enemy recon force using transport equipment vastly more capable than our own. Despite the danger, my troops obeyed my order to approach without protest. The enemy unit (which did not seem to possess any archers or spear carriers) did not engage, but rather sent out a single soldier, possibly to parlay. I assumed that we had encountered an isolated reconnaissance or foraging unit. Given our army's previous reversals with this enemy this was a rare opportunity and to pass it up would have been, in my opinion, to demonstrate criminal negligence. Thus, I gave the order to engage them with the hopes of collecting intelligence and possibly prisoners. The enemy retreated from the field with my soldiers in hot pursuit, but their...conveyances...possessed preternatural speed and the bulk of the enemy unit escaped. However, Dame Kalgi managed to capture one prisoner, who we interrogated and brought to you with the greatest possible dispatch. I felt this could very well be a development of paramount importance.
I should add that whatever actions are brought against me, throughout this movement our entire unit comported themselves in accordance with the finest traditions of the Knights of the Empire and deserve commendation and not condemnation for their performance during, what was, their baptism by fire.
Now, I mean no disrespect whatsoever to your highness, but can you PLEASE clarify what, exactly I did, or ordered those under my command to do, that was in any way a violation of my general orders, my lawful standing orders or was otherwise so wrong that you just embedded your chalice in my cranium."
I paraphrase somewhat, but it's hard not to sympathize with Dame Palesti's plight in the opening scene of Episode 7 of GATE. After all, no one bothered to text her that there was now a peace treaty. I mean, nobody yelled at Andrew Jackson.
This was another good episode which despite some silliness remained clever and intelligent. This episode changes the direction of several characters quite markedly, We also find out a few additional things about the other world...
Amongst the more important facts revealed in this episode is the revelation that OMG there are Catgirls...
and there are Battle Bunnies too!
I must admit, I suspected that the one thing they would NOT have would be catgirls just to mess with the somewhat hapless SGT. Takeo, but hey I'm not complaining. Battle Bunnies is something that I did not foresee at all. The fact that they're in maid outfits is just icing.
This is the best show EVER!
There is also a medusa, which everyone on the domestic staff is a bit leery of.
"We trained her really good, but still, be careful...she'll kill ya."
The backstory here is that the previous ruler of Italica went to great lengths to hire subject races as civil servants in his town (which could have benefits for what is, after all, a trading hub) and in particular hired cute female members of said races to serve with the rest of his domestic help.
This has two important implications:
1:The former mayor was AWESOME!
2:There are subject races....with all the dark implications that go along with that.
One of the more understated bits of world building in a previous episode was the very dark backstory of the Kain, the exceptional and wise old lady who now runs the house. This is a brutal world, and it is implied that these maids (Human and non) all have similar pasts.
We also learn offhandedly that Itami is qualified to wear a JSDF Ranger badge, which is not quite the same as U.S. Army Rangers, but nevertheless denotes that he has passed a formidable endurance course. Sgt. Kuriabyashi is, unsurprisingly shocked by this.
The concurrent plotlines in this episode concern the raid by the third recon unit to rescue Itami (which is resolved rather quickly) and Princess PinÃ£ ordering her lieutenant, (the Dame Bozes Co Palesti from above) to give her body to Lt. Itami as compensation for his mistreatment at her hands. Apparently, as a nobelwoman, Dame Palisti has been trained from a young age in the fine art of being sold off as a concubine....yeah....ewww. That Itami is a mere soldier rather than someone of comparable station only adds insult to the atrocity.
Fortuitously, for all involved except perhaps Lt. Itami, Palesti once again fails to fulfill her mission, and again this is due to a lack of relevant information...
"The evolution of the situation in the assigned area of operations was non-conducive to the achievement of my assigned objectives."
...Though, in this case her reaction to the unexpected shift in the nature of her anticipated battlespace included an unforced error on her part.The result of this is that Princess PinÄ asks (and receives) permission to visit Arnus Hill...dragging Palesti along to execute if need be.
One thing leads to another and both of them end up being enthusiastically accepted as diplomatic representatives, joining the group being sent to speak before the Diet.
Roary Mercury also invites herself...which I fear canNOT turn out well.
This episode also moved the plot along, setting up a major shift in the direction of two characters (Princess PinÃ£ and Dame Palesti) as well as establishing there are a LOT of really dark aspects to what is, after all, a version of the Roman Empire with feudal elements (tributary states). The dilemma the Princess faced is cringeworthy. She has the weight of the empire and al its subject on her shoulders and she only has the Empire's precedents to guide her as to the likely behavior of the invaders. That it was well established that Bozelle is one of her oldest friends makes her decision (which she clearly dreaded) all the more gut wrenching.
The fact that our heroes aren't jerks and are behaving in a basically rational, non-malevolent manner is a nice touch too.
This show is far better than one would expect from the premise..."Modern Japanese Army invades Middle Earth."
It is actually quite good and has remained consistently intelligent for seven episodes. So if you have not watched this (or gave up after the second episode) I strongly suggest that you add this to your watch list.
UPDATE: Over at Steven's place there is a post and comment thread regarding the design changes between the manga and Anime.This mostly concerns the costume changes , which can mostly be explained by the need to actually animate the show...but some of which are truly bizarre. There is also mention made of the changes to two of the maids to make them appeal to the moe' set, but I think that the anime managed to do something subtle and neat here in the process...
