December 17, 2014

Just wanted to say real quick...

Comments are actually really important to me.

I mean, otherwise I'm just digging a hole and telling secrets into it.

(Psst. The Czar has the ears of a goat.)

Posted by: Mauser at 05:02 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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December 08, 2014

Lupin the Third - A Woman Called Fujiko Mine

Almost two years ago I downloaded the new Lupin series. Lupin the Third - Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna (as subbed by Commie). At the time though, I couldn't watch it because my older computer simply couldn't render the frames fast enough. After the death of that computer and the creation of Himawari, I tried it, and it could be handled with ease, but I was distracted by shiny newer things. Now I'm trying to finally finish it.

But it has a lot to recommend it. And some things that you should be warned of. Starting in the titles, there's nudity, and lots of it. That should be a signal: This is not the Lupin of yesteryear, Green, Red or Blue jacket. (For the record, he's wearing green in this series). The whole show is played a lot more straight, not having read the originals, I still get the sense that it may be truer to the original source. That also includes the art style, which LOOKS like animated Manga, not the kind of Clear Line stuff meant to be animated. The use of color and hashed shading results in some really unique visuals.

It's also set in the 60's, as best I can tell. And also set before the whole crew comes together - she meets them individually through her adventures, revealing their origins as well, and as the episodes play out, they slowly coalesce.

The other major difference, since they're playing it straight, is Zenigata, who is not some wacky Inspector Clouseau, but actually highly competent. He's crossed paths with Lupin, but he's actually after a bigger case. There is also a new (to me) character in his Lieutenant, Oscar, who seems to be a closeted gay character with a secret crush on Zenigata that mostly takes the form of trying to outperform his expectations, and a hatred for women, Fujiko in particular, but he's not a major player except in two episodes. However, that's all background.

The story is really about Fujiko and her journey as a character, and it's not entirely a pretty one. From being used by her father for drug experiments, to being a sex toy for wealthy industrialists, to the things she had to do to get herself free, she's had a very warped existence, and some of the events have her on the edge of psychological collapse. She was always a mystery woman in the previous series, and since those shows were aimed at kids, if this is her background, now you know why.

I still have a couple episodes to go, so I can't say how it will end, but I get the impression it will be somewhat sombre.

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November 29, 2014

Is everyone else having this problem?

So I'm getting the Commie feed for Twintail, and I notice in certain spots of the OP, and sometimes (but thankfully not often) in the episode, there is a spot where the luminance of the image seems to have been dropped, resulting in the colors really getting grayed out.

Here's an example:


Looks strange, doesn't it?  But on the other hand, the text in the middle does go to full white, so I'm not sure what is going on here, but it looks like crap.  It persists for that entire sequence in the OP, from about 2:00 to 2:05.

Any clues?

Posted by: Mauser at 09:10 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 28, 2014

The Imagined Village - Space Girl

This has been earworming me all week, so I figured I'd share.

Update: The Lyrics: (Further updated to match the performance.)

My mama told me I should never venture into space
But I did, I did, I did.
She said no Terran girl could trust the Martian race
But I did, I did, I did.
A rocket pilot asked me on a voyage to go
And I was so romantic that I couldn't say no
That he was just a servo robot how was I to know?
So I did, I did, I did.

She told me never venture out among the asteroids
Yet I did, I did, I did.
And she said that the Milky Way was something to avoid
And I did, I did, I did.
She said that Venus was too hot and Saturn not much fun
Bug-eyed monsters tended to be just a trifle dumb.
She said I'd need a blaster and I'd need a freezer gun
And I did, I did, I did.

My mama told me never trust a space engineer
And yet I did, I did, I did.
She said freefall and superdrive would surely cost me dear
And yes they did, they did, they did.
I've been as far in hyperspace as anybody can,
Traveled through the time warp in the Psycho Plan.
They say a girl must travel far to find her superman
And yes I did, I did, I did.
And yes I did, I did, I did.
Oh I did, I did, I did.

Posted by: Mauser at 05:01 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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November 25, 2014

A Food Thing

I missed posting this weekend, although I did finish the original Fate Stay Night. I'm not sure if I'm going to talk about it much. I disliked the whole Bait & Switch about the "Holy Grail" turning out to be some vile, evil and hateful vessel of concentrated liquid evil.

On the other hand, Sakura did probably get to take home that nifty kinky outfit they dressed her in for her sacrifice. But nobody mentioned anything about peeling her out of it before putting her to bed.... I know you're not supposed to notice these things, but I do.

