January 2022

The Return of Commander Duckie

アヒル隊長 is a better search term than ラバーダック. Just sayin’.


Upcoming anime

Upcoming as in “they both start on Saturday”…

Realist Hero 2

Unlike some other recent series I could name, this one did a reasonable job of adapting the light novels without degrading into randomly-selected scenes and highly-compressed infodumps.

(picture is unrelated but ducky)

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department

Giving it a chance for four reasons:

4. Director: Testament of Sister New Devil

3. Series Composition: Cat Planet Cuties

2. Art Director: Astra: Lost in Space

1. half-naked wolf-girl

Sadly, she doesn’t always dress like Liru, but the promo picture has promise.

The return of Best Girl Beelzebub!

Eventually, as a second season of Killin’ Slimes and Collectin’ Cuties has been greenlit.

Voice-activated Quantum Insurrection

Komi, season 1 final episode

Part two of the cultural festival went… okay, I guess. Some of the jokes went on a bit too long, and not all of them landed well, but at least some of Najimi’s antics helped advance the Komi. Overall, this show was worth my time, and I’ll be looking for the next season.

In The Land of Leadale, episode 1

  • Premise: D
  • Story: D
  • Character art: D
  • Animation: D
  • CGI integration: D
  • Infodumps: D

Honestly, it felt like there were three different animation teams, and the only one that was any good was the one that just panned over stills of the cast.

(artist is unrelated)

“By the way, did you know that space is big and empty? Would you like to hear more facts about astronomy?”

Astronaut: “Alexa, I said ‘tell NASA we’ve been hit by space junk and need help now!”

Alexa: “Here’s ‘Space Oddity’, by David Bowie, on Amazon Music.”

Astronaut: “Alexa, stop. Call NASA in Houston now and tell them we’re spiraling out of orbit!”

Alexa: “Calling Bass Pro in Austin. By the way, I can automatically turn off lights at night if you usually turn them off and I have a hunch you forgot. Would you like me to do this?”

Astronaut: “No, no, for god’s sake, don’t turn anything off!”

Alexa: “Okay, I’ll turn everything off now.”

Astronaut: (silence)

(random picture is unrelated)

In other news…

Trying to wade through the mountain of CES press releases, so far I’ve spotted two completely different product categories promising something “quantum” (1a, 1b, 2). I guess that means they can’t be broken down any further when they reach the landfill.

(random picture is unrelated)

Faky McFakeHate

So it turns out that during one of the actual insurrections of 2020, the police-radio chatter about “right-wing violent hate group” Proud Boys was faked by the Seattle police.

The repeated attempts in 2020 to take over or burn down government buildings, usually with employees trapped inside, were not fake, and the left-wing violent hate groups responsible were not only not punished, they were actively supported by Democrats holding offices at the city, county, state, federal, media, and celebrity levels.

(random picture is unrelated)


I guess I’ll have to go to another grocery store in a day or two, since the one I was just at was “less than fully stocked” in multiple departments. Almost as if there were something wrong with the way things are being run…

Nothing that another month of mask-wearing won’t fix.

This time for sure!

New house update

Status: successfully appraised at a value that matches the (brief) mortgage. All I’ve got left to do in the next few days is submit a copy of my latest bank statement and the home-insurance policy info, and they can finish underwriting the loan.

Time to get serious about packing and pitching!

“I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘B’.”


“Right. I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘M’.”

“More boxes.”

“Two in a row.”

“And that’s when I shot him, your honor.”

“I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘E’.”

“I–I give up.”

“Oh come on.”

“This better not be what I–”

“Even more boxes!”

I can’t show you pictures of the new place, because all the ones I have at the moment are now on all of the real-estate sites, so it would be trivial for someone to figure out where I live. And then cross-reference with move-related blog posts that reveal when it’s full of stuff and unoccupied. Except by the seven half-starved rabid wolfhounds, of course.

