April 07, 2018

Steins;Gate

With a new series (Alternate ending) coming out, I realized I never finished watching the original. I started over. I was surprised when I realized my files were dated 2011! (Sheesh, was I on dial-up then? Or Clearwire?)

Annoyingly, the audio track on the first episode sounds like crap, like it's overcompressed or full of noise or something. A quiet scene sounds like it's got a rocket flying through it. Dunno if it's the file, or maybe the codec in the 64bit version of MPC-HC doesn't like the old encoding so much any more. I don't think it's corrupted, but I've never run into anything like this before. It's really annoying.

Further testing. Still bad when opened in Ifranview, but that could be using the same codecs. Still bad when opened on Etna, which has the 32 bit CCCP loaded (for some reason the 64 bit version started crashing on start, so I uninstalled.). So it must be the file. I guess everyone was compressing things to death back then. The episode is just over 281 meg,

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April 06, 2018

Mining a Meme from Killing Bites

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March 31, 2018

Killing Bites ends

Thank Goodness.

It's hard to do any kind of in depth review. Episodes 4-11 were almost entirely consumed with one big arena battle. Complete with Stats lawyering, absurd strategic analysis, named strikes, and surprise (eh, not after the first one ) extra power ups, as well as ignoring the rules they have previously pulled out of their asses.

Well, if you like bloody fight scenes, you could probably go for this.

They DID pack a few surprises in the end, which I'm fully cool with spoiling for you, just to save you the misery of watching the whole thing.

So all the fighters are "Therianthropes" (I don't think that was the word used in Japanese, but I had trouble picking it out), who are created by some kind of gene therapy. Dr. Shidoh is the mind behind the tech. The four Zaibatsus in this bloodsport game are competing this year for control of the technology because a law is pending to make it legal.

Now in Episode 10, there's a bit of a flashback where we find out that Hitomi (The Honey Badger) was actually a naturally born critter, living on the streets of Hong Kong when Shidoh finds her and manages to tame her. So she's ultimately loyal to him, and has been doing everything she has done on his orders.

I do have to give them some credit for choosing some unique animals to transform. The worst tank/damage dealer in the show is a Pangolin, whose armor plates are apparently sharp too. But there's a limit to their imagination, and two opponents, including Hitomi, lose their right arm mid-bicep to him (And don't bleed to death).

Hitomi's ability to recover from what should be lethal abuse borders, no, crosses the border of the absurd. But hey, she has to be conscious at least once per episode to say her line. "Whoever has the sharpest fangs wins. That's what Killing Bites is." Seriously, EVERY episode, sometimes several times. Even Shidoh says it once.

BTW, our hero/POV character. I didn't even bother to learn his name because he literally sits in a chair watching the video feed for the entire event.

The other thing I have to give them credit for is twisting the plot at the end. While everything is pretty much by-the-numbers for the majority of the fight, at the very end when it seems like Hitomi has finally beaten the Pangolin (By throwing her severed arm at his head! Before punching out his brain through his mouth), she passes out and he somehow gets up again. The Cheetah manages to finish him off (After having been a bystander for three episodes.) But she's not the winner either. The rabbit, who was knocked out smacking head-first into a wall comes to, and when the Cheetah chases her down to kill her, she accidentally trips, does a flip, and plants a big fluffy lucky foot into the Cheetah's glass jaw, knocking her out and winning the whole shebang.

But that's not the final plot twist. The winning team happens to be run by the weakest Zaibatsu. The strongest one doesn't like the idea of abiding by the results. He takes out the leader of the second strongest company, and also has a crack team of chameleon commandos who are out to eliminate everyone on the arena island in order to void the results. Hitomi briefly rises from the near-dead to take out a couple of them, then Shidoh's ninja-assistant (and the disturbingly enthusiastic announcer of the deathmatch - which seems totally out of character for her) finishes off the rest. Finally, the top company's top therianthrope who stayed out of the competition turns out to also be part of the conspiracy, and kills his boss.

