May 24, 2014


uTorrent was doing some strange things to the sort order. After sorting by status, it was sorting in reverse alphabetical order. I had no idea why. Google to the rescue, I discovered that shift clicking on a column title would set that as a secondary sort. I never knew that. In fact, I'd wished for that for a while. Now I know.

And knowing is half the battle, Go Joe!

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May 23, 2014

Grinding Cuts

A buddy of mine back in high school once made a mix tape he called "Grinding Cuts" - basically a long series of excellent songs (from his very eclectic and non-mainstream collection) that by no means should ever be juxtaposed.

That happened in Brynhilder in the Darkness. At the end of the drug-stealing arc, they tried to bring the ship hard about into standard Harem territory, and damn near capsized the thing.

The harem of witches have relocated to the Observatory. Gothy Precog and Psychic Hacker are, for the moment, alone, while Not-Kuroneko and Our Hero are at school. Now, Psychic Hacker is one of those girls in anime who should be drawn with a permanent smirk, based on her attitude, and she's one of those hyper-capitalist types. The kind of girl who inflicts her own rules on you and steamrolls you into giving her what she wants. While these two are alone at the Observatory, Psychic Hacker basically wonders out loud in front of Gothy Precog what will happen if she tells Not-Kuroneko that she's not really paralyzed. Gothy Precog says she'll kill her, which gets a laugh. True or not? I dunno. If she's acting, she must be REALLY disciplined for not running out of the burning house.

Our Hero and Not-Kuroneko are coming back from school, and get caught in the rain, which has stopped by the time they get to the observatory. At which point, it is conveniently revealed that there IS a hot spring nearby, but, um, it's co-ed, so Our Hero modestly suggests they go one at a time.

Yes, it's Onsen Episode time already.

While Our Hero is taking his bath, Psychic Hacker lays her trap. Sitting on the edge of the spring, she gets him to turn around and get an eyeful. Or half eyeful, since her bounty is less than bounteous. Actually, with the way she's sitting, he gets the full show, but she "forgives" him that but insists that she's going to collect a "Boob Fee" for seeing her breasts. And like any anime hero in such a situation, he accepts this blackmail.

Shortly later he detects someone entering the spring, and thinking it's Psychic Hacker, he turns to give her a shove, or something, except it's actually Not-Kuroneko, and he ends up getting a double-handful of her double-handfuls. And again, like a typical anime hero, he gets all embarrassed and flustered and takes his time about letting go. And after excusing himself, he realizes that he failed to take advantage of this golden opportunity to see if she has those three distinctive moles.

Finally, it's bedtime. This surprisingly well-equipped love-nest observatory even has futons. And Psychic Hacker is setting up one for herself. Our Hero objects, and she says that letting her stay there is how he will pay back his "boob fee" (since her squat is being surveyed for the hyperspace bypass reservoir, she can't stay there).

She also improbably enrolls in the school as another transfer student.

Then even MORE improbably, a busty freshman transfers in, and immediately wants to join the astronomy club.

She's actually another witch, sent by the evil lab administrator to terminate the others. Which apparently she's going to take her own sweet time in doing.

We find this out during a meeting by the board of directors of the lab, who are not happy about all the escapees, and the drug theft, but he swears, this girl will help clean up the mess, because shes got an AA-PLUS rating (really, AAA is going to be saved for the final Boss, just you wait). We also get a count of the number of escapees, and the number killed, and number of ebola'd corpses found.

I suppose the onsen interlude was meant to give relief from the really heavy shit they've been laying down, but really, the Harem Hijinks do not suit the story. That is, unless they're going to stick with this course change, but I have my doubts. Frankly, I can't be sure WHAT they're trying to pull here.

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May 10, 2014

Gokukoku no Brynhildr - Brynhilder in the Darkness - series so far

This series is Dark. Really, really fucking dark. How dark? Take Elfin Lied and remove all the cute bits with a plasma cutter, that's how dark.

I think I mentioned when I listed the series I was looking at watching a few articles down that the first episode was a downer. But that was the bright spot.

So, we started off with Our Hero being saved by a girl with destructive "Magic" power from a landslide that her other magic friend predicted. Okay, that had the potential to be uplifting. But no, that's not the road this takes. We find out that this girl, who sure as hell looks like a grown up version of his childhood friend "Kuroneko" - who died tragically, leaving him angst-ridden and living the life she would have if he hadn't doomed her - gained her magical power through this big metal plug installed in the back of her neck by some lab, and they're out to get her back... to kill her.  And her friend with the precognition, and a bunch of other girls on the scheduled for destruction list who got away, and anyone who helps them, like Our Hero. In fact, in the second episode some JSDF trucks roll by our unsuspecting hero, and in the back of one are two of these other girls, naked and heavily bound (but not in some kinky way) and once they are repatriated to the lab, we are treated to what happens to one of these girls when her plug is removed (actually, they call it a harness, which is a setup for a badly crafted Engrish word-play later on). Basically she dissolves into goo.

But a pop-o-matic spinal tap that forces you to do a Lugo-man cosplay with the push of a single button isn't bad enough. They also apparently require certain medication every 35 hours or they start to spontaneously bleed all over like an Ebola victim. Not-Kuroneko tries to stretch out her dwindling supply by coming to school heavily bandaged one day (or else it's a killer Evangelion cosplay, I'm not sure which) but she's absent the next day.

