Anime

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My Kaiju Secret, episode 4

Our Overconfident Twintail makes everyone else feel useless, right up until she ends up on the wrong end of a spank-and-tank, triggering a series of flashbacks that explain her attitude problems. Our Impulsive Hero does exactly what you’d expect him to do under the circumstances, and we learn that this one goes to 11. Meanwhile, the plot is thickened and stirred by the sudden appearance of another humanoid kaiju.

Verdict: Kafka isn’t the only goofball in the gumball machine, although Kaiju#9 is coming at it from the other direction.

(she fights kinda like this, but with guns)

Undercover Mook, episode 5

Delayed a week by golfers.

The Naming Of Laps

I can’t set up my huge new work laptop until tomorrow morning when IT gives me the password, but I think I’ll call it Lammis (strong ARMs, big memories), and search for some Boxxo screenshots for wallpaper.

(it’ll have to be screenshots, because I’ve already used all of the half-decent fan-art at least once)

The worst part of Diablo 4

The Blizzard team is in love with their writing and voice acting, to the point that you often can’t interrupt it. There are some cutscenes you can get out of with the Esc key, and some dialogues that you can speed up by left-clicking, but not all of them, and not in a consistent way. For some of the most pointless and tedious ones, you have to sit through agonizingly terrible speeches by NPCs who have no story to tell. They’re just padding out a 10-second quest (“learn how to upgrade weapons and armor”).

No Sale

Ebay has a lot of mahjong sets for sale. Most of the ones labeled retro, vintage, or antique are what I’ve come to call “vintage Thursday”: obviously-brand-new bulk manufacture exported by the thousands. Made in China, of course, but for mahjong, that’s at least not the red flag it can be for other classes of products.

But even the sets that are labeled as new products have some quirks. Like this travel set, which has the laziest copy-paste product pics I’ve seen for quite a while. Do these people really look like they’re about to play mahjong?

Masking the dialogue


I Dream Of Nephy, episode 6

One-sided talk-fight with bafflingly inappropriate soundtrack. Seriously, jazz sax? Could you maybe hire someone who recognizes the tone of the scene, or at least the genre of the show? Or are you just licensing any music you can get your hands on to save money?

Anyway, Our Seriously OP Sorcerer kinda-sorta-maybe confesses his true feelings, and Our Rescue Elf is so happy that she insists on wearing the slave collar again to show her love and devotion. But in a totally clean and heartwarming way, not one of those bad slave scenarios.

Verdict: …and yet this is far from the worst thing airing this season.

(“I’ve got a white-haired elf mage and I’m not afraid to use it”)

Nut Salad, episode 5

Our Indulgent Papa Detective gives Our Magical Loli Princess a bike and riding lessons, which was prompted by a non-service bathing scene of her chatting with Her New Best Friend. Which is followed by Our Homeless Service Knight hooking up with Her Runaway Hostess Pal for an extended bathing scene that is unlikely to be uncensored for the Bluray.

But wait, there’s more! If you order now, you’ll also get a tear-jerking scene of the girl-band you’ve never heard of breaking up, followed by not one but two karaoke songs that show off Loli and Hostess’ vocal talents! And right now, we’ll throw in a character-building Hostess flashback! And if that’s not good enough, we’ve got a whole B story for you as That Sleazy Guy takes advantage of Knight’s naïveté to pull her into a scalping scheme! But it’s not just a skit, it’s a better economics lesson than an entire season of Spice & Wolf! And it can all be yours for the low low price of a Crunchyroll subscription or a BitTorrent client!

Verdict: did I mention how fluffy this is?

(approximate fluff level…)

Slime Talkin’, episode 5

This week, The Knights Of The U-Shaped Table talk and talk and talk and even have a montage where they have animated lip flaps but no dialogue. Then Some Floating Guys try to pull a fast one and inspire more talk, attempting to set up a fight next week that’s probably just going to end up as a talk. Gratuitous panned still of Milim is gratuitous.

“Exterminate! Exterminate!”

