Blog Archive

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sailor Moon Crystal S3 out in blu-ray:

As predicted, Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 blu-ray is finally fansubbed.  Catch it now while it's still hot.  It's been a couple years since the series aired, so it's ripe for rewatching too.  I can put the pause button on Kyoukai no Rinne and get back to work on my Sailor Moon Crystal full rewatch now instead.

SMC S3 is the oldest show that didn't have a blu-ray, so it's great to finally see progress on this front.  Now if only Doremi fansubs would finish their HD Ojamajo #, my archives could be complete.

Hataraku Maou-sama! volume 15 complete:

This book came out last month, but I only just now had the time to read it.  It's a giant info dump about the angels' and demons' past.  I'm fine with that, it's good to know what is going on and why, but it feels a long ways removed from the initial theme of this series.  There isn't any comedy or poverty or part time job stuff at all.

I wish this series would hurry up and finish.  Since it has nothing to do with the beginning anymore anyway, which is the story I actually liked, it has no purpose for existence.  This story has outlived its welcome, but I still want to read on because I still don't have basic answers to the initial questions posed -- will Maou and Emi assimilate to Earth life?  Will any romances bloom?  Will peace ever return to Enta Isla?  Will life in the demon world become sustainable?

We'll never know because the series is still ongoing even after all these volumes.  *sigh*

Meanwhile, I decided to upgrade Solzhenitsyn to my top non-fiction writer of all time.  Now that his Red Wheel series is going to be translated, the overall corpus of his literature outweighs the competition.  I'm a lot more eager to read the rest of Red Wheel than Hataraku Maou-sama!, but in either case it means the years ahead still have a lot to look forward to.

Because America is gripped by the same Jewish/liberal terror/fervor as Russia was, Solzhenitsyn is the most relevant thinker in the world to the people who live today.  If we read Solzhenitsyn, we can avoid history repeating itself.  But if we don't read Solzhenitsyn, we will fall into the exact same abyss Russia did, due to the exact same people, for the exact same reasons as before.  Nothing has changed.  The battlefield has simply moved westward.

It is all well and good to read about Lucretius outwitting the belief in pagan Gods, but we have much smarter, much more competent, much more devious intellectual opponents than the ancients ever had to parse.  If we don't arm ourselves with equally competent thinkers like Solzhenitsyn, the world is doomed, because next time it won't just be Russia, the globalists are intent on imposing liberalism, ie, mass immigration plus a complete clampdown on any dissident thought that wishes to avoid this fate, on the whole world this time around.  It's all or nothing.

Motoi Madness!:

I thought it was silly to not at least try out my #1 most prolific composer, Motoi Sakuraba's other works.  What if his music were as good in Baten Kaitos as in Tales?  I'd just be missing all these great songs for no reason.

So I went off on a crusade to gather up all his famous music.  For some reason it's harder to get than usual, but if you just scour the internet long enough all things become possible.

I gathered two full days of new music from all sorts of series.  Star Ocean is probably the biggest prize though.  My favorite songs from Star Ocean 3 are in my hall of fame, but I didn't have any music from any of the other games, despite having deep respect for the franchise.  This should soon be alleviated (Just as soon as SO 4-5 actually finish downloading. . .)

Now I just have to test the songs out to see whether they merit inclusion into my music hall of fame.  I don't want to flood my playlist with Motoi madness, so I'm going to be a tough judge this time around.  Only the very best should be getting in.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Spice and Wolf volume 18 complete:

There, now I'm all caught up on English-translated Spice and Wolf.  This series is more and more turning into a mystery genre.  I can never solve the riddles before they're revealed, it's so frustrating.

Next up is Hataraku Maou-sama! volume 15.  Then I'll have caught up with all the light novel authors I respect, until the Death March anime ends, at which point I'll dive into that series as well.  It's great having 50 favorite video game franchises, 100 favorite authors, 200 favorite anime series, 100 favorite manga series, 50 favorite visual novel companies, 200 favorite composers, 50 favorite movie franchises, etc, but at some point their total productivity is going to exceed my ability to consume them all, at which point I'll have entered an entertainment singularity. . .  I have to work harder if I'm to keep up!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Red Wheel book 3 complete:

The night of March 12th is finally over, with the Duma declaring itself the ruling authority and the Emperor sending four regiments to crush the rebellion in St. Petersburg.  We don't know what happens after that because books 4-8 aren't translated.

Supposedly they all will be, but God knows when.  Amazon doesn't even have a way to preorder any of them.  This is like a nonfiction Wheel of Time in length and scope and number of characters, and yet, with all this furious verbiage, we never even get to the Bolshevik revolution, the whole story covers the February revolution only.  And yet it seems to me that the biggest mystery in the world was why the Russian people went along with the Bolsheviks, and that mystery apparently will never be answered.  The question isn't even being asked.  Oh well, Solzenitysn is such a great writer, even learning about the February revolt is never time wasted.