Right, so the food thing. Some time ago a friend linked to a random (to me) Wordpress blog with a recipe that I finally had an opportunity to try out three years later (yeah, it's been sitting in my bookmarks that long). All you need is some leftover rice (as long as it's not dried out and crunchy), about a cup and a half, and a couple of eggs.

Scramble the eggs, add your preferred seasonings, stir in the rice, and plop it in an oiled frying pan. Presto, rice egg fritters.

Looks Nummy, eh?

Now in my case, I first made them according to her loose recipe. Nice, but a little bland. The second time around I added a lot more salt and pepper than I would to eggs, considering that the rice will bring up the volume by about 4 times. A little garlic powder, and then, the key change, some shredded cheese.

I have one of those infrared thermometers, which I find indispensable in the kitchen. I mean, what the heck temperature is "4"? So I can tell when my cast iron frying pan is at say, 350°, which is a perfect egg cooking heat. I doled out the mixture into three roughly equal masses, and pressed them with a spatula to be maybe 5/8" thick. It took about 5 minutes per side, giving it a nice, slightly crispy exterior.

I suppose you could add just about anything to these, maybe some veggies, or finely diced ham. Bacon, naturally. I've even read comments on the blog entry about someone using brown rice and peanut butter.

In any case, I will definitely be making more of these in the future.

(The fact that I have a little rice cooker makes this much more convenient. But if you order out Chinese, and they give you white rice that you don't eat, it would make a perfect breakfast treat.)

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November 17, 2014

Shingeki no Bahamut_ Genesis [eraser] Ep. 06

At the midpoint of the series, our heroes have been captured by Joan de'Arc and her knights, and taken back to the king. But rather than being executed, Angels intervene and order the king to protect the party.

At last, people start talking to each other, although Favaro and Kaisar still haven't managed to put all the puzzle pieces together about what really happened between their respective parents, but it's enough that they have serious doubts about their rivalry. Well, at least Kaiser does. Favaro can't give a shit about much of anything, although that attitude probably won't protect him much longer.

In the meantime, Big events are starting to bear down on them, and a mysterious man who presents himself as Amira's father (Amira being the demoness - who is revealed to be half angel in this episode) appears and leads her off, but disappears before he can tell her anything useful when the demons start their attack on the castle.

We learn more about Bahamut, the dragon more powerful than heaven or hell, who can be revived by the combination of the god and demon keys, and is showing signs of arising again any time now, and the sacred knight whom legend says will bring peace when Bahamut returns. Joan believes that may be her.

There are little details captured in this episode as well. The gems in the bounty-hunters cuffs are Demon detectors, but they don't go off around Amira when she's in human guise.

Amira merged with the god key when she stole it. And the Demon key is hidden in Helheim, where she has been trying to go all this time. If she were to succeed, it could be the end of all three realms.

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November 09, 2014

Random images

From Episode 5 of Twintail

No particular reason, I just liked the expression.

From Episodes 4 and 5 of Bahamut

"Talk to the Hands. You know I do."

Nutso Wolf Demoness who either has serious mental issues, or possibly sentient handpuppets. Hasn't contributed much to the show other than decorating the scenery.

But hey, she decorates very well.

Posted by: Mauser at 02:44 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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November 03, 2014

Fan art is dangerous

I'd seen her around a few times, but it was one of the random headers over on Brickmuppet's blog that made me ask who she was.

She's kind of an odd chick, with long purple hair, a black mini-dress and thigh boots with purple accents... and a rather ornate blindfold. That's not a common accessory outside of SM Hentai. The only other character I can think of with something like that is Fairymon/Kazemon from Digimon (Who always struck me as odd since her Japanese name had an English root and vice-versa).

Some time ago I found a batch torrent of Fate Stay Night and downloaded it, but didn't really get into it. Then the new series started up, and I started getting that too. It was kind of interesting trying to watch both in parallel and seeing events play out from two different points of view, like (Insert the title that Japanese movie whose name I forget of the same story played out from four different viewpoints). While poking around I saw another Fate batch, saw it had 25 episodes instead of the 24 I had, so I started pulling THAT in, and discovered it was yet another series.

That's a lot of stuff I've committed to watch over a purple-haired minor character, who isn't even in that third (actually second) series.

(BTW, another batch I'm stuck with is a full form of Mari & Gali that includes a long special, if anyone wants to help me make my ratio on that, it's from Wasurenai. (Fortunately I was able to drop the Wasurenai subs that I already had into the folder, force a recheck, and not have to pull down the whole thing.))

Posted by: Mauser at 01:52 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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November 02, 2014


After the first kid, it started raining, so knowing that would lower the turnout, I started giving two candy bars to each kid. I count what I have before and after the evening's activities, and so I know I had 73 kids visit this year. The average is normally around 100.