Still not the end. There are a few more twists and jerks, like an man hanged by the short drop method. Our hero goes back to his normal life, the only trace of what happened being three suitcases full of money that he's scared to touch. Finally Hitomi calls him, they meet, and you think This might be where they confess to each other, but they don't manage it. Then she kills him, under Shidoh's orders. That was a surprise. No happy ending there. At least she sheds a tear for him while proclaiming she's not upset.

Two years later there's an artificial island in Tokyo Bay (that was fast) that is a city for people who've gone under therianthrope treatment (Japanese bigotry portrayed as normal, I guess), and the center stage is an arena for more combat, and a bunch of new faces show up for the deathsport. Pray there is no season two....

Or is that Prey? :-)

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March 27, 2018

More Monster girls

I don't link to Manga often. But someone on Twitter posted a really cute picture of a dog girl demanding her tummy be rubbed, and gave the source. So I looked it up. (The dog girl is the last chapter).
Jingai no Yome to Icha Icha Suru is an anthology of Monster/Kemono girl stories. The alley cat one I particularly liked.

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February 25, 2018

Life's a Beach (episode)

Episode 7 is the Beach Episode of Darling in the Franxx. As a reward for their good job in the previous episode, the 13th squad is allowed to go to a safe little beach cove for a couple of days. Normal beach episode type things ensue... at first.

But you have to remember, these kids are orphans raised from an early age to pilot the robots, and if it weren't for the Protagonist, they wouldn't even have names. So there are a number of things about their mentalities that are just wrong. And Zero Two's addition to the crew has brought along with it some ideas that they are just not equipped to deal with, like what a kiss really is, or love. Now the Jealous schoolkid reaction you see in many shows towards the guy who is getting some female attention thing rears its ugly head, but the result is decidedly off-kilter.

About halfway through the episode though, the crew discovers a fissure in the cliffside, which leads to a path to an abandoned town. These kids were never taught anything not needed for their mission. Like history. They never knew that people used to live on the surface, instead of the mobile plantations. One girl wanders into the remains of a clinic and finds a book for first-time expectant mothers. Expect that to cause issues in the future.

When they get back, there's a barbecue buffet set up for them, and they dig in. Although at least one of them wonders about how it appeared, since they're alone on the beach.

But afterwards, how badly they've been mind-fucked is put on display, as one of them declares the plantations to be superior to living on the surface, how he's proud of his function to defend the cities, and his hopes to join the ranks of the adults in the future, and the others respond enthusiastically. This in the middle of a discussion about why humanity left the surface, as Zero Two mentioned. "But the world is full of Klaxosaurs!" (The monsters they fight). Our hero speculates that mining magma energy might have brought them, but that is shot down as going against the revered Dr. Franxx, who moved everyone TO plantations to make them safe from the Klaxosaurs. The order of events, as far as they know it, is inverted. I actually found the scene rather chilling.

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February 23, 2018

Gonna need more sources

Ever since Nyatorrents lost its old host, it's been kinda crippled. It's not as comprehensive as it used to be. I've found a couple of other lists, but they all seem to be only one or two circles participating. Lots of shows seem to get dropped or skipped. I could really use some suggestions of better places to check.

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February 11, 2018

Killing Bites

I was kinda hoping for "So Bad it's Good" out of this. But no, I'm bouncing hard off the start of episode 3 and they haven't even introduced the third girl yet.

The Setup isn't that atypical. Four ancient Yakuza/Corporations have been settling their differences with bloodsports for ages, and recently thanks to some mad scientist type, they've upgraded their fighters to "Therianthropes" - were-creatures who can transform at will to exhibit enhanced powers. Due to an accident of misfortune, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, our hero/harem center finds himself embroiled in the scheme that will upset the entire apple cart. Not so bad, right?

Oh if only....

