“The world is full of stupid and angry people, and most of them live in Portland.”

— Kevin D. Williamson, on hateful soccer fans

Shoveling the slush pile of winter anime


First, the important news: DM Of The Rings is being remastered and re-released by Shamus Young’s family. New episodes are available a week early for their Patreon supporters.

Second, PixyVerse Problems this morning:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/opt/pypy2/site-packages/cherrypy/_cprequest.py", line 630, in respond
    self._do_respond(path_info)
  File "/opt/pypy2/site-packages/cherrypy/_cprequest.py", line 689, in _do_respond
    response.body = self.handler()
  File "/opt/pypy2/site-packages/cherrypy/lib/encoding.py", line 221, in __call__
    self.body = self.oldhandler(*args, **kwargs)
  File "/opt/pypy2/site-packages/cherrypy/_cpdispatch.py", line 54, in __call__
    return self.callable(*self.args, **self.kwargs)
  File "Test.py", line 157, in index
    return go(cherrypy)
  File "Test.py", line 107, in go
    print 'Blew a gasket - reconnecting and retrying!'
IOError: [Errno 28] No space left on device: '<fdopen>'

People Suck, Let’s Save The World!

By the way, did you know that this dysfunctional adventuring party is going to save the world? In case the title didn’t tip you off, the narrator makes it explicit at the end of the lengthy exposition of (almost) everyone’s backstory. This is all setup, so there’s not a lot to decide if the show is going anywhere, but the two girls in the party are attractive apart from the wonky eyes, so there’s that.

Verdict: maybe

(dragon girls are apparently the new catgirls)

Manic Pixie Dream Girl And Her Pet Sorceress

This was surprisingly watchable. Surprising because the description was “less than promising”: non-magical princess with magitech based on her past life in Japan teams up with disgraced magical-genius noble lady to make her (the second one) queen. It sounded like the sort of convoluted shojo manga story where everyone is really skinny, has pointy chins, and is slightly gay.

Instead, Princess Lunatic Fan-service crashes into that story and kidnaps the heroine. Wacky Hijinks Will Ensue™. All the girls are cute, so there’s that.

Verdict: yes for now

(note that the source material is apparently quite yuri, which one would hope results in more fan-service down the road)

Spy Class For Dummies

The good news: seven pretty girls carefully separated by hair color, speech pattern, and bust size move into a mansion with a large shared bathtub, which they put to use in this episode. Our PoV gal is the bustiest, and with the names Lily/Flowergarden reeks of fan-service and yuri.

The bad news: they’re all spy-school losers shipped off to be trained for a suicide mission by an autistic superspy who talks way too much without showing a shred of emotion or inflection. Also, the tub is afflicted with buy-the-bluray steam.

Verdict: maybe

Iceblade Exposition Will Bore The World

They’ve telegraphed that this show will include a powerful sexy sorceress who walks around in naughty lingerie, and that’s not enough to save it. Seriously, the moment Our Clark Kent arrives at Military Hogwarts, they tell you who the bad kids are by drawing them badly. Those kids take turns trashing the Muggle Ordinary just to make sure we haven’t forgotten that he doesn’t fit in here, mixed with flashbacks clarifying that he’s The Boy Who Lived, and exposition gushing about just how awesome the mystery Superboy was that no knows is right in front of them.

I gave up halfway, and that’s despite being able to watch a full episode of all these other shows.

Verdict: nope

Super Minecraft Farming Powers, Go!

Conan Hiraku, what is best in life?”

“To plow fertile fields, see crops ripen before you, and collect a huge multispecies harem.”

Hopefully this one has a giant shared bathtub, too; the cute girls are the primary draw. Good thing they started with a flash-forward to show them all off, and then bounced them onscreen again in the OP, because the rest of the episode is Farming Sim Tutorial 1, narrated inside Our Magic-Hoe-User’s head.

Verdict: maybe

Giant Ars Beasts

“Wonder Twin Powers, Activate! Shape of… a super loli!”

“Form of… a burned-out mercenary!”

I’m surprised it took so long for someone to rip off the whole Attack On Titan vibe, but I’m definitely not surprised that they made the heroine an expressive super-powered loli who explodes when you shoot her full of arrows.

