Pity they’re not real

Extreme botany

If those were actual inflorescences of Amorphophallus titanum and Rafflesia arnoldii, Seiya and Isuzu would be treated to the gentle aromas of dimethyl trisulfide, dimethyl disulfide, trimethylamine, isovaleric acid, benzyl alcohol, phenol, indole and other distinctively fragrant molecules.

It’s just possible that Amagi Brilliant Park is that rare thing, a KyoAni show worth watching.

A courteous invitation

So modest

Briefly bespectacled


A not-quite-random screen capture from Joshiraku. Pete isn’t the only one who finds the show compulsively re-watchable, though of necessity I stick with the fansub.

(Dammit, WordPress Safari, when I type “fansub,” I don’t mean “fan sub.” Don’t harass me with your expletive-deleted autocorrect.)

Update: a few more screencaps:


The rest of the cast …

Luchador girl

… and one more.


I recently encountered liquid celery. I hope I never do again.

Funiculi, Funicula


The Girls und Panzer OVA has finally been subtitled, though it apparently hasn’t hit the torrent sites yet. In it, Miho and her comrades face the girls of Anzio. They’re an enthusiastic crew who’d rather fight than eat, and vice versa. ((Yeah, I’m ripping off S.J. Perelman here.)) Anzio has a bunch of cute, but pesky, little tanks, plus one that’s not so cute. Tank otaku Yukari gets a chance to shine, and we learn more about Caesar of the military history obsessives.

The ending is never in doubt, but that hardly matters. The Anzio OVA is the most purely fun of any Girls und Panzer episode, and is worth tracking down if you enjoyed the original series.

There are additional screencaps below the fold. Steven has many more in his rather spoilerous post.

Incidentally, if you’d like to introduce sensha-dou to your local high school, there’s an auction that might interest you. (Via AoSHQ.)

Update: The “loligeddon” sub makes much more sense than the “AK-Submarine” one that I first watched, and it looks better, too.

Continue reading “Funiculi, Funicula”

That darn cat

Usagi meets Luna
Usagi meets Luna

A few notes on The Return of the Revenge of the Son of the Bride of Sailor Moon, Fit the First:

• The opening theme for Sailor Moon is “Moonlight Densetsu.” Period. Anything else is wrong, particularly if it involves Momoiro Clover Z.

• Kotono Mitsuishi is Sailor Moon — that is, the Kotono Mitsuishi of 20 years ago. Now she’s in her mid-forties. She’s still one of the best voice actresses in the business, but you can hear the strain in her voice as she tries to sound like a fourteen-year-old

• The first episode of the rebooted anime follows what I remember of the original fairly closely. The differences are mostly improvements. Mamoru isn’t quite as insufferable as he was the first time, for instance, though he’s still a pompous twit.

• Usagi’s bawling has potential as an offensive weapon.

• The art looks vastly better than in the original anime. The character designs have been tweaked to follow the manga style more closely, which is a plus overall. Unfortuntely, it also tends to emphasize the bug-eyes.

I will punish you

Should you watch it? If you are a Sailor Moon obsessive or are interested in mahou shoujo/sentai team hybrids, it’s worth sampling. Most other viewers will find it rather silly. I might watch more, or I might not.


Did we land, or were we shot down?

Miscellaneous links and nonsense:

David Bentley Hart, from the May 2014 First Things:

Journalism is the art of translating abysmal ignorance into execrable prose.

A look at brilliant, psychotic Joe Meek, who changed the sound of music.


Stereo pictures from WWI. A couple of notes: stereograms made for hand-held viewers use the parallel method of viewing, not the crossed-eye. I.e., the right eye focuses on the right image, the left eye on the left. It is possible to free-fuse the images, though it is easier done than explained. Let your eyes relax and drift apart until the images of a well-defined region in the pictures, such a the bright sky through the roof in the above image pair, start to overlap. Focus on that region until the images snap together, and you should then be able to see the entire scene in perspective. (You’ll need to sit back at least two feet from the monitor if you want to see the full-size images at the link in stereo.)