So the writers I guess want to appeal to the Otaku crowd, so they make our hero an otaku, although it's not entirely obvious from his apartment what he's a fan of. And he's a college student for once, instead of a high schooler. But our first exposure to him is when he's driving the van for a bunch of "cool" bastards who apparently took advantage of his gullibility, telling him that they were gonna pick up girls and get him laid (for the first time, they make sure to mention), but they didn't mention that in this case "Picking up girls" meant snatching them off the street, dragging them into the van for a bit of the ol' Gang Rape.

Unfortunately for the boys, the girl they grab is a Were-Ratel (Honey Badger), and she don't care. In short order the guys are bloody rags, and our hero is freaking out, and she orders him to drive her to where her first actual deathmatch is.

And thus he becomes embroiled in the whole sordid game. And of course, she has to stay in his apartment. Contestant Number 1 has joined the harem, and he thinks she's cute when she's not threatening to kill him.

Now remember, he's an otaku, but really not much of one. He's even barely handsome. The next day, he's back at class, and Honey Badger for some reason has to go with him. That's when the single most obnoxious geek character I have ever witnessed shows up - his best friend. And things go to contrived shit from there. It becomes obvious that while the writers are perhaps trying to cater to the otaku audience, they absolutely revile them. By episode 2, Player Number 2, a Were Cheetah shows up, mostly because she's stalking Honey Badger and wants to be the one who kills her in her next sanctioned match. And in episode 3, our hero is now hanging out in the college otaku clubroom with two pretty girls, and at least five, lecherous, slobbering, leering creepazoids, led by his hyper-fat, obnoxious "best friend", and the only contrived way to escape this situation is not to just walk out, or callously slaughter the entire manga club, but to make the girls wear costumes.

This is where I stopped.

Now perhaps, once we get past this, it will be less shit, but I doubt it. I might jump ahead to the next episode just to see the Were Bunny show up, but right now all the male characters are all the worst refugees from a guro hentai game animation, and all the women are bitchy killers, and the hero is a blank-slate nobody.

The transformations aren't all that much better either. Their animal characteristics are limited to growing huge clawed arms and legs, tails and ears, and fangs (But the male therianthropes go much further). I suppose that kind of transformation has been done before - see Felicia from Darkstalkers. And it could be worse. The werewolf from Monster Princess (something I reviewed YEARS ago) only grew giant paws.

I miss Liru already.

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February 04, 2018

Darling in the Franxx

There have been lots of giant robot shows. There have been lots of post apocalyptic giant robot shows. But I think this is the first one where the giant robots have huge anime eyes....

I even saw some guy on Twitter go on about them being sexy, god help him.

There have been lots of sexy robot shows. But this, perhaps, may be the first Sexy Giant Robot show. What do you think?

(Oh, and there is that whole thing about how the pilots drive it....)

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January 20, 2018

I'm a little disturbed...

Two of the mee.nu blogs I bookmarked and open every day (Love that open all in new tabs feature) have not been updated since 2016. A couple of them are also stale by several months.

Come on guys, post! BrickMuppet can't welfare check ALL of you!
(Comments would be nice too).

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January 06, 2018

Winter Season

I'm surprised I'm not seeing a lot said in my circle of anime Blogs about the current season. I almost forgot it started!
Check out the current chart! What are you watching?

I'll start. Based on a friend's mention of it on Facebook, I've started Mahou Tsukai no Yome. I just finished the first episode moments ago. A young girl, tormented by supernatural visions she can't understand her entire young life, having been shuttled from relative to relative who don't know what to do with her, with no place left to go, sells herself into slavery, but is bought by an ancient, animal-skull-headed wizard who is kind to her, and intends to make her his apprentice and someday bride. She has a whole new world to learn, but a lifetime of sadness and loss to overcome. (Well hell, it started last season, and only a few episodes are on Nyaatorrents. Poo.) (Ah, found it on Anidex! But with bno seeds and only a few peers and most of the trackers stripped. Copies the trackers from the first five eps. not helping much....)

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