Shy, episode 1

Meet Our Shy Heroine Shy, who is both shy and Shy. Gifted with generic superpowers and crippling social anxiety, this newbie superhero is… less of a goofball than the more established heroes in her world. They skipped the origin story and dropped you right into her daily life, but also managed to cram in an entire crisis-of-confidence arc, set up Our Busty Drunken Popular Russian Heroine as a big sister figure, have Kikuko Inoue show up to announce a future conflict that’s worse than war, put Our Creepy Lurker Boy in the background, and still have time to airdrop Our Future Best Friend in at the end.

No idea where this is going, but it follows the same Western superhero tropes as My Hero Academia, including the first thing that All Might pointed out to his protégé: the heroes are the ones who run toward danger.

Verdict: if they can keep the shy/Shy thing from making her a one-trick pony girl (as opposed to a trick-turning pony-girl, which would liven up that other show…), I think I’ll like it. Lots of well-known voice actors in this one as well, including a few favorites. Bonus points for the lead actress not sounding anything like her vampire waifu from Hoe Harem or her desert princess from Restaurant To Another World.

Fan-art note: searching for the official title シャイ is useless, because it’s a substring match for the far-more-popular Idolmaster: Shiny Colors series. Hashtag SHY works better, excluding 99%+ of the irrelevant results, leaving you with a small number of SFW pics where the characters are at least recognizable (and the usual porn).

(the rest of the new shows I’ll try to watch won’t be until Saturday, when I expect to be disappointed by Shut-in Vampire, and hope to not be disappointed by Tearmoon and Potion Loli)

Irregular Witches, episode 1

Officially, Dekoboko Majo no Oyako Jijou (“The Family Circumstances of the Irregular Witch”). I’ve always thought dekoboko (bumpiness, roughness; imbalance, inequality) was an interesting word, largely because of how it’s written: 凸凹. There aren’t a lot of Tetris kanji.

Anyway, this is a show about Our Legal Loli Witch Mama and Her Voluptuous Witchy Adopted Daughter. Cons: it’s a four-koma gag comedy. Pros: voluptuous witchy adopted daughter.

Verdict: I lasted 4.5 minutes, and that includes the opening credits. Too shouty, and there’s something off about the faces. This was not unexpected, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

Time to wash the memory of this away with a Komi/Yor crossover:

(this is the second “found a baby in the woods” show of the season; how many more will there be?)

Someday, my (3d) prints will come

Looks like the latest firmware update bricked my Bambu Lab X1C. Customer support should will be mailing a new AP board out to me in a day or so.

Update: While the initial response from customer service took a few days, once it was in someone's queue, I got responses on both Saturday and Sunday. So, yes, they still need to staff up (the cloud hasn't been their only difficulty adjusting to success), but once you reach someone, they're good.

The one snag is that there's a final handshake when you replace the AP board, and that's sending them the old and new serial numbers so they can update your registration in their system, so you can re-bind your printer to your account. For The Cloud, of course.

Frieren, episodes 1-4

[this was advertised as a two-hour-ish premiere, but Crunchyroll has it broken up into four normal-sized episodes, each with OP/ED. Since they’re continuing directly into the next season, it will either run longer than the usual 24-26 or finish up early]

Warning: autotune is a privilege, not a right. And that’s the last time I want to hear the OP song for this show. The ED song is listenable and fitting, at least.

With that out of the way, it’s a slow, quiet show, so the acting and the art style reflect that; the animation budget makes it feel a bit like a video game, getting choppy in scenes full of background characters, but smoother when focused on the story. The backgrounds are a more realistic style while characters are closer to the usual, which makes them pop without looking like they don’t belong. As a bonus, the lead voice actress does not use her Anya Forger voice!

The first two are tearjerkers, so unlike most anime, a box of tissues would have a wholesome use. Comic relief is provided by Frieren’s unusually close relationship with mimics. Things lighten up for the next two episodes, as she acquires an apprentice, lets her hair down, and begins to pay more attention to the lives of the mayflies around her.

Verdict: a solid start to an interesting story.

(…and this is the second most popular fan-picture that doesn’t involve cock; seriously, they barely made the top 20)

S-Rank Daddy's Girl, episode 1

Turns out Crunchyroll isn’t on the one-week delay for this show that most networks in Japan are, so I got a pleasant surprise this morning.

