January 06, 2019

This is Getting Kind of Scary

"Yes Comrades, your IP addresses have been logged and your incorrect opinions have been noted."  

Of course I suppose it's possible that the BBC might have run a private screening for the critics and due, perhaps, to a software glitch, accidentally broadcast a blooper reel instead of the episode the critics saw.

I can't help but think though that a blooper reel would have gotten a higher core.

I haven't seen the episode but that dichotomy is, frankly, disturbing.

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January 04, 2019

QUICK! Everybody Watch This Before the Lawyers Take it Down!

It's not, strictly speaking, "good" or even coherent, but it is kind of awesome. 

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January 01, 2019

On the Effects of Theatrical Film Releases Upon Market Volatility

 December, 2018 saw the stock markets enter a stage of extreme volatility, with multi day crashes followed by all time record gains. Several factors have been proposed as sources of these swings, including the President's tariffs  and actions taken by the Federal Reserve. However the introduction of these factors does not strongly correlate with the timing of the market fluctuations. 

I propose that this fiduciary phenomenon is in fact caused by the synergetic effects set in motion by an event that has been heretofore ignored by financial analysts.  

Spider-Man (Into the Spider-Verse) entered general theatrical release on December 14th, shortly before the market entered its volatile phase.

This film kicked ass. It kicked so much ass that I propose that the resulting national ass shortage led to chaos in ass futures causing a general breakdown of commodities trading which in turn led to ripple effects throughout the larger stock market.

"..." "..." "..." "..." "..." "..."


Economics aside, this is a bizarre but immensely  enjoyable film that pulls together a bunch of odd, little explored threads from the Marvel Universe(s) to tell a tale of "passing the baton"; one that manages to very respectful of the Marvel canon and did not spit on the fans. 

With that alone they exceeded expectations, but the the creators of this film did not stop there. This film is...good. It's really good and is one of the better comic book films ever made. 

Once the story gets going, the film keeps the audience on the edge of their seats and the villains...the comic book villains...manage to come off as genuinely terrifying. 

The film is very true to the original medium, due in part, to a quirky, experimental art and animation style that shifts throughout the film as needed by the story. This eclectic artistic choice is, on occasion, distracting, but it generally works astoundingly well. 

The direction, pacing and characterizations are all solid , however, one thing that really stood out in this animated film was the quality of the acting.

Now one expects good voice acting in a feature length film**. However, there is a difference between stage acting, screen acting and VOICE acting, and animated films in the U.S. generally get big name actors who give perfectly solid performances but don't fully utilize the medium. 

The voice work in this movie really stands out as exceptional. The delivery at times is like a '40s screwball comedy or a Howard Hawks film and they pull this off without sounding stilted or dated. Kathryn Hahn, Hailee Stienfield and Liev Schreiber give particularly good performances but the whole cast was exceptional in that regard. I was particularly shocked to learn that Chris Pine can act.

The whole film is littered with little easter eggs that don't distract from the story, but are delightful treats to the audience members who grew up reading these books. In that vein, this last Stan Lee cameo appeared to be one of his best, though I was beset by allergies at that point. 

All in all, this was a remarkably good film. It's still in general release so I  strongly urge you to go see it before it leaves theaters. 

Do sit through the credits. 


  *All. Of. The. Canon.
** In its original language.

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December 31, 2018

RWBY Season 6

After the dumpster fire that was the end of last season, RWBY's latest 8 episodes have been something of a shock.

A pleasant one.

Each of these episodes has had more plot and character development than the last half of last season, and most have had more action too. The fight choreography has risen in quality exponentially to levels that would make Monty proud and the show has managed to make the monsters scary again, with some episodes very effectively conveying a sense of existential  dread.

Even the most recent episode, where a bunch of characters desperately run around in circles not killing or breaking anything because someone forgot to leave a note, managed to advance the story while developing characters...

...and torturing them. 

I've been quite impressed with the season, but I'm now on my guard. The halfway point is where the last season went off the rails, crawled into its own navel and imploded, so this could all go to worms.

On the other hand, this season went "off the rails" in episode one and has doing great things ever since, so I remain hopeful. 

I certainly will be watching it.

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Zombieland Saga Ends (?)