Our Hero, determined to meddle in her affairs, even if it means the lab guys will kill him too, tracks her down via some school paperwork to an abandoned village in the valley below the Observatory (it was condemned to make way for a hyperspace bypass reservoir that was never built). He finds her there, and ignoring her demands to go away, sneaks into the house they're squatting in and meets her housemate. The Precog girl is totally paralyzed less her left hand, which she uses to speak via some sort of type-and-talk device. She's also dressed up like a little goth dolly. Naturally she accuses him of being some kind of perv who wants to have his way with her. That colors their banter from then on out.

Not-Kuroneko explains to Our Hero about the whole medicine thing, and shows him her remaining supply of 10 capsules, and explains why she therefore can't go on the school trip to the beach, even though she really wants to (Another of Kuroneko's dreams) because she's gonna die first, and then, while trying to boil some water in the firepit (this being a semi-traditional Japanese house they're in) she sets the house on fire. Our hero manages to rescue the Gothy Precog, and Not-Kuroneko puts out the fire by blowing apart the house with her destructive power. But it's too late, all the drugs were burned up, and Gothy Precog is already starting to bleed.

Sheltering at the Observatory, Our Hero reveals his suddenly convenient gift for photographic memory. He knows the drug number from the blister pack the pills are in, and they do a little Googling to find the place it comes from. Now "Don't Hemorrhage From Every Pore As A Side Effect From Your Magic Powers" isn't exactly an over-the-counter medication, so they plan a raid on the factory to get some more. They enlist the help of another magic girl via their surprisingly unmonitored ham radios, whose gift is the ability to access computers remotely with her mind. Her price for disabling the security system is half of their take.

(Why am I having a flashback to the Deadman Wonderland "candy" here?)

Gothy Precog is concerned, because she sees that Not-Kuroneko is gonna get killed by another magic girl at the facility. Precognition in this story however is changeable, so they adapt their tactics. Except that the reason for the prediction is that Not-Kuroneko is planning to make a Noble Sacrifice so that our Hero can get away with the drugs, and of course, Our Hero won't let that happen.

Unfortunately, the explanation for why the defending magic girl is such a problem involves "Classes" or levels (if they start Arena Combat, I am SO out of here). All of our escapee friends are mere Class B's whose powers are either not interesting to the Lab Boys or have drawbacks, like Gothy Precog's paralysis, for example, or Not-Kuroneko's progressive memory loss the more she uses her powers.

Ah, my astute reader (readers?) can see exactly where THAT little tidbit is leading.

The lab defender is Class AA, which means she can use TWO A-class powers (they mention it goes up to AAA, which I assume they're saving for the final boss fight.) The first one is that she can slice the bejeebus out of anything in a 6 meter radius, and the second is... (sentence cut off by episode ending for cheap plot manipulation.)

So, predictably, Not-Kuroneko goes off to get herself honorably killed by the defender, and Our Hero goes off to make her sacrifice meaningless by trying to save her instead of going after the drugs for the other girls. Gothy Precog freaks that the prediction has changed to both of them dying.

During the fight, Not-Kuroneko gets ALMOST MCSA'd, (wait for the re-animated scene in the Blu Ray) but it's enough that our hero can see that she really DOES have the unique three mole pattern on her side, he just couldn't see it in her armpit before because, well, the skin moves a bit when one grows boobs. Proof! Not-Kuroneko really IS Kuroneko! The plot thicks.

Except that in her next attack, the defending girl makes Not-Kuroneko go *Spluch*. The End.

But no! Our Hero manages to drive a pointy crowbar thing into Spluch-girl right through the heart! And he demands that she use her OTHER power right now or else she'll die. (Or maybe, mortally injured like that, she'll die before she can use it, dumbass). Instead, she Spluches Our Hero. Yay! But then she realizes she has no choice, because she's gonna die unless she does it, so faster than you can make a Cher reference, she turns back time. One whole minute un-elapses.

Now this has a lot of terrible consequences. For one thing, it renders Our Hero and Not-Kuronkeko not dead. Second, it uses up all of Spluch-girl's magical reserves. Her "Harness" plug pops slightly out. This being "on Hold" condition happens when you use too much magic, or can be induced by pressing button number two of the three buttons on the plug (number one being the whole dissolving into goo thing, and number three remains un-named for future dramatic purposes). And the third thing is that now Our Hero loses all knowledge of having seen Not-Kuroneko's side-boob... oh, and her identifying moles.

Now apparently the lab guys really don't value their creations at all, because as Spluch-girl is captured and tied up (but not in some kinky way) by our heroes, they decide to pull the plug on her, remotely for her failure, and Our Hero is treated to the sight of a girl dissolving into goo before his eyes.

Oh, and speaking of eyes. Amid the fizzing girl-goo, some slimy blob of a creature with eyes all over it is slithering about. Perhaps THIS is the source of their powers? Our hero valiantly dispatches the disgusting creature with the heel of his shoe. And observes that "Harness" might actually be "Her Nest" - yeah... no.

(I will give it one plus.  The opening theme is pretty epic, for the most part.)

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