The first episode is all setup, but it’s good setup. The Tenka Seiha preview is, to be kind, baffling, bearing no resemblance to this show. And I say that having read the 9 currently-translated light novels.

What there is is a grown man who reflexively shoulders responsibility, an adopted daughter who dearly loves him in a completely appropriate (if slightly obsessive) way, and a growing collection of people who fill in the gaps between his slow village life and her adventures.

The art style is distinctive and leans towards realism, in both characters and background, which goes a long way to compensate for the limited animation budget. And there’s basically no fan-service of the usual sort: female adventurers wear clothing and armor, and damsels in distress are rescued before they’re stripped for the camera (even the one with red under-rim glasses…).

Our Devoted Heroine is a 17-year-old adventurer who has spent five years building up an impressive reputation, and is a victim of her success, unable to get free time to visit her rural home town. Our Doting Dad is a 40-ish farmer who lost a leg during his brief adventuring career, but grew up into a solid, dependable grownup who raises his daughter to be caring as well as skilled, and is honorary uncle to every kid in the village.

Verdict: I was really looking forward to this one, and the first episode met my expectations.

(I give it the Rory Mercury seal of approval)

Pack it up!

Amazon Fragile™

Looks like I’ve got another two-day Prime delivery that’s going to take more than a week, as the bamboo garden stand I ordered was rejected by the carrier for damage and sent back. Switching from reliable delivery to dirt-cheap delivery is not a great long-term strategy, but it must be giving someone a quarterly bonus.

To add insult to injury, the notice that “Unfortunately, a problem occurred during shipping” is accompanied by a “Buy again” button. They should replace that with a “Buy somewhere else” button.

Another day, another data breach

I’ve never done business with Progress Software or used their MOVEit Transfer software, and neither did the credit union holding my HSA account, but their banking-services vendor Sovos did, and therefore I’m one of the 60 million people whose personal and financial information were compromised.

I think this is the third of fourth time I’ve been given free credit monitoring and identity theft protection due to some asshole’s sloppy coding practices.

This week or next…

Crunchyroll hasn’t announced the start date for S-Rank Daddy’s Girl, but it turns out that the previews claiming it’s this week are for one specific “premium” network, and everyone else in Japan gets it next week. Which means that Crunchy probably gets it next week. Sigh.

If that’s the case, it looks like Frieren will be the season opener for me.

(note: this is the most popular fan-art of the title character that does not involve cock; seriously, Pixiv?)

Interviews With Monster Girls manga ends

In translation, that is; it ended in December in Japan. The anime was terrific, but I’ve always had trouble writing about it because I can’t help wishing Steven had lived to see it; I think it would have pushed all of his buttons, not just the one about the gorgeous virgin succubus wearing red under-rim glasses.

I don’t think the post-anime source material would have held together for a second season, but it did at least bring an appropriate conclusion to the growing feelings between Our Iron-Willed Hero and Our Age-Appropriate Heroine.

Dungeon-Drop Gals, final episode

Y’know, it really undermines the seriousness of the cliffhanger boss fight to title the episode “let’s all have a party”. Anyway, Our Well-Strapped Hero quickly figures out its weakness and we move on to the wrap-up, bouncing from one dangling thread to another with whiplash-inducing speeds, with a large side order of warm-and-fuzzy exposition.

But what’s really important is that Our Big-Heart-And-Bust Receptionist finds a way to keep an eye on her love rivals, and Our High-Level Princess blushingly delivers a memorable confession. Which Ryota naturally assumes is just about the dungeon drops…

Verdict: an absurd premise that treats the overpowered cheat isekai tropes just as seriously as they deserve, without a hint of the dark side of the genre. I could watch more, but they’re pretty much out of source material for now.

A Fond Farewell To Lammis, For Now

A Girl And Her Boxxo, first season final episode

Another day, another Big Bad to fight. Our Gang pulls together for the win, only to find themselves facing a Much Bigger Bad in a fight they can’t win. Even managing to injure him takes all the heart they’ve got, and if it weren’t for the Boxxo transformation they telegraphed last episode, two of those hearts would have been stopped permanently.