I did have a lot leftover, but since I normally pack some of those "fun size" bars for snacks during my union-mandated breaks. they will not go to waste. Hey, they're under 100 calories each and they keep me out of the vending machines.

I always make a point of giving out real candy bars, Snickers, Milky Way, and 3 Musketeers, because I remember the heartbreak of getting home and having an awful lot of those tiny Dum-Dum pops, or Smarties. Or even worse, 6 cents in change. I even take the day off from work.

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October 26, 2014

Shingeki no Bahamut_ Genesis [DeadFish] Ep. 01 - Now with pictures

Since I didn't know what I wanted to watch, I got the beginnings of a bunch of things, and I'm slowly getting through them. Here's the first.

N'er-do-well Favaro Leone is a bounty hunter in this pseudo-late-medieval world. That might seem like a "Oh jeez, not another one" anime plot, but his intense rivalry with fallen lord and now also bounty hunter Kaisar Lidfard is epic. And the direction and visuals are definitely high-end. After a prologue set way in the past that hints on the Big Shit that will probably be springing back up at the end of the series, we open on the two chasing each other on horseback across the top of a gigantic stone bridge/aqueduct, leaping across tiled roofs, swords clashing in mid leap. One gets a sense of an almost Lupin/Zenigata relationship between the two. Their battle culminates in a fight atop a gigantic water wheel tumbling down the hill through the city. And the final crash disrupts the actions of three thugs kidnapping some women for their boss.

Barely scratches the surface of the epicness

Somebody's more serious than the other.

Later on, those thugs are returning to the boss with their empty wagon, when a beautiful and naked woman with pink hair falls from the sky on top of it. They decide that they're not returning to the boss empty handed. We don't know what happens next, but the glow in her eyes seems to indicate that it will not go well for the thugs....

Are you a Terminator?

No, I'm much prettier.

Favaro goes after a bounty, who coincidentally is the big boss of the three thugs. When he beats the two bodyguards, the boss summons some demons to protect him. Favaro declares, "Well, you leave me no choice." and bolts for the door. But it's a trick, outside he's poured a big puddle of alcohol, and the demons have a fire attack, but alas, not fire immunity. At the end of the fight, the strange wristband the bounty hunters all wear is explained, as it turns the boss into a sort of stone tablet that he later turns in to a "god" for his reward.

Fwoosh, there it is!

While celebrating his good fortune, and telling incredible lies to the bar girls (who coincidentally are the three he accidentally rescued from the thugs), the pink haired girl, no longer naked, and wearing a very familiar hat, overhears him talking about the fabled northern city of Helheim, where he's going next, and that he has a special shortcut so that he can survive the extremely perilous journey. Kaisar shows up to confront Favaro yet again, but Favaro pulls a fast one, leaving him with the girls (and the tab).

Did you say Helheim?

But as he sneaks out, he meets up with the mysterious girl, who wants him to guide her to Helheim, and he must quickly decide whether to ditch her or to keep spinning lies. She's cute, so he decides the latter.

Hmmm, Cute girl wearing men's clothes, could be fun....

(Seriously, I just love the hat.)

But before his clever plan to extort a kiss from her can succeed, the big boss' smaller older brother finds him and picks a fight, summoning an enormous demon. It looks bad for Favaro, until the mysterious girl manifests her power, transforming into a horned, armored demoness.

"You're not killing my guide."

The white to brown fade is her skin. She got some serious sun this summer.

♫Just like the one-winged dove...♫ Only not.

At the very end of the fight, he gets knocked out, and has a nightmarish vision of hell, with a gigantic dragon (Bahamut?) over it, then he wakes up in a bed in the pub, and is horrified when he discovers that he's just acquired a spaded demon tail.

I was going to shoot a pic of the tail reveal, but good sense intervened.

This was a great first episode, and the production is beautiful. This is on the watch list.

Update: I think I might switch Circles to Commie though. Deadfish mainly uses other people's translations, usually HS for their first release, and sometimes Commie or someone else for a v2.  I don't know what the deal is, but on this show they switched sources midstream.

OTOH, Commie sometimes goes a bit odd with their transliteration. In Twintail, the hero clearly is saying "Stoppu! Stoppu!" and they subbed it as "Time out! Time out!"  If you can't trust your fansubbers, who can you trust?

Secondary Update: Seems that Eraser is the A+ rated circle.  In their favor, they sub the music too.  Although I've seen at least one Your/You're error.  I'm up to episode 4.  But I don't know if I'm going to get a chance to write much more up, I have to work all weekend.

Does a dead girl violate the den Beste rule if she's now an undead zombie princess?

Posted by: Mauser at 06:06 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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