January 13, 2013

Robotics;Notes Ep. 6

There was a minor scene in Episode 4 where Subaru tries to pay a call on Kona to try to get her to develop a Kill-Ballad interface for controlling his M45 too.  The doorbell asks for a password, which of course he can't give, and he is rebuffed.  This episode opens with him trying again.  This time he gets as far as a little word game with her, but again, he fails and is cut off.

After the opening, Kai and Subaru are hanging out at the Hangar.  Kai is contemplating the mysterious Report No. 1 Airi and Sister Centipede led him to, while Subaru works on his robot.  They are not getting along.  But in spite of Kai's minor bullying (after all, he's a grade senior to Subaru) it works well for Subaru to be doing his robot work there, since he had to hide it from his father.  Kai asks how it's going with Furugoori (Kona), and Subaru merely says the negotiations are "Ongoing."  Just then Juuna shows up, and Subaru assumes she is the heretofore unseen Furugoori, but Kai corrects him.  In spite of her shyness, she and Kai have a certain chemistry.  There are no indications of a tedious love triangle with them and Aki, and I'm sure at this point they aren't considering themselves any kind of couple, but you can see the possibility.

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I am dissapoint.

At the end of the day, they retire to the shop for sodas (Skal, the local brand) to toast their new members.  "Jun" joined after Aki begged her to.  When Kai asks her if she's okay with robots now, she says she doesn't mind the Gun-Pro 1, but Aki's suggestion of a visit to the Robot Clinic (Doc's store) scares her silly.  Subaru is a stick in the mud, announcing he's leaving "Three minutes of celebration is enough for me." As Aki chases him down, Kai notices Mizuka tending the store and recalls the night before, when he let her read the report.

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Lowlife gangs of Roboticists standing around on street corners, drinking.
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"It's not the Robots, but that creepy old man!"
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"Well, I've enjoyed about as much of this as I can stand."

That night, Mizuka asked him if he knew Airi.  Kai was surprised that she knew about her.  But they may be talking across each other, the Airi she knew was Misa's friend in grade school.  There's more to it, obviously, but she cuts the conversation short by closing the store shutters.

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Some people have a fetish for Orthopedic braces.  Surely one for robotic exoskeletons will develop, and you'll be on the cutting edge of Rule 34.

Subaru returns home, and his perma-scowling dad notices a grease spot on his shirt.  Subaru makes a quick excuse about it being his scooter breaking down, but dad doesn't seem to be buying it.

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"Mom was right, my face DID stick like that."

Kai breaks into the abandoned and empty Folk museum again looking for Airi.  She's a little disappointed that the question he wants to ask her isn't about the weather, which apparently is her specialty, but when he asks her about Senomiya Misaki, she replies the they're friends.  From the sound of it, she used to gossip to Airi about her day in school and about her classmates.  When he asks her about Kimijima Kou, she answers "My master!"  He's the one who created her. (So, Mizuka DID know.)

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She's an AI who can access all public cameras, and she wants to call you big brother?

Suddenly, Kai hears some noise down the pitch black staircase.  Using his PokeCom as a flashlight, he descends the stairs.  Airi doesn't know what's down there, because the area hasn't been mapped.  At the landing, Kai finds a door, and looking through the VR of his computer, he sees another password box floating in the air.  The same password works to open the door.  To his surprise, the room has power unlike the rest of the building, and a giant computer bank, a cassette tape deck, and some other odds and ends.  The Cassette plays a tune that sounds similar to the music Japanese crosswalks use.  He asks Airi what the big computer is, but she can't see it, and tells him to ask Sister Centipede.

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PokeCom, is there anything it can't do?
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"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."
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"OW! Fucker!  It's a TOUCH screen!"

Sister Centipede knows the score.  The machine is an "EGI machine".  Well, that helps a lot.  Apparently it's a transmitter sending a signal into space.  What Kimijima was doing on the island: Classified.  How did he die: Murder.  Who did it: that data has been erased.

Subaru tries Kona's place again.  It would be a little too facile to say she's got Asperger's, but apparently she does compensate for her mis-socialization with a little program that reminds her it would be rude to not answer her door.  Still, it's clear she's not right in the head, more like a personification of 4-chan.  Seeing Subaru on the CCTV, she mutters "Boys with glasses are so moe," but then screams that he's a disturbing stalker.  She keeps threatening Subaru with reporting him to the police, but he will not be deterred, and eventually he gets through to her.  But there will be a price.

Kai is reaching a dead end researching the ownership of the Folk museum and any connection to Kimijima when Subaru finds him to tell him Furugoori has agreed to help.  At the hangar, the whole gang is gathered around to welcome her to the club as the newest member, only she's not actually there, she's attending via a PokeCom propped up on the table.  Aki isn't happy, but Subaru doesn't care as long as he gets his program.  That's when Kona announces her condition as being a naked photoshoot of Subaru wearing only his glasses.  Shy Jun is instantly scandalized.  Subaru stands firm that this was NOT the deal.  Kai is supposed to help her fight cheaters in Kill-Ballad.  Jun is STILL scandalized, imagining BOTH boys in a naked photoshoot with Cheetahs.  Kai straightens her out, but Kona, she's so far out in left field, she's out of the parking lot.

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It's always the most innocent-looking ones with the dirtiest imaginations.
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As if that's not horrifying enough...
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That's "Cheater" not Cheetah!
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For Kona, it's like an Eroge come true!

Buoyed by the increase in membership, Aki proposes another trip to the candy company, but only Jun comes along, and it seems worse than before.