Verdict: yes for now

(Pokemon Scarlet/Violet Best Girl is unrelated; there is literally only one piece of fan-art for this show on Pixiv right now, and it’s a full-frontal nude of the loli)

Slow Life With Twin Peaks

(aka “kicked out of the demon lord’s army…”)

Our Fallen Demon Hero states that the only difference between humans and demons is that humans can’t use magic. This is while he’s in the middle of being kicked out of the demon king’s army for… not being able to use magic. He then meet-cutes Our Generous Scoops Of Mouthwatering Flesh in the forest and has time to check out the color of her panties before rescuing her from a giant monkey, and promptly freaks out when he realizes he’s in enemy territory and would be killed out of hand if they realized he’s a demon.

Which would have to involve him coming right out and telling people he’s a demon, because as he just said, there’s no visible difference between the races. But giant boobs have their own logic, so he’s willing to stay in her village, and in fact, her house. And become an adventurer, because giant boobs; he stops and stares at them every time he needs to make a decision. Even when her parents are right there asking him questions.

And hey, guess what? He’s actually been a human all along without realizing it, and not only that, he’s got super adventurer powers right out of the box, so good that if it weren’t for the giant boobs, he could move to the city and become a big wheel!

She wears thigh-high stockings to bed, by the way. I’m sure this will come up again. As will the giant boobs.

Verdict: yes for now

NieR: Automata

Yup, that’s pretty much how the tutorial level went, except that on my PC it had better framerate than Crunchyroll. And more panty shots; they avoided them in a few obvious closeups, but once the action got rolling, she pretty much had to flash the camera, so she did.

Verdict: yes for now

Isekai Gold Digger

In which Our Underdeveloped Heroine is not quite killed off by pickup artists filling the role of Truck-kun, instead ending up with the power to freely go back and forth between another world and Japan, where a quick consulation with the memory of her dead brother gives her the idea of moving goods back and forth to make enough money to retire comfortably.

It doesn’t look like there are any hidden depths here. She can world-jump, heal really fast, and as a bonus she asked not-God to give her language powers as well so she can communicate, and the ED shows a large cast of friends and customers, as well as a squad of friendly mercenaries.

Verdict: maybe one more

(unrelated Touhou bunnygirl is unrelated; there are currently two pieces of fan-art for this show, both of them lesbian porn featuring the only two young girls in the episode)

Handyman Is Handy, Man

The good news is that they skip the usual tedious isekai origin story and go straight into Our Handy Hero helping his adventuring party in various ways. There’s no fan-art to speak of, just the original manga artist posting the entire story; the link below pretty much covers the exact events of episode 1, except for some unrelated character intros outside the core party. The characters are pretty much cast directly from TV Tropes: senile wizard, greedy fairy, shy warrior gal, exploding dwarf, etc.

Verdict: maybe one more

Cheesecake Vault, 2018 part 3


I finally have a ship date for the new range hood, which means that it may only be another week before my kitchen is fully functional again. I’ll have to celebrate by making a cheesecake!

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DNS considered harmful...


(…by Google and Apple, at least)

I had a little problem where a bunch of web sites started displaying poorly at home (odd layout glitches, pulldown menus that rendered as lists, dynamic image-loading that didn’t load, etc). It happened on my Mac with Safari and Edge but not Chrome, but didn’t happen on my iPad or on a Windows box.

Coincidentally (not entirely…), I had recently upgraded from Catalina to Monterey on that Mac. After too much poking around, I isolated the problem to the browsers refusing to accept the SSL cert for cdn.jsdelivr.net. Except that curl and wget accepted it just fine, as did Chrome. The catch was that the ones that worked were getting geolocated to Cloudfront, and the ones that failed were getting geolocated to Fastly. On the same machine.

TL/DR, I switched my home network’s DNS from Google back to Quad9. That instantly fixed Edge, but Safari needed the extra step of disabling the “Google Safe Browsing” feature that had silently been turned on by the OS upgrade. Apparently whatever cert-based blacklisting they were doing to that specific Fastly node applied to that service as well.

