The stupidcallafragilisticexpeallidumbass stupidity hammer

John C. Wright watched the second Hobbit movie, “this craptastic jerktrocious smegbladder of a film“:

To be quite honest, the actress Evangeline Lilly is not only quite attractive, she handles both the demands of the acting and a physical stunts very well. Indeed, I am afraid I have a bit of a crush on her, with her long lustrous hair, her finely chiseled cheekbones, her kissing-soft feminine lips, her soft curves aching with the promise of luscious loveplay … Oh, wait a minute. I am think I am looking at Orlando Bloom. Er, never mind. Sorry, Miss Lilly.

… But I am glad that Ishmael and Queequeg will appear in the sequel.

(For the record: I found Jackson’s version of The Fellowship of the Ring barely tolerable and was disgusted with the rest of his Ring cycle. You’d have to pay me to watch him trash The Hobbit, and pay me well.)

Afterthought: Lousy though they are, Jackson’s movies did make DM of the Rings possible.


Lydia McGrew:

My more economically savvy readers may think that all of this is so obvious as not to need to be said, but listen around next time you hear some far less savvy young people talk about what people “should have” and what people “need” and what things “should cost.” You might get a surprise. Nobody has, apparently, ever explained to these people that neither money nor pharmaceuticals nor fully-trained doctors grow on trees. It’s just an astonishing thing, but the fairies don’t distribute goods and services.

I thought immediately of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, in which the fairies sometimes do distribute goods and services. This may be related to the fact that the English-language title of the show is “Humanity Has Declined.”

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A glance back at an ordinary year


I’m not going to make a “ten best anime” list for 2012 because I haven’t watched ten shows all the way through. Two of the year’s best best are incomplete, and there are a couple of well-regarded series that I have yet to look at (Sakamichi no Apollon and Space Brothers). Instead, this is just a casual survey of this year’s offerings that I watched.

Series I didn’t make it all the way through the first episode of: Chihayafuru, Hayate No Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse and Magi. The last I might give another try sometime, since the writers evidentally understand more about economics than do our betters in Washington.

Series I watched only the first episode of: Accel World, Binbougami ga, Campione, K, Nyarko-san: Another Crawling Chaos, Sword Art Online and Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai. Jonathan thinks highly of the last, and I would watch more, but what I saw wasn’t sufficiently brilliant to warrant subscribing to Anime Network. (Update: Also Ozma, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate and Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan. See how memorable they were?)

Series I watched more than one episode of before losing interest: Kamisama Hajimemashita, Polar Bear Café and Sengoku Collection.

Unfinished series I might yet watch the rest of: Inu X Boku SS.

The year’s major disappointment: Moyashimon Returns. Too much soap opera, not enough craziness.

This year’s minor disappointment: Dog Days II. Entertaining, and the characters are mostly likable, even admirable; but the fanservice-to-story ratio is too high. It’s a kid’s show that I can’t recommend for kids. (And surely Leonmitchelli can find something more appropriate to her station to wear than daisy dukes.)

These are the shows that I can recommend:

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Oranges, lemons and bananas

I’m following four current shows. Three of them — Moyashimon Returns, Dog Days II and Joshiraku — are pleasant entertainments and little more, and I haven’t much to say about them. ((Steven has lots to say about Dog Days.)) The fourth, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, or Humanity Has Declined, is a series unlike other series. Exactly what it is, I’m still not sure. It initially was surrealistic and satirical, but in recent episodes the emphasis has shifted from ridicule to something nearer science fiction as we know it. It remains plenty strange, though. I wonder if there will ever be an explanation for the fairies: are they actually cutesy morlocks, or sucrose-based alien life forms, or what? In any case, beware of fairies bearing bananas.

The ending theme of Jintai, “Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume,” reminds me strongly of the opening and ending of Azumanga Daioh. There’s a good reason for that. It was written and sung by Masumi Itou, who was half of the Oranges and Lemons duo. She was also part of Heart of Air, of “Blue Flow” fame. (Say “‘Blue Flow’ fame” ten times fast.) There is a transcription of “Yume no etc.” and a link to sheet music here if you’d like to follow the key changes.

Incidentally, the ending theme of Joshiraku, “Nippon Egao Hyakukei,” suits Momoiro Clover Z’s talents and limitations much better than the opening of Mouretsu Pirates, and I would link to a video of it if I could find one on YouTube. It’s the most energetic closing song I’ve heard since Pumpkin Scissors‘ “Mercury Go.”


The Japanese have a word for it. (But do the Japanese have a word for “missing nose”?)

I had some unexpected free time this weekend, which gave me an opportunity to watch some first episodes. While nothing I saw astonished me, there are a few shows this summer that might be worth following.

Dog Days 2 (I’m sorry, but Dog Days’ just looks stupid) started off well, and it might be the most entertaining series of the summer if it doesn’t lose its way. It looks like the anime staff has something better in mind for Becky other than having her hang around Shinku and get in the way. Now if only the designers could find something more fitting for someone of Leonmitchelli’s status to wear than jean cut-offs —

— and if only they would drop the Most Common Special Attacks and general boinginess. The first Dog Days was a very good children’s show that I can’t recommend for children because of the frequent, irrelevant fanservice. It looks like season two will be the same.

Joshiraku is probably hysterically funny if you know Japanese and can catch all the puns. Monolingual Americans could use some footnotes. Even so, enough of the gags survive translation to make it watchable.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita combines the twilight of humanity theme of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou with the nightmarish nonsense of Hare & Guu in deadpan fashion. It will be a long time before I want to look at a another loaf of bread. If I watch the next episode, I might not be able to eat chicken ever again. Dare I risk it?

Moyashimon Returns looks to be much like the first season: seriously quirky characters, lectures on fermentation, an elegant gothic lolita, and cute microbes. It’s missing Polysics, though.

All of these — even Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, despite the risks — I’ll watch at least one more episode of. I also saw Campione, Sword Art Online, and Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, which impressed me less. I might watch more of the first two, but “yaoi sticks” disqualify the last from further consideration.