72 hours later, Kona has a new program for the M45.  She worked continuously for 72 hours, because once she starts coding, that's how she goes.  She didn't do that for Subaru, if that's what he's thinking, she says as she closes the call to him.  Ominously, Dad may have overhead the call in the hallway.

The next day, they're trying out the program in the Hangar, and it's working well.  The girls come up, and apparently it actually went well at the candy company.  Jun's karate gi and a little demo apparently appealed to the perverted exec, and he agreed to sponsor them.

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I know I don't feel threatened.  Three years of training, and she lost in the first round.
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NOW I feel threatened.

They stage a test battle, with Kai driving the M45, and Aki operating the Tanegashimachine 3.  It's hardly a fair fight, and Aki gets pasted.  Subaru is impressed with Kai's skills.  But then, Subaru's dad shows up, and seeing the robot in Subaru's hand, he walks up and decks him.  It goes downhill from there, and Subaru just gives in, abandoning robotics and the club.  He gives up his dream and will just be a fisherman like his dad.

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Oh shit.  You're busted now.
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Is this where he gets his robot fighting ability?

The stress of this scene gives Aki another fit, a bad one from the look of it.

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For her, the hours crush into minutes.

Whew, kept it under 20 pictures.  Adding Sharpen 50 to the resize settings in Ifranview really helped clean them up.

Posted by: Mauser at 08:42 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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January 04, 2013

Nekomonogatari (Black) Ep. 1

Some time ago I got my hands on Bakemonogatari.  I never did a thorough watching of it, but it was impressively bizarre.  It was most notable for fast flashes of pages of text related to the scene going on.  I do mean to get back to it sometime.

I just spotted the first three episodes of Nekomonogatari (Black) in my feed.  The title was distinctive enough that I figured I should see what it was.  It's a prequel to Bakemonogatari.  I don't really know enough about the story to give a good summary of the situation, other than the hero is an ex-vampire, and there are a lot of normal-appearing monster girls in the cast.  But this first episode wasn't so much about that.  Basically our hero, Araragi Koyomi, spends most of the episode talking with his younger sister trying to figure out if he's in love with this girl in his class.  He has nothing to compare it to.  Eventually they conclude that he is, until he mentions her very generous endowments and what he wants to do with them.  Then she concludes that he's just very sexually frustrated.  There's a brief scene with his other sister, which is somewhat surreal, and finally, he runs into the girl and the scene between them goes right into the gutter, and then takes a completely unexpected turn.

It SOUNDS like a big nothing, but what is REALLY stunning about this program is the staging.  It is very artsy, in a good way.  The dialogue is crisp, fast paced, and very clever.  If it weren't five thirty in the morning, there's probably something I could compare it to, but I can't remember at this moment.  The visuals though are also amazing, and come in just as rapid-fire as the dialogue.  The characters don't just stand there and talk, but often find themselves in dramatic postures.  Quick-close-ups and silhouettes abound.  (Maybe Madoka?  But without the mixed media.)  You could perhaps liken it to a fast-cut music video, but it actually makes a certain kind of sense.  There's a rhythm to it.

And as much as you are tempted, at least the first time through, don't bother trying to pause or frame advance to read the title cards.  That totally disrupts the rhythm.

Because of all the fast cuts, in spite of the interesting art, it wasn't so conducive to screen shots.  Or, my excuse is that it's time for bed (I work second shift, so my clock is funny to begin with). But perhaps I'll see what I can attach to this later.

Update: Found a PV, which indicates this isn't a prequel, but a connecting story. Seems there was an even earlier series Movie called, get this, Kizumonogatari. I'm not sure what a Kizumono is. Vampire? Anyway, it's not available from the usual suspects.

Working on Pics.  Creating new subfolders is... arcane.

And the Pictures:

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From the Series Preview kind of thing before the OP.
Yes, that is a SNAIL girl (check the shadow), and I think she's a  runaway.  So that's her entire life on her back.
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The Curse Cat, maybe.
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'nother cat girl.
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When you're an ex-vampire and your sister is one of a pair of warrior girls, and easily excitable, you have to expect things like her trying to impale you with a crowbar.  Could be worse, she could try to kill you with a forklift.
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They return to this pose several times during the conversation, trying to get it back on track.  Always preceded by a title card saying "Kneel".
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Our Hero.  Note, they use non-black outlines for an arty look.
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They don't stick to kneeling.  Dramatic postures during the discussion abound.
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Seriously, it's like conversational Tai-Chi.
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And there are frequent visual metaphors.  The signs were dubbed so well, I didn't realize it until I looked at the cap.  They say Hate, Neutral, and Love.
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This was just nice, with the hair flowing all un-natural-like....
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Foreshortening.
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Ouch.  She tried to prove a point by inviting him to fondle her breasts, expecting him to refuse.  Big mistake.
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BIG MISTAKE!  She couldn't shake him loose.
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The other sister doesn't know her limits, went out jogging in the morning, and ended up running a full marathon.  She came home soaked in so much sweat she flooded the foyer.  She defined love as "Looking at their face makes you want to have their babies." more or less.
Curse you Price-Pfister!
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On the other hand, this is the girl in question, can you blame him?
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Student class president, knows his status, seems nice, but I have a doubt.  In the next series she gets possessed by the Curse Cat.
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Did I mention it's Artsy?  They use a lot of things like fixed textures and gradients.  Also, there are no Extras.  Only the principal characters appear as far as I've seen.  Not an Anime for Agoraphobics.


Okay, enough.  17 pictures.  I'm trying to include them, but I'm not going to be making full-episode Fumetti anymore.

Posted by: Mauser at 05:48 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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