September 27, 2015

Cute Even Without Caveats

Here is Aura, probably most popular anime character ever (in the category of characters that appeared in fantasy anime in the summer 2015 season in the sub-category medusa maid) as imagined by KemKem.

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September 26, 2015


UPDATE: Nope. Don't like the shades. 

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September 25, 2015

School Live! Ends

For a show about the antics of four high school girls, their faculty advisor and their dog as they try to keep their club active in the face of a downright hostile faculty and student body, School Live!  has been rather more emotionally engaging than one would expect. 

It's actually been quite the tear jerker at times.

However, despite some quite heart-wrenching moments...

"You have been and always shall be...My friend."

and the fact that one of the overarching themes is the importance of seeing the world as it is (ugliness and all) rather than how one wants it to be...

"Oh please. It's not about me. It's about my students"

...this show has maintained a surprisingly upbeat outlook overall. 

All in all, School Live! has managed to stay quite solid (if sometimes emotionally taxing) all the way through. There really weren't any weak episodes and it stands as one of the absolute best in its genre.

This last episode, the graduation episode, is especially poignant. People say their goodbyes...

"OK Point of order: Th...Wait. Who's missing?"

...various plot lines are wrapped up and, intriguingly,  some new ones are started. The show's ending is surprisingly open ended and hints at a sequel...which would be a most welcome development, as this series was outstanding.
I highly recommend it.

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September 19, 2015


...sort of.

For a show that has had some truly sublime moments, this last episode was something of an anti-climax, being nothing more than a set up for another cour. That makes it less than satisfying as a series finale.

This isn't isn't any sort of cliffhanger as such, it just puts political and procedural roadblocks in the way of the dark elf from the last episode.  

Who has TWO ears.
She's the last hope for her people and the burden is weighing heavily on her.
One neat bit of detail; the different languages continue to be an issue.Yao Haa Dushi, the aforementioned dark elf is thwarted mainly by the language barrier until Leili provides translation (after which she continues to be thwarted by other means). Several other minor characters lament their limited knowledge of other languages and phrase books are shown to be precious things that can be the  key to a decent job for the locals.

 This episode did throw out a few other character/plot threads. Tuka, the crazy cracker elf may be shell-shocked and broken, but she is highly functional and sharp enough that she able to hold down a job in the refugee camp that requires at least a degree of literacy, 

It turns out that the lepus lass who runs one of the bars, is actually Delilah with a radically different hairstyle. 

'Dem earrings...

She was one of Kain's  praetorian maids from Italica introduced in episode 7.  It's unclear if her coiffure is intended as a disguise or is the result of access to modern conditioner. She certainly seems to have some ulterior motive, though whether she's working for Kain, the Empire or a third party is unclear.

The harpy mage who went from POW to security guard actually has a name, (Myutie)...

...and thus might be more than a nice continuity nod. 

The male fans having been generously provided with a cornucopia of maids, the production staff has thrown a bone to the otakuettes as well.... complement the yaoi appreciation subplot. 

Finally,  in a truly inspired moment, Leili is applying science to her magical theory. She has gotten hold of a middle school chemistry book...and is modifying her sorcery to take its wisdom into account. 

This is completely logical and totally in character for her. Her teacher is quite impressed and seems to grasp the potential of her refining his techniques with the science of the other world.

This episode was certainly neat and had a lot going on, but as a season ender it was rather unsatisfying. 

The series high-point was probably Rory's speech in episode 8. 
The detail and thought that has gone into the story of this show is remarkable and the characters tend to be quite interesting. Aside from the unspeakable mess that was episodes 9 and 10, everyone and every group has had realistic and well thought out motivations and are astonishingly well realized (though Itami is coming close to Gary Stu territory). Note that hose two episodes (9&10) are so different in tone and they really don't contribute much to the story (aside from the flower laying ceremony) that I'm unsure if the weird and incongruous divergence wasn't some sort of executive does not seem to fit with the meticulous thoughtfulness of the rest of the series.

All in all this was one of the better shows in recent years Episodes 9&10 nearly killed it for me, but  it bounced back immediately and it is a testament to how good the show is that despite those,  I'm looking forward to this show's continuation in January. 

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September 18, 2015

An Aluminum Foil Lining

The Crunchyroll release of episode 12 of Gate is delayed untill at least tomorrow, but it appears that the series will January

She does have two ears.