(sadly, it’s unlikely that any wolfgirls will be streaming games from my new place, although there is a deadbolt on the basement door (“Daddy’s got a place for you, and the door locks from the outside”))

(okay, the deadbolt was actually to keep people out of the basement, because the former owner stored a quite extensive and valuable coin collection down there)

(and did I mention that the basement has a bit more square footage than my current house?)

It's good to be the king

Realist Hero, episode 14

It’s very talky, recapping the first season and picking up all the plot threads, but it’s supposed to be, because the whole point of Our Hero’s success is that he thinks his way out of trouble and then kingsplains it all to his retainers and future wives (who are, of course, proxies for the audience). The OP promises that the rest of the wife harem will come online this season.

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department, episode 1

AKA “Girl Genius & Wolfgirl versus The Red Tape”.

There’s a clear affection for classic tokusatsu/sentai tropes here, and some decent scenery-chewing performances. Also some Buy-The-Bluray censorship of Little Miss Wolfservice.

(wolfgirl is sadly unrelated; “Dear fan-artists, get to work”)

World’s End Harem, episode 1

This sounded pretty terrible last season, so the only reason I was interested in seeing the first episode was to find out why it got yanked and rescheduled as soon as it started to air.

Apart from making my brain hurt with a premise that makes even less sense than The White Plague, they managed to come up with the most obnoxious Buy-The-Bluray censorship ever. I don’t know if it was added since last season’s attempt to air the show, but it’s just ugly, a pixelated black scribble across the screen.

Episode TL/DR: it’s like they stole the script from a SQUEEZ game, but left out the zero-G jelloboob animations and the penetration-cam.

Long version: the busty flat-affect chick who behaves like an android but apparently isn’t tells Our Hero who’s conveniently a medical genius that he was woken up from a five-year cryo-nap because he needs to knock up as many women as possible to repopulate the world with boy babies who’ll inherit his immunity to Teh Virus that wiped out almost all the other men and hopefully they’ll all grow up to be scientists and engineers because not enough women majored in STEM so their post-scarcity economy has completely broken down and his insistence on saving himself for the missing childhood friend that it took him 20 years to almost confess to is stupid and wrong and nobody knows why artificial insemination doesn’t work but for some reason 5 billion desperate women aren’t willing to tie him down and force-feed him viagra and his little sister has grown up into a really tasty piece but I’m sure they won’t go there and by the way all the remaining frozen cocksickles including his big brother will expire in about a year so quit yer bitchin’ and get on with the shtupping.

It’s, um, not good.

(in the Big Mac of life, Our Hero is the special sauce)

…and if you go looking for SQUEEZ game promo videos, most of them are so censored that you can’t figure out what’s happening, but some of these mirrors still work for downloading the original Honou no Haramase Doukyuusei demo video. It’s from 2007, but I suspect their final games in 2016 weren’t much different.

It is hilarously NSFW.

Pixiv: The Year Of The Tiger(-Striped Bikini)

Not every Chinese-new-year tiger-girl is wearing a striped bikini, but with Lum returning to TV in 2022, it’s the obvious choice.

Tags included: うる星やつら (Urusei Yatsura), 虎縞ビキニ (tiger-stripe bikini), 虎柄ビキニ (tiger-pattern bikini), 虎娘 (tiger-girl), 虎耳 (tiger-ears), 白虎 (white tiger), 虎 (tiger), 小虎 (tiger cub), 寅年 (year of the tiger).

(bonus video)


Plates R Us

Realist Hero, episode 15

Pretty much the entire episode is spent talking at a conference table, which basically forced the music to carry the drama. Take notes, there will be a quiz later…

My comment last week about the wife harem was incorrect. I hadn’t noticed the reins in the OP, so the fifth haremette does not show up this season. This suggests that they’re hoping to get approval to do a third cour, since they can’t have a big wedding without all of the brides attending.

(fan-art remains in short supply for this show, so here’s a nice beaver shot)

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department, episode 2

Crunchyroll seems to be having trouble getting this show up for streaming, so I just watched the first episode again. While we wait, have some duckies.

