“I must say, though, that I wonder how many of you support the use of cats for scientific research?”

"We tried it once but the cats really weren't up to it, bad writing skills and few worthy PHD's among them. I don't think any of them actually got tenure, which is sort of sad."

— Barry Shein

Monsters, Inc.


Gonna Be The Kaijuu

Can’t say I’m fond of the character art, except for Our Bathing Heroine, but they put a lot of work into animating the background characters, and the CGI is fairly well integrated. I have trouble believing in the basic premise, however, starting with how the first monster shown made it that far into Yokohama before attacking. Or where the second one came from without being detected. Or how they cleaned up the site in the first place.

Verdict: might watch the second episode, with my logic circuits disabled.

(dragon girl is unrelated)

Amazon Fallout, season one

(because you knew there was going to be a cliffhanger ending, right?)

How was it? Apart from the constant Bethesda-fan-service and the convoluted fridge-logic multi-PoV plot flashing back and forth in time, it was good-looking and (mostly) well-performed. Most of the nudity was male, and the rare bare breasts were not chosen for their aesthetic value, so focus your interest on the vault suits and the authentic wasteland fashions instead. Also, slightly more kid-friendly than The Boys, which is to say “not”.

No real rewatch value, so I’ll have to wait for mods or the New Vegas sequel.

It is unlikely to surprise anyone that the long-time series lore about the role of China in ending the world was replaced by generic “communists”, or that the real villains were large corporations (besides the obvious). Also unsurprising was putting an obviously trans person into the Brotherhood Of Steel, whose strict religious leadership carefully used Correct Pronouns.

(Todd Howard’s calling it canon, so if there’s ever another game, this will be part of its baggage)

The Courtship of Nephy's Owner


Incel Demon Lord And Love-Slave Elf, episode 3

FYI, don’t expect these two to ever have sex, together or alone.

This week, Our Awkward Couple manages to carry on a conversation, and Our Ponytail Knight shows off her power, mercy, and creamy thighs. Oh, and Our Devoted Elf Slave Girl reveals her deepest darkest secret, but in a good way.

Verdict: not an isekai, not a shoutfest, not filled with THIS IS COMEDY music. Low bar, I know.

(I didn’t even go looking for fan-art of this one…)

Nut Salad, episode 2

In which Our Homeless Lady Knight finds and loses two jobs on the way to reuniting with Our Magical Loli Princess. Meanwhile, Princess loses her innocence getting the goods on a cheating wife, and the cast expands to include an experienced hostess and a legal-loli lawyer (say that one five times fast).

The background art is traced photos and just-plain-photos, but Knight Livia is cute and lushly drawn and enjoys bathing (in ways that are unlikely to be further enhanced for Bluray), and the characters are all likeable and do not spend all their time shouting.

Verdict: inoffensive fluff, which should provide some refuge if the rest of the season ends up sucking.

(now if our detective looked like this, the show would be even better…)

Slime Expo 3, episode 2

TL/DR:

🎶🎶🎶
The Exposition, what a show,
   The Exposition, here we go,
We know you’re wishin’
   it would go awayyyyyy,
but The Exposition’s here and it’s here to stay!
🎶🎶🎶

Cheater, Slacker, Soldier, Ghoul


Level 2 Cheat Boy

The only thing that really counts as a twist here is that Our Cheating Hero was summoned from one fantasy world to another. The fact that his ridiculous powers don’t appear until he kills a few slimes and levels up, not so much, and him being completely obtuse about being over-powered is just annoying.

FYI, he’s not a harem lord, he’s a harem landlord; once he acquires the more-than-telegraphed wolf-waifu, everyone else is just a housemate. And all but three of the female characters on the cast page eventually move in, find their own mates, and start producing offspring. That’s not in the first episode; I read ahead.

(not Our Wolf Waifu but a plausible stand-in)

Konosuba 3

Season two was kinda dull, to the point that I only vaguely recall something about Aqua’s church town. The Megumin spinoff was kinda stupid, and I stopped watching after the rubberband fight with the spider. As for the movie, I think I watched it, but can’t swear to it; something something Megumin’s home town.