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From this week's episode of School Live...



There are about 130 hours until the next episode huh?

This is going to be a long week.

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September 13, 2015

Another Darned Remake

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Phoenix Wright is contracted to conduct delicate inter-dimensional negotiations while posing as a member of the Foreign Ministry, under an assumed name. 

That title and entire first sentence is probably not true...probably.

In actuality, the screen-cap is from Episode 11 of GATE. The previous two episodes left such a foul taste in my mouth that I nearly dropped the show. With episode 11 this series appears to have gotten back on the rails and has gone a long way to cleanse the palette. 

More below the fold...

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September 12, 2015

Rainy Day

In the latest episode of School Live, the rainy season brings with it CABIN FEVER! This years strain of cabin fever is bad enough that it can only be delayed...and not prevented by ping pong balls.

Miki FINALLY finishes the foreign novel she's been translating, Now she must deal with the knowledge that hours of her life have been wasted as the book was rather overhyped.

"It was like...ancillary tendentiousness."

Yuki tries to boil water...with unexpected results.

"Dear God...Don't let me burn another kettle!"

Sakura Sensei's discussion of her haircut with Kurumi ends up having a profoundly unintended effect on Kurumi's outlook on life.

"You cut off a meter of hair...and kept the ahoge?"

Yuuri discovers to her considerable annoyance that pinky-swears can be used as emotional blackmail.

"My name is Yuuri..NOT your request is invalid. "

And of course...hi-jinx ensue.

This series has been surprisingly well done and a considerable amount of interesting developments happened in this episode. While I'm eager to discuss them, I ask anyone who  does so, out of courtesy to other readers who are not as far along, to please use spoiler tags as follows....

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September 06, 2015


There seems to be a lot of this sort of thing going around this season. 

From episode 10 of GATE which was only 43% as stupid as episode 9 and was about 20% cooler to boot. I would normally be very likely to drop a show when it insulted me as badly as this one did but the first 8 episodes were EXCEEDINGLY good and the utter non sequitur  of a plot thread that derailed the show seems to be completely over. Thus, I'll give it till at least next week to see if it has gotten back on track.

From the previews, it seems likely that it will, so I'm hopeful. 

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September 05, 2015

To Boldly Go...Where Exactly?

This is a surprisingly interesting essay. While it's title suggests it is a about politics, this is really an analysis of the ethics (or lack thereof) that inform them. 

It touches upon Nazi hunters, Klingons, the divine right of kings, moral relativism  and the philosophical conflict behind the eugenics wars.

I speak of rights! A machine has none. A man must! 

Do read the whole thing.

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Why I Don't Hang Out in Bars

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School Live Episode 9

In today's episode of School Live,  Miki takes a break from analyzing the purloined papers they got from Sakura Sensei's office, and announces that she's made a surprising discovery.  

"This dog...There's no.......IT'S A ROBOTI!!"

Actually, no. 
She discovers that her day is to consist of the sort of obligatory beach episode that almost always shows up in vapid comedies about cute girls in high school being nonthreatening. Thus her surprise at it happening in this series is entirely understandable. 

Given the premise of the show, that the School Live Club is not to leave the school grounds (especially after that fiasco at the mall); a beach episode would strain credulity, but they get around this by having the girls clean the koi pond on the roof.
...of the school...
If you are pondering why there is a koi pond on the roof of the school, you are not getting into the spirit of things...or you've avoided the spoiler tags.

That a Japanese cartoon airs its summer vacation episode on Labor Day Weekend only adds to the overall unlikelyhood.

In any event, hijinks ensue. 

...including a surprisingly epic water-gun fight. 
Despite the fact that this is mostly a straight up 'day at the pool' episode the show remains engaging and intelligent, contrasting their determination to remain upbeat against the series of perpetual annoyances that is high school. 

I do note that over the last two episodes point of view has changed to the extent that the narrator is now being less dishonest than your humble reviewer.

This is a really smart and well done show, surprisingly touching in that it is about dealing with life's little problems in as upbeat a way as possible and the benefits of persistence....

You know, in hindsight this is an even more meaningful development.

Despite its overdone premise, this remains, thus far, one of the best shows this season.

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September 02, 2015

A Post That is Not a Substitute For Content But is Still Technically a Post

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