(and, yes, geolocation for my static IP block is all over the place, with some sources thinking I’m in Texas, some in Virginia, and the rest scattered across Ohio but nowhere near Dayton)

Cheesecake Vault, 2018 part 2


The good news yesterday was that the last pieces of my new bedroom set from Handcrafted Amish Furniture Of Dayton arrived. The bad news was that there was a crack in the trim on one of the bookcases that wasn’t caught until they were unloading the truck, so it had to be taken back and fixed. It won’t take long to remove the trim piece, stain a new one, and attach it, but they don’t drive up the gravel back roads to Amish country every day, so getting it there and back again will account for the bulk of the time. And then I’ll finally be able to unpack some of my books. Probably the ones filled with cheesecake…

Speaking of, I split January through July 2018 into three sets, but after that, even at the current size I’ll have to edit pretty ruthlessly to keep it down to one per month.

What’s that rule about clutter? “Does this spark joy?” 😁

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Found while browsing anime trailers...


Disillusioned Adventurers Accidentally Upgraded WordPress

Always test your site upgrades in Production!

Your server is running PHP version 5.3.3 but WordPress 6.0.2 requires at least 5.6.20.

This is another “kicked out of the party” fantasy series, where Our Hero bands together with other misfits to make a new, better party. It’s also airing one week early on one network, so raws and possibly even some fansubs may be out of sync with all the ‘simulcast’ streaming sites.

Since I know absolutely nothing about this show, and there’s no web site to tell me, I’ll just post a picture of a busty elf santa’s helper wearing red under-rim glasses.

(I think PHP 5.3.3 is probably older than much of the audience for this show…)

Pixiv: bunnies!


Apparently we’re heading into the Year Of The Bunnygirl, so I’ll do my part. Note that even a tame bunny suit is borderline NSFW when worn as directed, so I’ll lead off with shrine bunnies, cake-shop bunnies, and kimono bunnies before breaking out the big guns.

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Cheesecake Vault, 2018 part 1


Happy New Years! I’m off to tidy up the house before family shows up tomorrow for some late Christmas/birthday celebrations. Then I have to tear it all apart again in the hopes that the contractor will be back to finish the interior work sometime next week. The exterior work is being held hostage by rain now that the snow has melted.

And yes, apparently every photographer in Japan had their calendars marked for the day Yuno Ohara turned 18, and she was booked solid for years. Prior to that, she was basically a backup dancer in an idol group, and given the usual career dynamics in Japan, it’s actually surprising that they didn’t get their hands on her (so to speak) years earlier.

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Things I've been reading


(with varying degrees of success)

Of the various light novel and manga series I’ve been reading, most of the good ones are either released very slowly or just dead. So I look at Amazon and try out something new occasionally, and it’s increasingly full of fail and faux-Japanese “LitRPG” (a self-applied label that made my oh-hell-no list over five years ago).

  • Mushoku Tensei (as Pixy put it, “reincarnation of a slime”): volume 1 is a tough slog, because the author went out of his way to make the protagonist repellent, and even his attempts to “do better” in his new life are hampered by his basic sociopathy. I’m told he gets better around book 3, which is approximately 1.5 books too late.

  • In The Land Of Leadale: the books are more coherent than the anime, but still suffer from a fundamental lack of things for Our OP Heroine to actually do. It all comes crashing down when she’s reunited with her frenemy from the game era, who reveals what’s really going on, including the fact that the game was originally written specifically for her. And she kind of is the game now, even though the world is also real. Not going to lie here: that explanation did not make sense…

  • Private Tutor To The Duke’s Daughter: I’m not sure who the audience is for a conflict-free story where the modest, handsome, insanely OP protagonist obliviously narrates his acquisition of an underaged currently-platonic harem of heiresses, all the while believing himself to be underpowered and not fit to marry any of them. It reminds me a lot of Littlewitch Romanesque without the sex scenes.

  • Reborn To Master The Blade: Our OP Legendary King gets reborn as a girl (OP from infancy!) and quickly grows up into a lush-bodied teen hottie with twin appetites for food and combat, and a complete lack of a sex drive. Meanwhile, the world has gone to shit since now-her time, and plot coupons are doled out very slowly as she rampages across the land as a squire desperately trying to avoid responsibility so she can just beat up people and monsters. The cast quickly spirals out of control as very little progress is made towards uncovering What Went Wrong.