Broadcom gave me three days notice to migrate my VMware support account to a Broadcom support account; existing accounts will simply stop working on the 6th. The site will also be down for 12 hours in the middle of that period. Wow, they really hate the idea of having customers, don’t they?

New work laptop…

Damn, the current 16-inch MacBook Pro is huge. I think I might still have a carrying case it would fit in, but fortunately I don’t need to actually take it anywhere.

(I used to have several bags and backpacks for 17-inch laptops, but I don’t think they survived the pre-cross-country-move cleanup)

Diablo 4

This is free on GamePass, so I finally got around to downloading and playing it. TL/DR: is it just me, or is this really low on power and loot compared to the earlier games? Plenty of mooks to kill, at least, and a few mini-bosses that are set up to stomp you at low levels.

Admittedly, D3 was broken at launch because they nerfed the loot to drive people to their real-money auction house, but eventually they fixed that and turned it into a proper hack-and-hoard Diablo game.

(I’ve never kept track of Diablo’s “lore”, so I’m just going to pretend that Lilith is Grea’s evil twin)

Stealthy Giant Schoolgirls, Go!


Snacks On A Train, episode 5

Okay, that got a bit shouty, but Our Raging Kong Gal gets a pass for being awesome. Let’s be clear, though, that books are not Good Eats. Also, Our Hot Little Doctor reveals some details about the big event, including the secret origin of Our Wibbly-Wobbly Trainmaster.

Verdict: the CGI was more obvious this week, but that’s kind of inevitable due to the setting. Not answered: did The Big Bad actually bone people?

Level 2 Cheat Boy, episode 4

This week, Our Proud Lady Knight gets a bit shouty in the aftermath of impressing the demon lord. They make a cute couple, almost as cute as Our Thicc Kitty’s frequently-displayed ass cheeks. Unfortunately for the local kingdom, the combination of an asshole king and an asshole hero leads to a full-fledged invasion. Next week: genie in a bottle.

Verdict: oh, come on; you’re already up to Hiya, and Our Shy Landlord is still blushingly not sleeping with his wolf-waifu? I disbelieve.

(demon waifu is unrelated)

The Wolf Of Waifu Street, episode 5

In the midst of explaining the latest twists in the currency-speculation plot, a prison break that has all the tension of a series of conversations. At least Holo explained how she keeps men from getting handsy.

Looks like someone at the pop-up café’s been… gushing

Melon train


Post-Cellular-Apocalypse Schoolgirls Pulling Trains, episodes 1-4

Not nearly as shouty as the trailer, and Our Tan Gal Girl refuses to eat the bugs, which are both positive signs. The CG is well-integrated to the point that they seem to be showing off how well-integrated it is, and I suspect this will continue. You can always tell, but it’s not jarring like so many shows these days.

The second episode fleshes out the characters by bouncing their personalities against each other while they think about all the things they should have done to prep for a trip. Even Our Action Girl filled her backpack with useless junk, and the others didn’t bring anything but the change in their pockets.

Third is The Terror-Filled Flight From The Mushroom Planet (with apologies to Mr. Bass), in which Our Heroines are saved by the power of melons. Fourth is a whistle-stop acid-trip tour through places weirder than where they started, ending with some G-rated helicopter bondage.

As for Our Button-Pushing MacGuffin Girl, well, this was the first thing that came to mind…

(unrelated Cinderella Train Girls)

Slime Expo 3, episode 4

You’re not going to believe this, but they talked in two different locations this week.

Undercover Kaiju, episode 3

Our Monstrous Hero isn’t inferior, he’s just up against the best of the best. Meanwhile, Our Obnoxiously Superior Rich-Girl Twintail Bitch-Kitty desperately needs a spanking, by human or kaiju, preferably both. Hopefully that comes next week, and Kafka does something sufficiently impressive to make the team without breaking cover.

Verdict: the character art still bugs me, the OP and ED songs are things I never want to hear again, people in their twenties and thirties are built from high-school tropes, and The Power Of Trying Really Really Hard is overused, but somehow this does not suck.