Continue reading “Did we land, or were we shot down?”

Wilhelm Reich does mecha

The accumulators are going to be overloaded

From episode one of Captain Earth, yet another ridiculous adolescents and mecha show that I made the mistake of sampling.

The Al Gore effect intensifies

From episode one of The Irregular at Magic High School, which looks like it will involve class warfare of a sort in one more damned high school story.

I might watch more of the latter show, or I might not. The only shows this spring that interest me are Ping Pong, because of Masaaki Yuasa, and Mushishi, because it’s Mushishi.

Update: Ubu has read the books on which The Irregular at Magic High School is based and found them “really good, fairly deep.” I probably will watch more.

Notes from saccharine sweet hell

A question of taste

My minimum standard for singing is Hatsune Miku. If a vocalist can’t sing at least as well as software, he has no business near a microphone. Similarly, I can define a minimum standard for art: if an artist can’t paint or sculpt at least as well as Hozuki no Reitetsu‘s Nasube, he needs to master his craft before exhibiting his efforts. If his works are easily mistaken for trash by the cleaning staff, they’re not art. ((John C. Wright: “Go into a modern art museum and look at the trash on the walls. Bomb the museum. Go back through the wreckage and see if you or anyone can see any change.”))


Continue reading “Notes from saccharine sweet hell”

Submarine with duckie

Submarine with duck

Episode seven of Arpeggio of Blue Steel was mostly just plain silly, with the “mental models” of the warships behaving like infatuated adolescents. The show is partly about about artificial (or alien) intelligence, as embodied by the models, acquiring human-like emotions and behavior, but this was ridiculous. Oh, yeah, it was a beach episode, too. It was set on Iwoto/Iwo Jima, and, as I anticipated, there was no indication that the writers had any awareness of the geological nature of the island.

Episode seven of Kill la Kill was also subpar. All the absurd invention and energy couldn’t redeem the trite moral: wealth isn’t necessarily a blessing. (I would like to verify that for myself, though. Would anyone care to subsidize a few months of luxury for me?) It’s still worth watching, but I expected something better.

Incidentally, I recently discovered that Kazuki Nakashima, the “series composition” guy for Kill la Kill, also wrote the play that Oh! Edo Rocket was based on.

Love, Labrador

The Kousanji family

Five episodes in, the story in Kyousougiga is taking shape, and it looks like that underneath the Carrollian whimsey and name games, it is exactly what it purports to be, a fairy tale of love and rebirth in the Kousanji family. It’s difficult to encapsulate the show beyond that. ((Crunchyroll’s description of the show is “Enter a description.”)) Instead, here are a bunch of screen caps from the second episode, “Episode 1,” to give you an idea of the flavor of this willfully eccentric series.

Continue reading “Love, Labrador”

Calendar girls

Calendar girls

It’s the time of year to look for new calendars. I found a bunch at YesAsia, such as the Girls und Panzer one above. Other shows represented that might be of interest to certain visitors here include Vividred Operation, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet and Hatsune Miku. There’s a Gatchaman calendar, but it’s the old-style Gatchaman, not Gatchaman Crowds — a pity; Utsutsu deserves at least one month of her own. ((Better yet, a calendar of her own.))

For those with different tastes, there are two Edward Gorey calendars, this one, and The Evil Garden.

Nobody’s favorite guitarist

Umizatou as Norio Wakamoto

While I wait to see how well Kenji Nakamura pulls everything together in the concluding episodes of Gatchaman Crowds, I’ve been again re-watching Mononoke, his first full series and still his best. Above is a screen capture from the fourth episode, in which an ayakashi with the unmistakable voice of Norio Wakamoto visits the passengers of a ship sailing seas stranger than any in Yellow Submarine.

Mononoke Crowds

Crowds: Mononoke, above; Gatchaman, below.

Gatchaman Crowds