Spring anime…

Komi 2, Shield (Raccoon) Loli 2, and Demon Girl Next Door 2. Also Book Loli 3, Kaguya-sama 3, and something called Hairpin Double, which sounded like it should be a racing show, but I have to confess that when I clicked through, I half-expected it to be a Pretty Cure ripoff or a random mech-combat show. To my surprise, it’s at least racing themed, given that it’s sponsored by Okayama International Circuit.

The only information available right now is a picture of the cast of five color-coded girls (voiced by M.A.O, Hisako Kanemoto, Miharu Hanai, Shiori Izawa, and Reina Kondō).

(unrelated Shiori is unrelated)

Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m Queen of the Dead

Richard Roberts hasn’t updated his blog in a long time, but he has released a new Pennyverse novel. In this one, a budding necromancer moves to LA and meets up with a few members of the supporting cast of the main series. Hijinks ensue.

Unlike the previous book, PDTMP I Work for a Supervillain, he didn’t feel the need to bring in any of the big names. Lots of Sue, a bit of Barbara, and a cameo by Mech (who really doesn’t fit the mostly-magical story).

I thought the Southern Ambiguous eye-dialect was overdone, and I found it a surprising choice given the way modern kids are being trained to take offense at everything, but it didn’t hurt the story. It just gave me bad flashbacks to The Beverly Hillbillies.

Speaking of which, my new house has neither a ce-ment pond nor a fancy eatin’ table. There’s room for both, but I don’t intend to add them. Honestly, I wish I could get away with putting a 20-yard pistol range in the basement.

She Professed Herself Pupil of the Wise Man, episode 1

A day may come when translators stop accepting the publisher’s inept title translations as canonical, but it is not this day. “The sage who claims to be the sage’s apprentice” couldn’t be called catchy, but it would at least be accurate. And English. But I think they should have gone with WTF? I turned into an OP Loli Wizard!

The first half of this episode is an ad for an online game that doesn’t exist, and if it did, would go out of business within a year because 99% of the players would be unable to have any fun.

The second half is a stalker-cam day-in-the-life video of a loli exploring the game/world. It has one line of dialogue, which comes at the very end, and which is also the episode title shown at the beginning.

Why did I watch this? Because Amazon’s new worse-than-ever recommendation system keeps throwing book N of light novel series at me, most of which aren’t actually out yet. This series looked like the least terrible, so I considered the anime a free preview. It might still be the least terrible, but at least now I know I don’t want to read the books. Or watch more of the show.

There’s very little fan-art for this one, and most of it is loli-porn, so here’s a skateboarding maid:

Dear Ghostbusters Afterlife,

I had really hoped that Paul Rudd’s interesting line from the trailer about “a town that isn’t anywhere near a tectonic plate” would be fixed for the actual movie. It was not.

Sure, it’s a throwaway line, but he’s supposed to be a seismologist, and he’s talking to a Girl Genius.

I haven’t finished watching it yet. Mostly because I’m getting way too old to have much patience for awkward teenage mating rituals.

Retweeting the quiet part out loud…

The Supreme Court has officially ruled that White House chief of staff Ron Klain is dumber than a box of rocks.

My local CVS drug store was completely out of cough drops. They were low on all sorts of other things, too, but cough drops were the most conspicuous item. They had all sorts of other cold, flu, coughing, and sneezing remedies, so it was most likely another example of The New Normal, where every retailer has to play guess-what’s-on-the-truck-today.

Delay of Kuroitsu

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department, episode 2


Crunchyroll finally has the second episode up, and has shifted their release schedule to Sundays. The good news is that it continues to hit the right notes. It’s starting to remind me a bit of G-On Riders, which had a similar affection for its genre roots.

This week, Our Anti-Hero-Heroine takes a business trip with her boss. Then Our Wolfgirl gets to see how project specs change due to conflicting requirements, something that rings true enough to make this a lighthearted horror story. In the process, Kuroitsu notices that Wolfie lacks some essential accessories, which will hopefully lead to a Very Special Episode…

(yeah, fan-art is limited)

🎶 “Lookin’ for some hot stuff, baby, this evening…” 🎶

Apparently, a celebrity called Drake got the idea to ensure that his casual flings didn’t result in unexpected child-support claims by putting hot sauce in his discarded condoms. An instagram “model” found this out the hard way. She’s suing, of course, but since she was clearly engaged in felony extortion at the time…


Mandatory indoor masking for all of California has been extended through February 15th, because y’all fucked up and let Benito Newsom keep his job.