Well, it looks like Zombieland Saga finally started running low on local places of interest....

...however the whackadoodle story sort of deepened towards the end and the show provided a quite satisfying ending that was not nearly as predictable as I'd thought it would be.

A couple of threads were left hanging, some of which are tossed aside in such a way as to suggest a sequel...

Which is almost an odd enough premise to work.

This was a 6 hour long idol show that doubled as a commercial for the Saga Chamber of Commerce. By all rights, given its purpose and premise, Zombieland Saga should have been a painting by numbers mess, and yet it ended up being a quirky little gem of a show.   Rewatch value is not particularly high, but if you were put off by the whole zombie thing in the promotions, or just missed it, I strongly suggest you give it a shot.

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December 15, 2018

Well, My First Post After Coming Back Was a Bummer....

Here's something that's both seasonal and more pleasant.

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December 08, 2018

In the Terminal Phase of Late Stage Education

The content drought will continue until both final drafts are polished and I get sleep.

However, this looks to be potentially consequential and needs to be shared.

Note that if the video begins to smoke you should back up to a safe distance and if you are pregnant, elderly or have eaten in the last two hours you might not want to watch it repeatedly. Also, it appears that there are copyright issues, so it may be good to not talk about it too much...especially at work.

Other than that it looks quite promising.

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November 10, 2018

Crunchyroll...What is UP With the Subtitles?

From Rascal Doesn't Dream of Bunnygirl Senpai which, despite this nonrepresentative frame is still gorgeously drawn and really, really well written.  

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October 31, 2018

It's Over

 I took refuge on campus and thus avoided the ravenous hoards of tiny but insatiable mouths.

 Anyway, here is a wolfgirl cosplaying as a witch.

Appropriational art by Lansane

UPDATE: J. Greely discusses these matters rather more thoroughly here

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October 28, 2018

Palate Cleanser

A few weeks ago we looked at the official video of this K-Pop song. Well it's a hit, so there are now the inevitable MMD videos. Well, instead of just downloading the rotoscoping into MMD, some circle named DD Animations seems to have taken the same bog-standard MMD motion capture file and plugged it into Yandere Simulator.

But then they got creative with the editing.

This is really well done. 
The only issue with this is the troubling fact that there actually isYandere Simulator.

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October 25, 2018

First 2 Minutes

The last season of RWBY looking promising enough that the inevitable betrayal could sting quite a bit.

Just two days to go.

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October 22, 2018

And Then, As I Stood Before the Refrigerator

It dawned upon me.

Don't they cremate people in Japan?

In related news, I watched the first three episodes of Zombieland Saga again.

Regarding some of the concerns brought up by cxt217 in the comments of the earlier post:

The agent/human beatbox/cosmetologist is actually a character trope of sports manga and to an extent idol shows as well.  He's rather over the top, but not by as much as one might think given the genres involved.

Regarding concerns about Hoshikawa,  

I wonder if, in addition to everything else the show is, this counts as Isekai?


Please use spoiler tags.

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October 21, 2018

ZombieLand Saga

I suddenly find myself at a loss for words. 

I read the blurb. But what the blurb describes...that's not what I watched.

From the Blurb...

A typical morning. The usual music. Their normal lives. The peace these seven girls experience will suddenly be destroyed. By the living dead... zombies. A reality that they never wanted a part of, an amazing and terrifying zombie world. They all share one wish: "We want to live." These girls will struggle through this saga, in order to achieve a miracle. MAPPA, Avex Pictures, and Cygames team up to bring you a juicy, 100% original anime. A timeless shocker for all audiences, a brand new style of zombie anime, will soon rise.

Now ignore the blurb. 


Just go watch Zombie Land Saga posthaste.

No. I mean NOW!

Trust me.

This is the show to beat this season.

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Thank You Mauser

If not for your post, I never would have watched this show.

It's not like the poster is devoid of appeal...

...but it and the blurb didn't really grab me. 

However, unlike the show reviewed below, this is not exactly what it says on the tin. While that poster is not, strictly speaking, dishonest, it does not adequately convey what this show is about.

Eight Word Title With Bunny Girl In It now has me totally  hooked. Despite the poster and an early scene with one of the characters running around in a bunny suit, this is a really creepy show and reminds me most of the Josei horror that was popular at the turn of the century. 