  • Disciple Of The Lich: Our Hero is a gullible reincarnation from Japan who mouthed off to the gods and got dumped into the lowest level of a lethal dungeon, where he was rescued by an undead tsundere necromancer who power-levels him as an excuse to keep him with her longer, which he’s too dumb to figure out, even when he finally goes to the surface world and facerolls every enemy he meets. He’s so convinced that the world is super-dangerous that he inflicts the same training on the first girl he makes friends with, so they can faceroll together while his jealous teacher stalks them.

  • The World’s Strongest Rearguard: this one is actually fun, with the harem antics kept under control by the fact that they have two clearly-defined missions they’ve been working on since book 1, and while they’re progressing through the dungeons at a blistering pace, they’re not completely OP, and must get better to deal with the challenges they face each book. Not high art, but consistently entertaining, although I wonder how long Our Back-Door Hero can remain oblivious to the fact that his always-on powers make the haremettes finger themselves to sleep every night (off-camera). Yes, I skip over the stat blocks.

  • Solo Leveling: the translated comic is way overpriced for how much material you get in a volume (remember all those looooong vertical panels? they get broken up across multiple pages and end up as the primary constraint on how much story gets told); the novels have progressed well past what most people read online, and remain interesting.

  • Gun Gale Online: I am so sick of Squad Jam.

  • Banished From The Hero’s Party… (McPharmacist & Waifu, which I have to specify because there are a bunch of these now): this was a lot more coherent than the anime, but I’m losing interest as Our Slow-Living Couple keep getting dragged into big conflicts, and Our Recovering Sister Hero’s brocon trends more and more towards the sexual. But she’s willing to share with women she respects, which he’ll be horrified to eventually learn.

  • Now I’m A Demon Lord!: there can be no conflict when Our Dungeon Lord is backed up by the power of the most insanely OP dragon in the world, who’s also his loli waifu.

  • Reincarnated As A Sword: the manga oversexualizes Fran, and the “another wish” spinoff manga is at best adequate, but the novels are good stuff.

  • Survival In Another World With My Mistress: Our Hero is not only OP, he is a certified miracle from the gods, and if it weren’t for the massive stamina boosts he gets from leveling up his skills, he would be dead after a single night spent satisfying his ever-growing harem. Seriously, he’s fathering an empire with girls of over half a dozen species, and I don’t think the author even keeps an accurate count of how many bedmates there are after a while. And they keep facerolling all opposition, to the point that he’ll probably end up ruling the world, or at least servicing all the women in it.

  • The Executioner And Her Way Of Life: I abandoned the anime, and this too after a while. TL/DR: everything you’re told about the world at the beginning was a lie, and the reveal is way too long and tedious.

  • The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, or as I think of it, The Dungeon Harem Only I Can Enter But Never Seem To Get Around To: the anime had some squicky bits about him basically training his already-obsessed little sister into being a Dom, but after N books, nothing has really changed in the harem dynamics. All the girls want him, none of them have put out yet, and little sister is the girl most likely to be the first to make a serious play for his dick.

  • A Late-Start Tamer’s Laid-Back Life: I can’t remember anything that happened in this, except that everyone in the game squees over how cute his pets are.

Unrelated,

I just had a refrigerator moment and realized there is a significant plot hole in the final episode of Hoe Harem. No, seriously; stop laughing. Yes, in a story that was already falling apart every time they stopped to explain things, the ending has a real whopper.

In the middle of the fight against his formerly-dead childhood girlfriend, time stops, and the mysterious angelic chick explains that she’s the good god, and the evil god’s power that Deadloli is trying to activate in him is the reason he suddenly became so OP in episode 1. So she quickly exorcises him and gives him some of her own power instead, which he uses to magically grow combat weeds.

When he gets home and finally fights back against an orc that’s eager to rape him, his Super KO Punch no longer KO’s, and Helen gets him to whip out his stat card (which we haven’t seen since episode 1), and, sure enough, he’s no longer insanely OP, just “better than most adventurers”. And he’s surprised by this, because he hadn’t noticed a change.

But he got to the other continent to fight Deadloli by using his powers to run super-fast across the surface of the ocean. How did he get back without noticing?

(also unrelated, in recognition of the end of Ash’s decades of on-screen Pokemon battles, we celebrate the Original Best Girl of the series)

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