Make me laugh

I’ve been sampling the new offerings on Crunchroll. As usual, most don’t pass the five-minute test.1 The few that I didn’t immediately abandon are mostly comedies of various sorts.

The best new offering is Cells at Work, which deserves a post of its own. Until I get around to that, see Wonderduck. There are more screencaps below the fold.

Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues is the mock-heroic tale of an upper-level executive in an organized crime syndicate. Through the first three episodes we see Tonegawa conduct grueling meetings, deal with his deranged, perhaps demonic boss, and broil Kobe beef for his underlings at a picnic. It’s laboriously funny, but enough of it works that I will probably continue watching. I’d probably get more out of it if I had seen Kaiji and Akagi.

Visualize whirled

Planet With, a tale of absurd planetary menace, reminds me a little of Zvezda, but it makes even less sense. As of the second episode it’s still not clear whether the forces the hero has allied himself with are good guys or bad guys. I’ll probably never know, since I don’t plan to watch more.

Late Night! The Genius Bakabon is a silly gag show. If you liked Osomatsu-san, you might like this, but two episodes were enough for me.

I almost quit Asobi Asobase – workshop of fun – in five minutes, but I stuck it out and watched the entire first episode. I should have trusted my initial reaction. There are three unappealing high-school girls, some mild gross-out humor but nothing really funny, and an opening featuring lots of lilies. No thank you.

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The vision of noses

The Vision of Escaflowne dates back to 1996, when animators understood the concept “nose.” Crunchyroll recently added it to their library. It’s allegedly a classic, but three episodes in, I’m not convinced. It seems to be an attempt to combine as many genres as possible. It’s partly shoujo, partly shounen, partly mecha, partly science-fiction, partly fantasy, partly romance, partly war story, partly whatever. Aside from the noses, the show is noteworthy mainly for the soundtrack, composed by Yoko Kanno and her then-husband, Hajime Mizoguchi.1 I may watch more, or I may not.

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Count to twelve

I have two Japanese calendars this year. Hozuki no Reitetsu is the usual poster-sized six-pager (one large picture for two months, rather than one smaller picture per month). Girls und Panzer, however, is a single sheet about six feet long, larger than I had expected (when shopping on foreign websites, alway convert centimeters to inches before you order). Amazingly, it arrived uncreased, even though it came loosely rolled in a box rather than in a stout tube. I eventually figured out a place to mount it. Right-click and open in a new window to see the picture at maximum size.

Calendars, again

New Zealand must have lax or poorly enforced copyright laws. An outfit called “Pixiluv” that ships from there advertises numerous calendars on Amazon.com. Many feature old art and advertisements that are, or should be, out of copyright everywhere, but quite a few others display recent illustrations, such as the Katanagatari calendar above.1

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Burnable or non-burnable?

Indeed

I watched an episode of Ninja Nonsense, which turned out to be oddly topical.

Orange magic

Throw them all out

(Ninja Nonsense is often funny, but it is too off-color to generally recommend. Not even Norio Wakamoto can make Onsokumaru tolerable for long.)

Update: Here’s a list of write-in candidates for president. Those running include

• Raff, Riff, of Notre Dame, Indiana
• Bunny, Soul, of Williams Bay, Wisconsin
• Vader, Darth, of Spokane, Washington
• Mouse, Mickey, of Anaheim, California
• The Elf, Buddy, of North Pole, Alaska
• Hydrox, Cookie, of Newport Coast, California

These and the others on the list are all better choices than any of those offered by the political parties.

First impressions, spring 2016

Character study

Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless — So listless, in fact, that his friend Ohta often picks him up and carries him over his shoulder. However lazy Tanaka is physically, though, his mind is active, at least until he falls asleep. It’s a one-joke show, but it has remained entertaining through three episodes with the introductions of Tanaka’s quirky classmates.

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Murder and meh-hem

Imperfection

The Perfect Insider has very good opening and closing animations. The stuff in between, which falls somewhere between a locked-room mystery and And Then There Were None and concerns people tediously self-conscious of their high IQs, is less enthralling. I did spot a pair of red half-rim spectacles, though. If there were any rubber ducks, I missed them.

Speaking of ATTWN, here’s Eve Tushnet on Agatha Christie: “Never trust the cute ones.”

Advice to parents

Pina colada

Think carefully about how you name your children, even if you’re fictional characters. This goes double when you’re royalty.

Preview of the next episode

One of the novelties of this week’s episode of GATE is that next week’s preview was in the middle of the show. I’m curious to see if there will be any Wagner.

Update: Yep, there was a little Wagner, with helicopters.

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