(technically she's outdoors, so she doesn't need to wear a mask; this is the future of California, except that we're out of canned cat food most of the time now)

404 yummies not found

Hideki no Okazu

(classical reference)

大盛りあがり グラビア館 has gone offline. Hopefully it’s just moving (again) or suffering from a brief billing issue.

Tactical Cat Harness

I’m not sure what bothers me more, that this exists, or that Amazon recommended it to me…

Fools and their money…

A DAO bought a book at auction for about 100x its expected value, apparently under the mistaken assumption that they were buying the rights to the content.

What’s a DAO, you might ask? “decentralized autonomous organization”, aka “Bureaucracy As Code”, where a bunch of cryptoweenies try to manage some group activity with rules enforced by hopefully-debugged code that sits on a blockchain. The trope-namer lasted about two months before bugs in their code cost them a third of the money invested in it, which was recovered by calling backsies on the concept of blockchains. If all of this sounds like a terrible idea, that’s because it’s a terrible idea.

Dear Amazon,

TL/DR: out of 210 recommended products, I bought 0.

Your current recommendation system is complete garbage. As compared to the previous version that was only mostly garbage. The first 40-tile section is labeled “Top picks”; 15 of them are things I already buy regularly (so why highlight them?), 2 are books I’ve already read through Kindle Unlimited, 1 is the unreleased next book in a series I’ve read, and 2 are the first book of a series I haven’t read and likely won’t. The other 20 are book N in series that I haven’t read book one of. That means only 3 of 40 are things that I might want, which is the exact opposite of what both of us want to see when I go to spend money on your site.

The second set of 40 tiles is “Buy it again”, which seems redundant when more than a third of the first group was also things you want me to buy again. By a generous definition, 37 of these are consumables that I would likely buy again, but in most cases not weekly or monthly (such as 100-packs of trash bags, 24-packs of kitchen scrubbers, 24-packs of zip-top pill holders, 12-packs of microfiber towels, 4-packs of airtags, 2 quarts of tallow, etc).

The third set of 40 tiles is “New releases”, and since the first two sets are dynamically loaded, it can be a challenge to scroll down and see these. 39 of these are Kindle books; most of them will not be available for weeks, and in some cases, not until the end of summer. 1 is a Bluray that was theoretically released a week ago, but has in fact been delayed indefinitely (supply-chain woes?). Of the 39 books, 4 are from series where I’m likely to buy the next volume when it comes out; none of the others are book one in their series.

The fourth set of 40 tiles is “Kindle ebooks”, which seems pretty redundant given that 64 of the previous three sets were also Kindle books. Still, I have to give them credit for including a full 7 that are book one of a series I haven’t read (for a total of 9 potential sales out of 160 tiles).

At the very bottom of the (dynamically loaded) page are two scrolling sections, titled “Explore more from across the store” and “Explore more from across the store”, respectively. The first consists of 25 anime Bluray discs, while the second is 25 more Kindle books, 7 of which are book one in their series.

(Zelda is not amused)

Apple design: threat or menace?


This time, I remembered to switch Mobile Safari back to semi-private mode immediately after upgrading to iOS 15. And to scrub through the preferences for all the other invasive and useless bullshit Apple opts you into by default.

(why? because there have been a number of security issues that will not be patched in iOS 14.x, because fuck the 25% of users who have chosen not to upgrade yet)

Also: “Dear Apple, not only is contrast a thing, but so are right-aligned numbers.”

(and I’m still trying to figure out the point of the weird-ass temperature-range bars; I understand what information they’re trying to convey, but not why anyone thought this was a sensible or attractive way to present it)

Kuroitsu episode 3 delayed until January 29

Because it didn’t air last week on all but one of the channels that’s running it in Japan. So, while we got episode 2 on the 16th, most people in Japan won’t get to see it until the 22nd. Legally, that is.