It’s a bit sad that the closest they got to real fan-service involved applying an AED to a dying woman, but what’s important is Our Hero’s Reward.

Now for our reward: there will be more. No idea what they’re going to do, since they ran through all three light novels already, but I’m looking forward to it.

Verdict: this was genuinely appealing fluff, start to finish. The only thing missing is more source material. And maybe some Buy-the-Bluray scenes, even though I’ll buy it anyway.


The first watchable of the season will be S-Rank Daddy’s Girl on Thursday the 28th. Then Friday is Frieren, and Sunday is Jailbait Witch & Loli-Mom.

Distilling the isekai genre…

Thanks to Mauser’s suggestion, I’ve read the available translated material (both light novel and manga) of Isekai OP Space Mercenary, in which Our Hero’s video-game skills and paid DLC grant him a Better Life With Hot Chicks.

He doesn’t try to build a harem, but as the Designated Protagonist, it just happens. This also applies to his life outside of bed, to the point that his loving companions become genre-savvy about the inevitability of improbable things happening just after someone says they’re incredibly unlikely.

He’s actually rejected two volunteers for the harem, which is refreshing, but his Very Good Reasons for keeping them out get severely undermined by the events of the latest light novel, so Our Lush Noble Officer Lush and Our Loli Noble That Could are back in the running. Our Repeatedly-Rescued Medical Babe hasn’t been seen recently, but in fairness, he’s probably still a bit traumatized by the anal probe.

Which leads me to think you could achieve success in this world by stripping the isekai genre down to the essentials:

Transported To Another World With An Unlimited Supply Of Mind-Control Collars, I Finally Get To Touch Women!

(Hulemy is more the school-swimsuit type)

“I used to be an adventurer like you...”

“…until I took an artifact to the head.”

Dungeon (No) Drops, episode 11

In which Festivals Are Fun (but show off a ridiculous variety of items from the drop-based economy), Our Lovestruck Fire Mage is dropping hints the size of boulders, and a rampaging Increase Goblin is not nearly the threat it was in the source material; seriously, it just stood quietly on the street waiting for the conversations to end. Fireworks are also fun, but strain credibility as this “rare drop” comes complete with a colorful bag printed in Japanese.

Also, Our Formerly-Suggestive Bunnygirl swallows the meat in a completely literal way, Our Dungeonborn Loli sets up the big two-part finale, Our Guild Sugar Daddy begs for help when the drops stop, and Our Two-Fisted Hero discovers that he can’t do it alone.

Verdict: it kinda says something when you’re watching an already low-budget show and you notice that there’s even less animation than usual. The panned stills are well-drawn, but the money is clearly running out. One more to go!

Dear Bethesda,

So I got Starfield for free through Game Pass, and it actually works pretty well on my multiply-rebuilt gaming machine (bought in 2015 with a Core i7-6700, 16GB RAM, spinning disks, and a GeForce GTX 980; now with 32GB, SSDs, and an RTX 2060, which was the best I could get at the time that fit within the power/cooling budget). Gameplay is pretty familiar for anyone who played hundreds of hours of Skyrim and Fallout 4. Actually, apart from the space travel, it’s basically F4 without the forced whimsy. So, y’know, shootin’ and lootin’ and craftin’.

But there’s something I noticed. Once I finished the tutorial and got off the rails, I explored the first planet a bit, and found an Abandoned Farm full of corpses, monsters, and loot, which was nice. But when I was searching the living quarters of the research scientists, every single one of them had a bottle of hand lotion and a box of tissues next to their bed.

So, it really is lonely out in space…

The one downside of getting a non-Steam version of the game is that the popular script-extender mod will never work, which means mods that depend on it will never work; fortunately it’s not required for the major inventory overhaul mod, StarUI.

And you really want to fix the inventory UI, because Bethesda always designs for console, and loves to make you jump through hoops to see information that would easily fit on a PC screen.


Wow, CPR training has changed a lot since 1980. Also, AEDs are cool, but still expensive if you don’t have professional connections. Anyway, in addition to my NRA range safety officer certification, I can now add First Aid, CPR, AED, and Bleeding Control.

That last one was highly recommended for range officers, and the doctor who taught it said that if he ever sees us at a range, he’s going to check our bags to make sure we’ve got a tourniquet and chest seals. Because bullets.

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