So, I guess what happens in Aincrad, stays in Aincrad.

An amusingly trollish article at Sankaku Complex suggests that the end of the first arc in Sword Art Online has angered all the folks who thought they were watching a different story. Yes, it’s true, they didn’t meticulously document the leveling grind, the steady attrition of the player base, or the ruthless boss fights, and we’re all better off for it. As Kirito said, 「他人のやってるRPGを傍らから眺めるほどつまらない事はない」, “there’s nothing more boring than watching someone else play an RPG”.

In related news, desperate Democrats are imagining an Eighties-movie training montage set to the theme from Fame in which Barry the underdog overcomes all the weaknesses that got his ass kicked up between his ears in the first debate. Unfortunately for them, the real soundtrack may end up being Scandal’s Goodbye To You or Johnny Hates Jazz’ Shattered Dreams.

Random associations

The “emptying trash” sound on a Mac somehow gets Konya wa Hurricane running through my head. Often.

Reasons to watch Sword Art Online

…apart from the fact that the show is actually pretty good, that is. First, the animation team from Mouretsu Pirates. Second, the voices of:

  • Eris
  • Ichika
  • Show
  • Manami/Gruelle
  • San-daime
  • and even Muttley

And the show’s actually pretty good, just in case I failed to mention that. Even the episodes without Haruka Tomatsu are decent. It helps to be familiar with MMO tropes and player stereotypes, and of course there’s a certain WSoD required to accept not just a virtual-reality MMO with real-life death, but, more significantly, an online service that manages to stay up for two years with no maintenance.

If you're in Tokyo this month...

…starting Friday, the Seiyu Cafe in Akihabara has a Mouretsu Pirates theme.

What do Bodacious Space Pirates and Dog Days have in common?

They’re universes where the Boy Scout virtues work. They follow the rules of Boys Adventure, not Gritty Realism. Dog Days mixes it with a healthy dose of cheesecake, but the key word is healthy; there’s shock and embarrassment when a special attack manages to destroy a female character’s clothing without harming her in any way, but there’s no fear, no leering, no dominance, nothing negative. It’s all good clean fun.

I think the closest Hollywood has come to this (the feel, not the special attacks; pity) was the 1996 version of The Phantom, featuring terrific performances by Billy Zane, Kristy Swanson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Patrick McGoohan. It tanked, of course; too wholesome for the market.

[Update: …except for poor Becky, who’s strayed into the world of Men’s Adventure.]

To-the-point naughty novel titles...

As a contrast to the previous grammatical mouthful, I offer this novel: 妹!妹!!妹!!!, read as “Mai! Mai!! Mai!!!”, neatly stripping the genre to its essential truth: “Little Sister! Little Sister!! Little Sister!!!”.

Having nothing to do with trains is 妹ChuChu, read “Mai Chu-Chu”, for “Little Sister Kiss-Kiss”.

Opening a different vein, we have ツンマゾ!. Read as “Tsun-Mazo!”, for “‘Aloof’ Masochist!”; just in case you miss the point, the theme is clearly explained in the subtitle. And the cover art.

Longer, but spelled out in phonetic Engrish for the benefit of the younger reader (or, well, not), is ミルクプリンセス ラブラブにゅ~トピア, or “Milk Princess Love-love Nyuu-topia” (nyuu being the reading for the kanji 乳, “breasts/milk”).

Long-winded naughty novel titles

Not spam, but a challenge: ツンツンしてた小悪魔妹が嫁になるまでデレた理由

Breaking that down:

(((tsuntsun shite-ta) koakuma-imouto) ga
((yome ni naru) made) dereta) wake

(Note: the last word is the kanji for riyuu, but as you can see on Amazon, it’s glossed wake; both mean “reason/explanation”, but at the moment I can’t really explain what difference in nuance they’re playing with here)

Stripped to essentials, the base sentence is imouto ga dereta, “younger sister was ‘lovestruck’” . This complete sentence modifies wake (as what’s often called an attributive verb; your textbook may vary), making it “the reason younger sister was lovestruck”.

Now for the rest: koakuma “little devil” modifies imouto, or, more precisely, I think it should be read as a compound noun koakumamai, “little-devil younger sister”. Tsuntsun shite ita, “(someone) had been ‘aloof’” is another attributive verb, modifying our complex little sister. That leaves us with the particle made, “until”, which provides the condition that ended her tsuntsun nature: yome ni naru, “(she) becomes a bride”.

The base sentence is past tense, so the awkwardly-precise result is: “The reason my used-to-be-aloof-until-she-married little-devil younger sister became lovestruck.”

In more natural English, perhaps “How marriage made my bitchy little sister sweet”.

[Update: I read a bit of the back cover blurb, and the protagonist says his ideal bride is a not-related-by-blood little sister, so given the genre and the cover art, perhaps that should be “How marrying me made my bitchy little pricktease of a step-sister put out”.]

I summon the Sylpheed!

General-purpose android for lab work. They named it Mahoro. No word on the lifespan.

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