A rare example of good male cosplay

Porco Rosso at Wonderfest 2014

(via the mostly-forgettable gallery here, where one of the few others I recognize is LOAD-kun; sadly, no Utsutsu-chan, although it has been done)

Sword Art Online Extra Edition

A really long clip episode with a standalone Alfheim adventure tacked on to the end, framed by mild fan-service, with a “surprise” announcement of season 2 at the end. Not bad, but not worth 100 minutes of my time; fortunately, I could leave it running in a window while working, and look over when something happened.

I have no intention of watching the second season, however. Gun Gale Online is pretty much a Kirito solo adventure with a new girl, leaving Asuna and the rest of the gang as spectators in the real world. The (still-unfinished after N volumes) Alicization arc that follows that is even more so, although apparently Asuna gets to do one small thing each book.

Yuu-shibu 11

Well, that’s not how Mom tells it. But at least I can say that they came up with something different, and didn’t waste the entire episode talking about the fight they were going to have (which I more than half-expected). And they found an amusing way to work Elza into it.

Yuu-shibu 10: well, now we know

It is now obvious how Lam-chan fits into the ending. Also, I was right about Blaze and Klein, Raul’s former classmates that were added for the anime; I didn’t want to say more at the time, but it should be pretty clear now.

They’re definitely tracking the Ecchi manga, despite things being reordered to accomodate the Amada story. They even had Lam flip up Elza’s skirt to show off her sexy panties, although they changed the reason and the audience.

It looks like I was wrong about Shell, though; he’s in it pretty deep.

Lost in translation: Lam-chan Punch!

[Update3: just rewatched the episode and there’s another translation that doesn’t work; I didn’t comment on it earlier because at the critical moment, I wasn’t looking at the subtitles. At 17:35, Elza flirtingly asks Raul to take her picture, insisting he’d do a better job than the customers. But what she says is “you’d take me properly, wouldn’t you?” and “(I) want you to take (something)”. His blood-starved brain wasn’t capable of handling the omitted word “photographs”, which explains his panicked reaction, something that the translation obscures. You can see that she’s being “haha, only serious”, but his hysteria doesn’t make sense if you follow the subtitles.]

At 15:15 in episode 8, Lam announces her intention to help improve sales, translated by Crunchyroll and those who copied their work as “Lamdimia do Aximemor will just have to get hot and heavy…”. Raul then says “hot and heavy?” while looking her up and down, which leads her to clobber him. Unfortunately, the “hot and heavy” choice doesn’t really work for either her meaning or Raul’s misinterpretation. It’s easy to forgive, though, because it’s a bit tricky to match the idiom.

Her exact words were “hitohada nuide”, from the verb 一肌脱ぐ = “to pitch in and help”, but literally a compound of hitohada (skin) and nugu (to undress). Raul, dazed from the heat (or a lack of blood flow to the brain from all the eye candy), heard only the literal meaning and gave her bikini-clad body the once-over.

[Update: to clarify, there are two different words read as “hitohada”: 一肌 and 人肌. The first (“one+skin”) means to help out, the second (“person+skin”) means skin. JMdict doesn’t list 一肌 as a standalone word, and uses both versions for the compound hitohada-nugu; my good dictionary separates the two. ]

I think I might have gone with “give it her all”; it changes her intended meaning a bit, but works in both contexts.

[Update2: Actually, it looks like the key piece of the idiom is hada-nugu, 肌脱ぐ; alone, it means “to take your shirt off” or “to work with great effort”, and in addition to hitihada-nugu, there’s also katahada-nugu, 片肌脱ぐ “to bare one shoulder” or “to lend a hand”. Lam-chan’s shoulder was already bare, so that expression wouldn’t have confused poor Raul the same way.]

Yuu-shibu 8: Bikinis and plot crumbs

As I feared, they’re setting up the Amada arc to finish out the season, and the final scene makes it clear that they’ve merged it with the plot of book 1. They now have four episodes left to bring it all together, and while I appreciate the eye-candy and the culturally-acclimated evil genius that is Lamdimia do Aximimor, I wonder if they can finish the story properly, or if they’re too busy setting up “buy the BluRay” scenes.

The revelation of how the Demon Lord was defeated should still be worthwhile, but I worry that the actual resolution will be over-shadowed by the cheesecake. I think they’re going to try to have all the girls there for the big finish, particularly Lore and Lam. That will involve some rather contrived plotting unless they move it to the Leon store.

Not that the novels are short on cheesecake…


Queen's Blade, The Live

Queen’s Blade, the ecchi anime, was based on a set of game books featuring art by popular character designers, with rules from the old Lost Worlds game books.

To attract a new audience, the latest set features photos of popular cheesecake models such as Ayaka Sayama, who takes the role of Captain Liliana.

Queen's Blade The Live, Captain Liliana
Ayaka Sayama, out of her pirate gear

No Bodacious Space Pirates were harmed in the production of these books.

Yuu-shibu story potential

After looking at both manga (which I’ll just call Straight and Ecchi, to keep it clear), I think I know where the anime is going, and how they’re going to get there. They seem to be mostly following Ecchi, and usually toning it down a bit (manga: Nova trips and plants her crotch in Raul’s face, Lam flips up Elza’s skirt to show Raul her sexy panties, tentacles are very ecchi, etc; anime: magical bukkake). Character design is pretty consistent across all three versions:

Yuu-shibu manga (straight), Fino and Sarah

Both manga follow more or less the same path so far, with volume one ending soon after the Witch’s Arms incident. There’s some young Fino flashbacks in Straight that set up the big reveal in volume 2, but nothing comparable in Ecchi.

The big reveal in Straight comes less than halfway into volume 2, before Amada appears on the scene. Volume 2 of Ecchi isn’t out for another six weeks or so, but I’m guessing they do the same.

I think the order of those events is what they’re changing for the anime. Speculations and spoilers below:


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