Anime

“If you want something done right...”


“…clearly you need to pay someone to do it for you!”

Realist Hero, episode 18

This week, a courtoom drama with a side order of Deus Ex De Principatibus. Also, trope evaded.

Advice to Our Realist Hero: when your two (known) fiancées show up in your bedroom half-naked to ease your burdens, let them. At least get them stripped the rest of the way to compensate us for all the talking.

(“related fan-art is hard for me, let’s play Pokemon!”)

Kuroitsu, episode 4

This amusement-park episode brought to you by sparkles and speedlines, because the animation budget is just as tight as the monster-development budget. Also, Our Monster-Loving Researcher puts the power of idols to good (evil) use.

(how sad is the fan-art situation for this show? these were the best I could find that weren’t part of a sequence that included badly-drawn hardcore porn)

(…and I really looked!)

Jargonfail

In a wonderful example of the difference between specialized technical jargon and the ordinary meaning of words, the Chinese Pixiv artist 行 之LV uses the word 事前 (same meaning in Chinese and Japanese: “prior; in advance; beforehand”) to tag pictures of scenery with no humans present.

Everyone else on Pixiv uses it to mean before sex, often by mere seconds.

Unrelated,

There is a god. Took him long enough.

Small Favors

The trip to Ohio for the-closing-that-didn’t-happen wasn’t a complete waste. The birthday party was great, the snow was decorative but didn’t interfere with my flights, and I used the points on my Amazon card to buy the remastered Bluray sets for Project A-Ko and Bubblegum Crisis. I skipped the complete Nuku-nuku box set; RightStuf has it priced too high, plus shipping. Ditto the $99 Interspecies Reviewers box, which appears to have finally made it to these shores.

Easiest Alpha Ever

Another thing I did while stuck in my hotel room in Ohio watching the snow was play the new Pokemon Legends: Arceus Switch game. It’s not a true open-world game, between the frequent proximity-triggered cutscenes and the fact that you can’t go directly between regions (you have to teleport back through the hub region, which doubles the loading-screen time), but it’s a fresh take on the formula.

One of the new features is that some of the pokemon populating the world are red-eyed mutant “alphas” who are larger, higher-level, and may possess special powers or a posse. If you’re patient and clever, you can often catch them by sneaking into position and ramming a pokeball where the sun don’t shine, but usually it’s a tough fight that takes out half your party.

Except for the alpha Magikarp, who only knows Splash.

Quid-pro Ho

The free Covid tests that the Brandon regime is shipping out via the US Postal Service were purchased from China. How long did they spend on container ships stuck off the coast, or were they all shipped by air at a premium?

Oh, and they require temperature-controlled storage, so shipping to anywhere that’s, say, cold in the winter renders them unreliable. Specifically, prone to false negatives.

“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)

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.

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.

Jira Jungle


Current employer blessed us with a Friday off, extending the 3-day holiday weekend to 4. Naturally, both Jira and Confluence ran their log-scanners this morning and reported thousands of instances of never-before-seen potentially serious errors, and at the same time one of our contractors was horrified to discover what looked an awful lot like a potential admin-level hack against Jira. The hack wasn’t, and the log-scanner seems to have gone completely insane, for instance reporting hundreds of instances of three completely different Confluence errors on the same server, on the same log line, which matched precisely zero of the errors.

So that’s 2.5 hours of life I want back. Also, for the entire time, the Tanya The Evil OP song Jingo Jungle was running through my head, so I had to buy it on iTunes so that I can inflict it on the rest of the team the next time we have a surprise emergency Zoom debug session.

Anime update


Best of the season!

Endro! Okay, it’s not from this season, but I did binge-watch it again over the weekend, and it remains charming and fresh.

Slime Diaries, episode 2

It delivered more cute monster girls. This is all I really needed it to do.

300 Slimy Years, episode 1

If it were any fluffier, it would float away. I’m okay with that for now.

Zombieland Saga: Revenge, episode 2

Don’t ask me why Crunchyroll rolled over to season 1 after I watched last week’s episode. This was briefly confusing, since I thought we’d already had the recap…

This episode continues the trend of being less wacky, more character-driven. Not at all what I was expecting based on the first season, but well-done.

If You Meet The Spider In The Forest Kill Her, episode 14

Yeah, Crunchyroll did the same rollover with this series, but I caught it before wasting any time rewatching the first episode. In German.

Given how much time was spent on the B Ark this time, though, that might have been preferable.

(arachne is unrelated)

The Socially-Awkward Demon Lord and His Ever-Growing Slave Harem, episodes 2.1 & 2.2

Episode 1: “Holy tentakoo wape!”

Episode 2: Good news: more sources of eye candy. Bad news: rapper in the OP and ED. At least with the ED, the dancing chibis take some of the sting out.

The story? Boobs.

I’m already looking forward to…

…next season. The end of it, anyway, because Fall is when we’re supposed to get another season of The Grooming Of The Raccoon Child Bride. Also a series about girls playing ice hockey, which would only be worthwhile if the games devolve into real hockey fights and they MCSA each other. Probably not going to happen, so that’s out.