Next up is some more Spice and Wolf short stories.  8 people have now completed their downloads of my music hall of fame, so it seems everyone who wants it has it.  The remaining seven billion people on Earth have no idea what they're missing out on.

Just as I predicted, the Saints vs. Vikings game was a classic.  The lead changed four times in the last few minutes.  There was just no telling what was going to happen until the clock hit zero.  The surprising match was Jacksonville vs. Pittsburgh.  It too ended up being a classic, with two 4th down hail mary touchdown completions, two defensive touchdowns, and everything being about as crazy as humanly possible.  The Jaguars emerged victorious but the journey was fun the whole ludicrous way.  Next week has no chance to match those games.  I'd be happy if they were even half as good.  But now it's time for the Eagles vs. Vikings and Jaguars vs. Patriots.  (for that matter, the Eagles/Falcons game was good too!).

Fate/Last Encore joins the anime lineup in 11 days.

Ero manga Sensei Rewatched:

Chapter 4 of volume 7 of Eromanga Sensei was adapted by the anime in episode 12, to my surprise.  They mixed various things up to make it easier and faster for anime viewers to understand, but the core of the story was the same.  This got me thinking back wistfully to the anime, so I decided to go ahead and rewatch all of it despite not having finished my rewatch of Kyoukai no Rinne.

Kyoukai no Rinne is a long series, so it might be a good idea to intersperse rewatches of other shows throughout the rewatching of Rinne just like this from here on.  I've got plenty of time, Rinne only finished a year ago, so I can watch things in whatever order I like.

Eromanga Sensei's best episode this time around was #8, not #11 like I expected.  Seeing Sagiri coming out of her room to talk with other people was a really emotional moment even without her wonderful voice acting to back the scene up.  The show really is top notch though, that hasn't changed.  The books are even funnier (and a lot more detailed), but obviously not as pretty, so you just have to watch the anime and read the books to get the full experience.

I made good on my promise to make my music hall of fame available to the world.  So far five people have taken advantage of the opportunity and gotten a complete copy of all the best music in the world.  Many others are nearing completion, so hopefully the two other seeds can take over that duty and help them to the finish line.

It's all the more vital that people appreciate the music hall of fame, because a good portion of it was just lost to us today -- Dolores Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, died, just 46 years old, of unknown causes.  It could have been suicide, drug overdose, aneurysm, heart attack, stroke, or maybe she fell over and hit her head.  I don't know.  It's just very sad.  She was my favorite musician back in the day, and still one of my favorites today.  So it goes.

The more I listen to my music the more I love it.  I'm sure I'll find some more remixes and bad songs along the way, we are talking 4,364 songs here, there's a lot of ruin in a list that big.  But overall, as I listen to this music, I'm just marveling at how uniquely great all my treasures are.  Most everyone is proving their worth day in and day out.

There's a lot of music by Motoi Sakuraba I could still track down, but I don't exactly want to drown out everyone else's voices by just deluging the playlist with Sakuraba songs.  If I do expand the playlist, it will have to be carefully and slowly, so that I can still listen to my old favorites as often as I want.  (Actually, I just did expand my music hall of fame by 3 songs to 4367, slowly and carefully including the openings of Rurouni Kenshin's 1st season and Serial Experiments Lain + Kenshin's theme song, old favorites I'd judged too harshly until now).  Motoi Sakuraba already has the plurality of music as is, how much more honor must he be given?

Instead of expanding the list yet further, the more important goal is listening to everyone at least 100 times.  I've already done that for Tales, Xenogears, Final Fantasy 1-12, Ogre Battle, Chrono Trigger and my old rock bands long ago, but there's a lot of new music I haven't heard as much that also needs to pass this test of time.  A lot of anime themes I've listened to hundreds of times already, but Valkyrie Profile and the like are still in their teens.

Listening to such a huge playlist 100 times will take years, but there's no rush.  Unlike the lead singer of Cranberries, I'm not planning on dying any time soon.  I'm just glad other people have taken the opportunity to fall in love with the same music I have.  They definitely won't regret it.  I turned years of individual effort to create a perfect music collection for myself into years of individual effort to create a perfect music collection for everyone else.  Pretty generous, huh?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter 2018 First Impressions: Part 2

Toji no Miko:  A boring, generic story we've all seen before.  Cute girls with special powers (who for some reason still regularly attend school anyway) end up endlessly battling each other and various supernatural giant bugs.  No attempt to make the plot make any sense, or for the characters to have anything beyond one-dimensional characteristics like enjoying food or desiring vengeance.  Perhaps if this were the first anime ever with this story it would be good, but this is like the nine billionth.  Fail.

