The adventures of Jin-something

Solo Lettering, episode 7

A common piece of advice for fiction writers is to not give a lot of characters similar names, to reduce the burden on the reader. Usually when I start coming up with aliases for anime characters it’s because I’m feeling trope-y, but this show’s got real issues:

Jinwoo’s Our Hero, Jinah’s His Hot Little Sister, Jinho’s Our Clingy Sidekick, Jinhee is His Big Sister, and Joohee’s Our Hot Not-Girlfriend.

Anyway, apart from some little-sister time, this is an “am I strong enough” big fight episode, in which the answer is “no, but since you refuse to just lay down and die, kinda yes in the end”. It’ll be a while before he returns to this too-tough dungeon, but when he does, Esil is waiting for him. And I’m waiting for Esil.

Verdict: they continue to pace this as if a second cour is guaranteed. Hope they’re right.

The Apothecary Diaries, episode 19

In which all the pieces fall into place. Unfortunately, they land on Maomao, leading to the second melodramatic insert song of the series.

This felt way too contrived, leading me to wonder if they over-compressed the relevant scenes from the book. The timing is just too precise, and the last puzzle-piece literally came out of nowhere. And where the fuck was Gaoshun for all of this?

Verdict: weakest episode of both seasons. Do better. On the bright side, you can stick a fork in the big secret, it’s done.

(we need a better Great Detective; this one’s broken)

McPharmacist & Fam, episode 7

In which Our Psycho New Hero’s severe fundamentalism is about to clash with the laid-back lifestyle in Zoltan, Our Slow Couple fights special ogres using the power of panned stills, Our Best Girl Assassinette deflects suspicion by being selectively honest about her motives, and Our Hot Wife And Sister bathe together with the clingiest buy-the-bluray soap bubbles available.

FYI, if you’re starting to conclude that Almighty Demis is a real dick of a god, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Sigh.

Verdict: the decision to compensate viewers with bath scenes for having to put up with the plot was a good one.

Say it with pon

Based on the 23-minute ad that was episode 4 of Pon No Michi, I downloaded the Mahjong Soul app to my iPad and tried it out. Okay, I soaked up every available English-language reference and played for several days on the offline app Kemono Mahjong first, which is a decent basic implementation of Japanese “riichi” mahjong (the relevant one of the bewildering variety of variations), with some non-animated low-budget furry NPC art.

KM is indie, while MJS comes from the same publisher as Azur Lane, etc, so it’s a polished game with plenty of cheesecake (and bishicake) avatars you can win through really expensive gatcha pulls. So don’t do that, just play with one of the two you get at the start. And don’t let anyone look over your shoulder if you’re playing in the office. During actual matches it’s fine, since you need every pixel to show everyone’s tiles clearly (I need my bifocals for this one); it’s just the random loading screens with lightly-covered T&A that could require explaining.

You can set up a private game with bots and longer timeouts until you feel confident enough to play against actual people, of which I haven’t seen less than a thousand online at any time of the day or night. Having skipped all mahjong-related movies, manga, and anime, I went into it cold, and had to find a few cheat-sheets for valid hands, which I’m still working on. I’m not even trying to learn how to score yet, though.

Verdict: free to play, money only buys you dress-up dollies and decorations, hardest part is learning to create valid complete hands. The game will do all the grunt work, including showing you every legal opportunity to draw from someone else’s discard pile. You just have to ignore the shiny buttons for a while until you figure out when they actually help your hand.

Unrelated, Apple iCloud QA

I went to save a bookmark from Safari on my iPad for later use on my Mac (the various orderings of the Discworld novels, after a massive Humble Bundle…). I was just going to dump it into my generic “Stuff” folder, except that didn’t exist. Check the Mac, it’s there, but it’s missing on the iPad (and iPhone). Drag it around, rearrange it, delete it, re-add it, etc, nothing. Every other bookmark and folder synced immediately, but not that one. Copy-paste to create an entirely new folder with all the same things inside it? The new one immediately appears on all devices.

With that sorted out, I added the new bookmark from the iPad. It took several minutes to appear on the Mac.

By the way, Rakuten Kobo’s iPad client works fine for manga, but has terrible page-turning lag for novels. Go figure.

(this is definitely not a Discworld elf!)

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