Unrelated,

After I hit up the vaccine rodeo on Saturday, I should have time to finish cleaning up the current state of Virginia’s story and start working on more. This has become more urgent due to Jack drifting back into my brain and getting a first start at an opening scene.

And when I say “rodeo”, I mean that the only place I could get a vaccine appointment scheduled was the mass drive-in event at the Salinas Sports Complex, home of the California Rodeo.

Biodegradable, Dishwasher-safe

Why do I suspect that one of these claims is not true?

Perhaps the most interesting thing about it is that Amazon had it as a front-page lightning deal, and yet clicking through shows it as: “This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location.”

Today I learned…

…that if you use the on-disk queueing feature in rsyslog to robustly deliver logs to a central server after a network outage, and the contents of any of those queues is corrupted by a bad server crash, rsyslogd will segfault at startup without even a tiny hint about what’s wrong, even if you turn on debug output or run it under strace.

Also, your monitoring system really ought to check that rsyslogd is not segfaulting at startup.

Continuous Exfiltration

Codecov compromised. In January, and they didn’t find out until April 1st.

Upcoming Anime


What will I watch, out of all this?

  1. Zombieland Saga: Revenge. I have no idea what’s going to happen. This is fine.

  2. The Slime Diaries. I finally caught up with the main series, and while it suffers from that familiar “light-novel-highlight-reel” feeling, it’s been at least moderately entertaining. I’m hoping that this side series showcases the effect of Rimuru’s true power: evolving monster girls into smoking hotties. The main series apparently resumes in the summer season.

  3. Um, that’s about it, really. There’s no step 3.

I watched a few trailers, but nothing else grabbed me. It sounds like any controversy over “I shaved and picked up a high school girl” (in that order) will be artificially generated for marketing purposes; should generate some decent fan-art of the girls, though.

I did end up idly watching Hidden Dungeon, which felt like a relatively straight adaptation of the source material, right up to the point where they realized they’d never get a second cour and skipped to the end of book five. Meh, I didn’t expect much and I got what I expected. Shame none of the decent artists on Pixiv seem to be interested in drawing the harem girls, though.

At least Yui Horie got some scenery to chew on at the end.

Update:

The step 3 video I was really looking for…

Poorly seasoned...


Boonie Dungeon

Not watching, but spotted an interesting review of the original light novels, where someone commented that they found it rather offputting that the author kept laughing at his own jokes. That explains a lot, actually.

(and, no, most fan-artists aren’t watching this show, either)

Wet season, dry season

Yup, there’s nothing on. This season is so weak that I’ve started watching the uncensored version of High School DxD on Funimation. So far, the only two female characters without giant gag boobs are the kitten named “Kitten” and the white girl named Asia. Their figures would be spectacular for real-life high-school-age girls not named “Ai Shinozaki”, while the bowling balls the rest of the girls are attached to should leave them all crippled with pain, even with demonic powers keeping their permanently-stiff nipples at unnatural angles. Dunno how many episodes I can keep this up for…

(I had to go looking for this, because out of more than 25,000 saved Pixiv pics, I didn’t have a single one from this series)

Coming soon…

Next season, the only things that look watchable so far are That Slime Spinoff and the long-overdue Zombieland Saga: Revenge.

Unrelated, you’ll never guess what Apple did!

…unless you guess that they locked my account again with no explanation.

Surprisingly, I’ve only had to log in once on each device to restore functionality. So far.

Speaking of Evil

Remember when I canceled DirecTV in November and returned my equipment the same day, only to have them try to bill me for it at the beginning of January? Remember how I pulled out my carefully-saved receipt and read the confirmation number over the phone to a rep who confirmed that it was received and the bill would be canceled?

DirecTV doesn’t. They just tried again. Really, really glad I removed my credit card from the account before I called them last month.

30 frustrating minutes later…

It only took about five minutes of ads from a company that’s trying to rip me off for $150 to get through to a human, who agreed that yes, this should have been fixed last time, but I was talking to the wrong department, and needed to talk to the warehouse to confirm that the equipment I had a return receipt for actually arrived.

I pointed out that the fact of my receipt and its presence in her system made it Not My Problem, but she insisted that since it wasn’t a billing issue, she had to transfer me to the warehouse rep. She couldn’t give me a reference number or a direct phone number, but happily waited on hold with me to ensure I was correctly connected and the call was not dropped. Sweet time-waster for someone paid by the hour, says I.

After fifteen minutes of increasingly hard-to-understand ads, I was finally connected with someone who I could not understand at all. Not because of her accent, because approximately 50% of the voice packets were missing. Fortunately, she could hear me just fine, so I could give her my callback number. Unfortunately, it took another several minutes for her to convey the message that she couldn’t disconnect and call me back until I hung up. Yeah, whatever.

To my surprise, she actually did call me back right away on a clean line, confirm that the ticket was being escalated, and give me a reference number and approximate ETA: 10-15 business days.

Joy.

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