Violet Evergarden:  Kyoto Animation always delivers good art, but without a compelling plot or characters it doesn't amount to much.  I don't find Violet compelling.  I don't find Violet assimilating to a peaceful world a very interesting event worthy of recording.  I don't really know why this story exists.  It's famous so maybe it gets good later?  Oh well, I'll let the art carry it for now.  Pass.

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni:  Conversely, the art style for this show is so bad that it's almost impossible for it to succeed from the get-go.  On top of that I don't find the main characters attractive or interesting, and I think any romance between them would just be mundane.  This show has no 'hook.'  It has no questions, so there's no excitement waiting around for the answers.  It's like a documentary on the life of caterpillars.  Who cares?  Fail.

Death March:  This is a highly touted series so I had high expectations.  The first episode spent most of its time just setting things up, which is exactly how it should be.  Whenever you enter a new fantasy world, learning about that world takes priority.  However, the wry yet optimistic attitude of the protagonist is already attractive, and the art style and character designs for all the girls in the intro are already appealing.  To me, Isekai stories require a one way ticket only, not hopping back and forth like Inuyasha or GATE and certainly not virtual reality like SAO where all the player characters are from Earth together.  This means there are only a few good Isekai anime so far -- Hai to Gensou, Youjo Senki, No Game no Life and 12 Kingdoms.  Which means in turn that there's still a lot of potential for this genre to try out new things.  Death March is the fifth great isekai anime.  Just as the four above are completely different from each other, Death March is completely different from all of them.  This Isekai story is a real life video game, complete with a graphical user interface, inventories, levels and skills.  I'm not sure if everyone experiences this new world in this way or if it's just Satoo because he's from Earth, but in any case it's a fun, novel way to experience life.

Death March has just begun to unfurl its wings, but I'm sure by the end of the series its entry into my rankings (currently at 194) will be fully justified.  Pass.

Marchen Maedchen:  This story is mainly a comedy centered around cute girls.  There's magic and action and mystery and such to spice things up, but mainly we just want to look at girls when they're blushing and flustered.  It's fine for a first episode, but I'm not sure if the formula can entertain for an entire season.  Pass.

Hakumei to Mikochi:  A boring story about two little people with no problems in a world with no problems.  Totally pointless.  Fail.

Killing Bites:  There are good things about this story, like when the narrator suddenly starts talking about the traits of various wild animals, but they're outweighed by the bad.  The girls are ugly, both physically and in personality.  The boy seems like a completely pointless third wheel.  The fighting itself is just over money and thus pointless.  There's no reason to get interested in anyone or anything.  Fail.

Beatless:  I was expecting a cool sci-fi slice of life based on the preview, and instead I got a sci-fi shonen action series.  Well, it was still good, just not as good as it could have been.  Instead of Ghost in the Shell, this is more like Fate/Stay Night techno version.  It's kind of off the wall how powerful these androids are, but I guess Dragon Ball had even stronger androids so who am I to complain. . .  Pass.

Darling in the Franxx:  Some sort of Evangelion clone except with the aggressive, powerful girl plus passive, weak boy situation straight out of Killing Bites.  I hate that combination.  A girl standing around naked in front of a boy without a hint of modesty or any attempt to cover up is extremely rude to the guy.  It's called being a cocktease.  She gets him aroused, but takes no responsibility for it and does nothing to relieve the pressure.  A girl who respected a boy's feelings even to the most basic extent would stop flaunting herself in front of him like that, but since she has absolutely zero respect for him she cares nothing about what she's putting the guy through.  I hate that sort of universal contempt.  The world goes round because everyone shows each other manners and politeness, we have a harmonious system where people can interact without hurting each other.  It was built up over millennia for a reason.  Flouting those rules out of your own selfishness isn't some sort of cool, individualist spirit.  It's just announcing yourself as an enemy of all mankind that needs to be purged as soon as possible.  Fail.

That's everybody, so in the end our winter season looked like this:

Here's the good anime that's currently airing this season and is worth at least a try, in the order of how exciting each episode is week to week (not in the order of how good the series is overall, which would favor older series too much):

1.  Death March
2.  Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen
3.  Dragon Ball Super
4.  Sora yori mo Tooi Basho
5.  Basilisk 2
6.  One Piece
7.  Ryuuou no Oshigoto
8.  Beatless
9.  Yuru Camp
10.  Slow Start
11.  Citrus
12.  Bolt
13.  Kira Kira Precure a la mode
14.  Violet Evergarden
15.  Marchen Maedchen

Six long established great series, one new great series, and eight more shows that at least might be good.  We'll have to see over the course of time.  It could have been worse, but it could have been better.  Looks like we'll have to wait until the spring season, when Full Metal Panic! returns, to really get this year rolling.