(“giant monsters? oh, I must have misheard”)

Undercover Mook, episode 4

This week, Our Unjust Defenders Of Justice let their hair down, Our Fed-Up Mook lives to fight another day, Our Sparkly-Eyed Trainee gives him a hand and a backstory, and Our Gloomy Gloopy Acid Boy isn’t nearly as much fun as Mina Ashido.

Verdict: a bit incoherent in places, but hopefully they’ll fill in the plan with flashbacks next week.

I’m not sure I want Naughty Magical Girl sodas…

…even if they come with themed coasters.

Kana Tsuruta shows off her melons…

Unfortunately, the rest of this set, including the nude bits, was shot in harsh sunlight with a wide-angle lens.

“I can hear the ocean!”

Elf Nuts


Welcome Back Nephy, episode 5

WTF is with this music? It’s not THIS IS COMEDY, but it’s still intrusively loud, and it’s like they thought layering it onto the conversation scenes would be better than spending the money on, say, animation.

Anyway, obvious villain is obvious, and his monologing kills enough time for Our Socially-Inept Hero to arrive to save the day. But first, a Girls’ Night Out featuring Our Winged Tailor and Our Crybaby Knight.

Verdict: the music pushed this one toward the edge, Nephy developing a spine pulled it back, but then casting her devotion as servitude pushed it back again. As Leann Rimes put it, “I belong to you, and you belong with me”; so, we’re still DearS-adjacent in relationship dynamics.

(white-haired elf mage is unrelated)

Nut Salad, episode 4

Our Homeless Knight And Her Cans appear only briefly, but as compensation, Our Magical Princess serves as wingman for Our Ethical Detective as we add two new non-loli babes to the cast, as well as an age-appropriate friend. Bully for her.

Verdict: we get a bit of Exposition Music leaking in from that other show, but it at least provides some useful backstory. This show continues to be fluffy and innoffensive.

(office ladies are vaguely relevant)

Oh! My Game Goddess!

I’ll pick two words to describe this show:

  1. bland
  2. exposition

It should be pretty easy for fan-artists to draw the girls, since their designs are straight out of a how-to-draw-manga book, and their ugly uniforms will be replaced by lingerie and tentacles anyway.

(Sonia probably has a few tentacle stories to tell…)

Dear Amazon,

You couldn’t even cremate me in these “4+ star styles”:

A recently serviced boot binary is corrupt


[Microsoft/Google/etc were useless for figuring out why my parents’ Windows 11 PC was booting up fine but just sat and spun when they tried to log in; as they say, “the users were not empowered to solve the problem themselves”. Actually, Google was worse than useless because it prioritized scam and malware “solutions”. In the end, it took repeated hard power-offs to convince it to display the recovery menus, and then it came up in safe mode. There were no errors in the logs from the attempted logins, but reverting to a 3-day-old system restore point worked.

Anyway, time to catch up on Monday shows.]

Level 2 Cheat Boy, episode 3

Our Cheating Hero’s reluctance to sleep in the same room as Our Demon Wolf-Waifu is anime-original; in the light novels, they don’t even make it back to town before he spends the night working her over with Level 2 sex cheats.

Given that their enthusiastic nightly romps are actually a plot point, his freakout and their Ozzie-and-Harriet bedroom are stupid choices. Not that this was high art to begin with, but it didn’t need to be dumbed down even further. At least we have a very catlike catgirl now.

(cattier than this one…)

Earth Day Eco-Wolf-Waifu, episode 4

In which the relationship deepens, the plot thickens, and Our Wise Wolf-Waifu decloaks in the middle of town.

(…but just the cloak; we’re out of nekkid-Holo scenes for a while)

Planet Crafter 1.0

Full release of an indie crafting/exploration game that’s been in early access for a while, currently discounted on Steam. The gameplay loop is entertaining, but very slow; they do a good job of capturing the sheer scale of terraforming an entire planet, as you repeatedly scale up production by orders of magnitude. It’s not a realistic model, of course; there’s no attempt to balance the changes you make to the planet, and you can’t actually make things worse.