It's low key. It's well written and it's keeping me on the edge of my seat.

The characters are well done, likable and react to the just plain "off" things happening around them in rational but believable ways, while still trying to deal with day to day life.

" Yeah. I agree. Shadowbanning is a real problem." 

2 episodes in this is definitely looking like a keeper.

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In Todays World...

This is an important component of one's last will and testament.

For...some people. 
I hear tell.

From That Time I was Reincarnated as a Slime, which, perhaps surprisingly, is a show about exactly what it says on the tin.

A slime, for those of you who don't know, is a low level monster in a lot of computer role playing games, in the fantasy genre 'inspired' by D&D. They are essentially a  carnivorous blob of jello for beginning and low level players to learn the ropes on. The lowest and weakest of monsters.

Our hero, having done a genuinely heroic thing which got him killed, is granted a request by the what appears to be the Samsarra AI. However, his dying requests are contradictory and the transmigration algorithm screws up, reincarnating him in a suspiciously D&D like  fantasy world....but as a slime.

Yeah, it's another Isekai show, but the loser wish fulfillment is somewhat tempered by... 

Our hero.

But he's not just a slime! He has an intellect and all of his memories of his education, his job in construction oversight...and playing D&D. 

He quickly becomes the most OP...uh slime... you've ever seen. 

This is genuinely odd.
It's not, necessarily good mind you, but it has potential and at episode 3 it is amusing me quite a bit more than it perhaps ought to. 

Still watching.

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October 03, 2018

Oh. Wow. This Looks...GOOD!?

I think Miles Morales is going to work out just fine.

This is very promising...right up until that point that the trailer becomes sublime.

It looks really fun, and as a special bonus it seems to be completely respectful of Marvel canon.

Oh my stars and garters, this is on my watch list!  

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September 14, 2018

An Admittedly Poor Substitute For Actual Content:

But the editing is quite good. 

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September 05, 2018

Stein's Gate

Stein's Gate is a series from 2011 that was popular and fairly well regarded. I'd missed it at the time, but as the one reported beacon of goodness in the vast wasteland that is this season is a sequel to that show, I decided to check it out before starting  Sten's Gate Zero.

This turned out to be a sound decision, not only because Stein's Gate Zero makes exactly zero sense without the prequel, but because Stein's Gate is a very neat show.

The story begins with Rintaro Okabe and Itaru Hashida two nerdy male college students and Mayuri Shiina, a moe-blob cosplayer. They run a small applied sciences lab in an apartment rented over a used electronics store. Their current project involves a highly modified food service microwave oven which has been modified to operate via cell phone and internet connection. As the dumpster derived device had no working magnetron, they're also working on a magnetron analog of their own design which is performing...rather erratically. 

When two of them decide to go to a physics lecture being given by a controversial scientist, they bump into Kurisu Makise, a neuroscience graduate student on summer break from her studies in the U.S.  

And then things get weird.

This is an odd show with all sorts of overused cliche's, gratuitous fanboy references and adult onset Chuunibyou.

It also manages to be absolutely riveting. 

In the course of 24 episodes our band of 3 nerdy tinkerers and their otaku shield bearers find themselves involved with a whole slew of science weirdness, international conspiracies, the Akihabara chamber of commerce, the Large Hadron Collider and...traps.    

Be advised that the superficial wackieness serves as comic relief and a tension breaker. This is dark science fantasy. The story is absolutely gut wrenching at times, almost to the point of sadism in some scenes. However, the characters are endearing and there is a most definite thread of hope that runs through the whole show.

All the characters tend to have surprising (often hidden) depths. My only complaint is that Kurisu Makise, the awesome female lead is somewhat underutilized, at least at first. 

All in all, I quite enjoyed Stein's Gate. It's smart, enjoyable and full of surprises.

 Aside from the caveat that you go in understanding that it is occasionally quite  brutal, I highly recommend this series. 

It's just really well done. 

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July 26, 2018

Not Everything I Saw At Moe Lane's Blog This Morning Caused Me to Fear For Humanity...

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July 17, 2018

Intersectionality: Am I Doing it Right?

Art by Mokerou

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