Delilah and Persia (Battlebunny and Catgirl respectively) are much softened in appearance compared to the manga. However, Delilah's bubbly bunnygirl countenance changes dramatically...
...just before the 7 minute mark(when she hears 3rd Recon Unit sneaking in) and shortly thereafter, there is a very brief view of her...
...with their game-faces on as they go to asses the situation. Later we do see them again with their happy chambermaid masks firmly affixed.
So, while they keep a pleasant facade for honored guests, the show does convey that they have little patience for unwanted ones and are not to be trifled with. I note too that the previous Maquis had kept a Medusa in his staff and the head maid warned Itami that she might kill by accident. I rather suspect that the staff was chosen at least as much for their talents for security as their late employers personal taste.
This dovetails into the fact that this world is fairly dark. It's our HEROES who are the perky happy ones.
It's hard to blame Pina, really.
She's in a situation where there are no winning moves whatsoever. There's a whacking great army, far superior to anything the Empire possesses or really even understands, already inside the Empire's borders. But they haven't just stormed in and conquered everything yet, despite probably having the power to do so.
The idea that the Japanese just aren't inclined to go a-conquerin' is probably sufficiently outside her experience that it may not have occurred to her at all. It's not really supported by the evidence either, since Arnus is indeed occupied and held in (overwhelming) strength, and the JSDF did just push a patrol into Ithaca.
So why hasn't the JSDF rolled over them? Turn the question around: what would hold back the Empire in a similar situation? They themselves aren't above manufacturing incidents, which means that first in Pina's mind has to be "they just needed an excuse". And that's what Bozes has handed them - a grade-A, bulletproof excuse to kick the absolute crap out of the Empire.
It's completely fair to note that Bozes couldn't have anticipated this turn of events. On the other hand, it's also fair to note that the anticipated consequences for Pina are not merely theoretical; most of the "we're gonna get conquered" scenarios that match her understanding of how things are done do not include her survival, and the rest are mostly worse than that. As far as Pina knows, Bozes has literally signed her death warrant (or bill of sale...) as well as that of the Empire, in exchange for the satisfaction of roughing up one minor enemy officer. So yeah, Pina's anger might not be justifiable, but it's plenty understandable.
(You've couched the phrasing in your post in military-speak, and from the perspective of a modern military, you're completely correct; but Pina's not a professional officer, she's a noble with no real military background. The idea of the flow of responsibility is something that simply wouldn't apply to her, at least in her experience.)
The Empire is a not-nice place. I'll save any discussion of its long-term viability for later in the show, but there really aren't a lot of possible outcomes which would be a win condition for Pina, and definitely none that she'd actually consider a win at this point in the show.
The dilemma the Princess faced is cringeworthy. She has the weight of the empire and al its subject on her shoulders and she only has the Empire's precedents to guide her as to the likely behavior of the invaders. That it was well established that Bozelle is one of her oldest friends makes her decision (which she clearly dreaded) all the more gut wrenching.
You make a very good point regarding the Empire. It is a pretty dark place. They have slavery, "subject races" and it seems to be a hodge-podge of the Roman Empire and the either the Holy Roman Empire or certain periods of Chinese history. You have this centralized empire with a senate and all the Imperial intrigues and these vassal/tributary states in what looks to be a feudal arrangement. (And they've all had their armies wiped out. If there are huns or mongols or similar...)
5 scantily clad comely young lasses dancing by the pool. If this is not your cup of tea, then no harm no foul, but if you really don't comprehend the reasoning behind this then you may have deeper issues than I can address in a blog comment.
As to the "fannish in-jokes".... Hong Meiling is wearing her hair in Chinese meatballs to establish her (undead) ethnicity rather than the usual butcher beret and Tang-Zhuang trousers / cheongsam combo, Sakuya still has her hairstyle and throwing knives, Sanae has her frog and snake hairpices, I have no idea who the other redhead is but it may be the drummer Raiko Horokowa whose outfit has a similar color scheme. Finally Yuyuko is, as is typical, wearing an outfit multiple orders of magnitude more elaborate and modest than the rest.
However these highly specific examples of fan service are just incidental to the primary themes of the video's fan service which is female anatomy, choreography and fluid dynamics.
A Wacky School Outing
The latest episode of School Live continues last week's flashback to the club's first field trip...to the local mall.
Now, our heroines have a very specific list of things they are supposed to get, (mostly in the hardware dept). Naturally, they hit music stores, clothing stores and try on bathing suits.
"We did NOT break any of these. That is our story and we are sticking to it!"
The pacing in this episode is a bit off, but it remained thoroughly entertaining (the John Carpenteresque soundtrack was inspired). there are some questions raised though.
The flashback contains what may be flashbacks or could be dishonest narration...given that they are from the point of view of Yuki, who is cuckoo for cocoa puffs. This, for instance, causes me to ask all sorts of questions...
This is just fuzzy enough that it could be someone other than it appears to be or the situation might be slightly different than it appears. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that Yuki's viewpoint and memories have been misleading.
We now know that the shambling consumers are not blind to their surroundings because of the glow-sticks.
A mall seems to me to be about the third worst place other than a hospital or subway station to go in this situation. A small grocery and hardware store would look to have been far safer raid targets.
As always with this show please avail yourself of the spoiler tags in the comments.
Completely unconfirmed scuttlebut sourced to people who have claimed they talked to Rooster Teeth employees is that the third volume of RWBY will NOT premiere at RTX this year but that it is tentatively scheduled for late fall or early winter.