(trick-or-treat oni-girl is unrelated)

Hairpin Double airs February 4

There’s finally some information about this one:

The battle action anime centers on a group of five transforming heroines whose mission is to protect a racing circuit. A mysterious man and several monsters suddenly appear at the Okayama International Circuit, and their goal is to get their hands on an unknown energy that sleeps deep beneath the racing circuit.

It’s part of the track’s 30th anniversary event. One-shot rather than a series?

(slime-witch is unrelated)

“Alexa, stop offering me ‘helpful’ advice that degrades your core functionality”

J: “Alexa, 30-minute timer”

A: “30 minutes, starting now. Would you like to begin your day with a positive affirmation from the My Daily Mindset skill?”

J: “Fuck no.”

(fantasy waitress is unrelated, and provides better service)

“I have no Kuroitsu and I must scream”

Since they delayed the release of episode 3 of Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department, I watched the second one again. The folks making this really do love the genre.

Realist Hero, episode 16

It’s really, really hard to make an interesting episode that’s nothing but wrapping up the diplomatic negotiations that started last week. It’s necessary to develop Julius, Jeanne, and Maria for later events, and set up the long-promised reveal of the loophole Our Realist spotted in the big treaty, but that doesn’t make it fun.

Worse, it doesn’t adequately signal that fun is on her way, ready to turn his plans upside down. While people often criticize adaptations for bringing haremettes into the story early, I think this one would have benefited from a few more scenes with her. Just having Julius ask about her once isn’t enough to really remind people that she showed up briefly last season. You’re left with “oh, look, it’s that other girl from the opening credits!”.

(picture of incoming fun is unrelated)

(Insert Primal Scream Here)

Realist Hero, episode 17

We begin with an animated discussion of a dangling thread from last season. Or perhaps I should say “emotive”, since there’s very little animation-animation involved. This is another bit that is necessary for setting up future events, but lasts far too long.

With the traitors and the “traitors” disposed of, it’s time to reward the allies, mostly by giving them engagement rings. There might have been some non-fiancée rewards, but they’re not important. Our Prime Minister then spends some quality time with His Girlfriend Who Lives In Canada, then finds out from His Ninja that The Secret Plan is going too well, as if someone else were up to something.

At which point we finally bring Our Other Princess back on-screen to reveal that she’s severely ADHD and actively fantasizing about Her Future Husband, whose identity shouldn’t suprise anybody who watches the credits. Post-credits, we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to show a cackling cabal from central casting, conveniently gathered in one place for easy disposal.

Wife count: 2 public, 1 secret, 1 plotting

(waifu candidates are unrelated)

Kuroitsu episode 3

Cut off a plot thread, and two more shall take its place. Hail Hydra (chan)! The first half airdrops a new monster into the show in the first few seconds so they can focus on post-field-test revisions. Most of the cast gets sidelined for this part, as Our Part Time Hero and Our Professionally Villainous Heroine interact in both their civilian and professional identities without ever suspecting a thing. Seriously, dude, did hero school not cover the concept of clark-kent glasses?

Then Our Big Bird and Our Hydra-Chan get into trouble with Our Pretty Cure, revealing that both are capable of far more as monsters than they managed to pull off during their official hero-fights. Maybe just walking up to him in an alley isn’t a good strategy?

(monster-girl bartender is completely unrelated)

🎶 Just a gigolo… 🎶

Jacob Sullum, writing for the formerly-libertarian rag Reason, has helpfully provided clear evidence that he’s just another batshit-crazy left-wing loon.

Accidentally true words were spoken

Quoted by jwz:

“The reality is, we as musicians are not qualified to be making these decisions.”

Closing time?

I wish I could say that I was getting the keys to my new house Monday, as scheduled. Instead, I have to decide if I want to approach tomorrow morning’s delay-of-game phone call with cold anger or with vicious swearing. Neither would be particularly productive, but the practice sessions help work off a bit of my frustration.

(picture is not related. yet)

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”