Downside: a single hand-crafted map with fixed mini-dungeons and item spawn points (there are no monsters of any kind; your opponents are hunger, thirst, and gravity). There’s enough variety in starting locations and difficulty to give it some replay value, but down the road they’ll need more maps, either from the vendor or as mods.

I’ve definitely gotten my $16 worth.

Offered and accepted

I’ve just signed the offer letter from my soon-to-be new employer. In months of casting resumes into the waters, the vast majority have been rejected by software without ever being seen by human beings. Even the few that actually resulted in interviews ended up with the position not being filled at all; they’re still listed months later. Not to mention the recruiters who expressed interest, scheduled first-round interviews, and then ghosted me afterwards. It hasn’t been a fun experience, and I imagine it’s a lot worse for all the laid-off tech folks who aren’t as technical. Or as financially secure.

On the bright side, I can now start blocking unknown callers on my cellphone again, and make all those bottom-feeding Indian contract recruiters go away.

Monster, DerpGame, Mook, & Earth


I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Kaiju, episode 2

Our Monsterized Hero is permitted to go full shouty just this once, given his unexpected fate, the need to run away at full speed, and the peculiarities of his transformation. Getting his shit together enough to rescue a little girl and her mom from another loose monster is adequate compensation. Little Girl gets an A+ for coping with the situation.

Kafka reaffirming his commitment to join the A team and hook back up with Our Sexy Slayer is enough to reverse the transformation, but three months later, Our Sympathetic Sidekick is getting exasperated about how chill he is about constantly slipping in and out of monster form.

Come the day of The Big Test, we’re introduced to Miss Overtroped. She’s a property-destroying arrogant rich-bitch twintail schoolgirl with a supersuit and an enhanced sense of smell that allows her to instantly become suspicious of Our Hero.

Who, honestly, smells like monsters because he cleans up after them for a living. That shit don’t just wash off.

(bad news: there are no sexy monster girls in this show, and yes, I expect him to go full shouty again, sigh)

Kirito 2525

(classical reference)

In the first episode, Our Fan-Service-Fashion-Victim House Elf tells Our Kirito’s-Evil-Twin Hero that the coin he handed her is super-duper rare and unbelievably valuable, so he lets her keep it. Then he goes to town and uses another one to join the adventurer’s guild, and Our Busty Guild Gal Version 1 doesn’t even blink. This is like handing a million-dollar bill to a 7-11 clerk who casually makes change, and pretty much sets the tone for how OP he is. Later while gathering herbs in the woods as a “beginner adventurer”, he curb-stomps a major monster and accidentally sends its decent-by-his-standards loot flying miles away.

The second episode opens with that actually-super-duper magic sword ending up in the royal palace, where it excites the interest of Princess Paizuri. Seriously, her outfit and endowments are less subtle than Lila’s arrows in Thighza. This gal is even more of a walking cock-holster than the House Elf:

(official art from the anime’s site; there’s basically no fan-art for this show)

Why did I attempt to watch this? Because Our House Elf’s voice was previously Lammis, Maple, Laika, Kohaku (Iroduku), Hikari (Interviews With Monster Girls), and Sakura (Zombieland Saga). Her talents aren’t enough to save this show, though.

Amusingly, Paizuri-hime’s voice actress played Hikari’s sister.

Sour Rangers, episode 3

Our Mysterious Dead-Eyed Hot Chick wears the pants in her relationship with Our Determined UnderMook, and provides him with the intel needed to strike a blow for truth, justice, and the monster way. Full props to the team for integrating the CGI so well. It’s obvious mostly because of the complexity of the shots: moving the camera around in 3D with rotation is way outside the budget for humans in a sweatshop working on a weekly deadline. While I’m saying nice things, I’ll mention that the OP/ED music is refreshingly different from the usual for the genre.

Verdict: Not sure where the story is going at the moment, which is a good thing. And the large cast could be either a plus or a minus, even without the glaring spoilers on that page.

(Loser Rangers, meet Naughty Rangers…)

Earth Day 2024

I suppose I should take a long drive to buy good steaks, then fire up the grill and a cigar. Something should be wrapped in bacon; probably the steak. With luck the landscapers will come by in the morning and run their gasoline-powered tools all over my acreage.

With even more luck, this will double as celebration for receiving an attractive offer letter.

Dumping Homeless Exposition


Nephy’s Choice, episode 4

Our Sorcerous Hero spends a month living in the lap of luxury Nephy, able to carry on nearly-normal conversations and spend time doing something they both enjoy. No, not that; I mean magic. Then he gets promoted and decides to break it off for her own good. By removing her slave collar and dumping her in an alley. No money to build a life alone, and no protection from, say, slavers and sorcerers who’d love to get their hands on a gorgeous elf for sex and/or sacrifice. Why, yes, he is an idiot.

Verdict: “If you love something, dump it in an alley. If it comes back, that’s next week’s episode.”

Nut Salad, episode 3

In which Our Perky Homeless Knight eats the bugs and likes it, then spends the rest of the episode not getting indoctrinated into a cult. Nice touch having Our Cheap Detective check up on her after firing her from the agency, though. Try not to think too hard about Our Loli Cult Leader being sincere in her faith and using subliminal imagery and special effects to deceive her followers.

Verdict: fluffy fluff.

(perky knight is unrelated)

Slime Expo 3, episode 3

It’s exposition all the way down. Seriously, the entire season so far has just been wanking over details from the novels.

Rewatch: Yuuna And The Haunted Hot Springs + OVA 1-4

Today I Learned: “There. Are. Four. OVAs.”

The first one includes the widely-shared scene where Our Harem Hero is transformed into a bottle of bath soap and then rubbed into every nook and cranny of the girls’ bodies. This was the creative peak of harem anime fan-service.

The second one features Our White-Haired Little Piece Of Tail, Oboro [literally; she was created out of the tail of a dragon]. Determined to win the seed heart of Our Hero, she asks the other girls how it’s done. Then the breast-obsessed loli tanuki hangs out with Our Busty Normal Girl And Her Hot Busty Mom. Both stories go exactly as you’d expect.

The third one features Our Tasty Catgirl Yaya’s epic dance battle against a hostile cat god, whose claws damage only her clothing, of course. The second half starts with Oboro again, before expanding to four of the girls doing idol cosplay karaoke.

The new-to-me fourth one has Our Hero accidentally cursed by a ghost, and the only cure is for 12 girls to give him an up-close look at their panties, while they’re wearing them; yes, the curse can tell if you try to cheat. Despite most of the cast having literally rubbed his nose in them on multiple occasions, they agonize over putting on a show, and a few of them fight over the display order.

When they finally break the curse, they discover that was only stage one, and they’ll have to do bras next. Sadly, that’s off-screen, and so is the third stage announced by the narrator, full nudity. That’s to make room for the second story, in which all the girls bathe together in the hot spring after the lolis add bath salts that are (of course) a powerful aphrodisiac. Wacky Hijinks Ensue™.

Of course, to get to 12 girls, they have to bring in characters who didn’t appear until later in the manga. All the OVAs were bundled with a manga volume, so the animation is only passable, with lots of panned stills, but it’s all for the sake of the cheesecake, which is fine.

(fun facts: the voice actor for Our Smothered Hero is in two shows this season, Mahjong Soul Kan! and Go! Go! Loser Ranger!; meanwhile, the voice of Our Ghostess With The Mostess is in Re:Monster and Jellyfish Can’t Swim In The Night)

Cast Photo

Merchandising!

The series may be over (for now), but the Molesting Magical Girls xTwitter account is announcing a bunch of merch to go with the Bluray release.

Squishy Chibi Keychains:

Based on this scene:

And of course there are mousepads:

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