So you could say my expectations for this were… low. It still failed to meet them; it spends the first several minutes on lots of unfunny posing and EVEN MORE SHOUTING, and I just gave up. Let me know if there’s a bunch of scenes featuring Darkness, Wiz, and Chris; I could watch those bits.

(did any of the anime ever expose Chris’ secret?)

Gate manga, volumes 10-12

Released at the end of March, finally.

(Rory Mercury is once again relevant)

Amazon Fallout, episode 1

The entire season is available, but the first episode runs for 75 minutes, so I’m only watching one today.

TL/DR: Vault Dweller searches Wasteland for Daddy; yup, that’s a Fallout main plot, all right. Except for that one time when it was Shauuuuun!.

Bad news: magic pronouns survived the apocalypse. Gratuitously.

Dear Amazon,

Creepy juxtaposition is creepy:

(the number of adult coloring books in the same recommendation list was creepy in a different way…)

Total Eclipse Of The Wolf


Tease & Wolf, episode 2

It’s hard to build a working relationship with your wolf-waifu when she’s constantly teasing you with words and skin.

Holo

Not Holo

Eclipsed

Ohio weather is notoriously variable, but for Monday’s total eclipse, it was sunny and 75°F. Fun thing to do with my parents.

(solar-powered pony is unrelated)

Meh, nope, and nope


Slime Time 3

The entire first episode was spent wrapping up loose ends from the last season. Which I barely remembered, and don’t care enough to learn more about. So the full-length recap episode they also released is not something I intend to watch.

I might watch next week to see if they do something vaguely interesting. Rimuru has always been OP to the point that there’s no tension in the frequent combat, and he just keeps leveling up, so I’m not feeling inspired.

Blue Archive

[apparently not licensed for streaming]

There’s something slightly off about the character art and animation despite the apparent smoothness, and the background music not only feels like it was lifted from a game (which it was), but is used exactly the way it would be in a visual novel.

TL/DR: it was paralyzingly stupid, and I gave up skipping forward after a while.

Mahjong Soul Kan!! trailer

TL/DR: looks terrible. Setting that aside, unless you’ve done a lot of gacha pulls, you won’t recognize any of the characters, except as “oh, yeah, I think a big-spender opponent used one of those in a match one time; I lost”.

Thursday's new shows


Harry Pottymouth And The Slave Elf Waifu

He’s a powerful dark sorcerer with no social skills. She’s a gorgeous elven slave girl with no social skills. Together, they fight shy.

Several sites had it as a two-episode debut, but Crunchyroll only has the first one right now. It’s enough.

TL/DR: somewhere between Chobits and DearS, desperately crying out, “trust me, I’m funny!”.

[update: Crunchy added the second episode a few hours later; the pervy angel-wing clothing-shop owner is the good part]

(I wasn’t amused, either)

Nut Salad

He’s a solo detective barely making ends meet. She’s a spunky loli magical princess from another world. They live together and fight crime.

Meanwhile, other-she’s a stacked gorgeous knight from another world who enjoys homelessness, recycling, and convincing men to shove money into her cleavage.

TL/DR: Lots of shouting and THIS IS COMEDY music. M.A.O as the fan-service knight.

Futoku No Guild OP song video

The actual opening credits of Immoral Guild are decidedly NSFW, so when singer Sayaka Sasaki recorded a video for the song “Never The Fever!!”, she did, um, something different. More different even than Nacherry’s video for the Gushing OP, My Dream Girls.

(I was looking for the video of her Bakuon! OP song, which I’ve had on repeat when out at the grocery recently)

Bargain-basement Japanese spam email

I hadn’t seen Japanese spam in my junk folder for quite a while, but suddenly one appeared, and it was hilariously bad.

There exists a legitimate ebay-ish marketplace called Mercari (メルカ リ), which I’d never heard of before today. So naturally a customer-service email that claims to be from them is going to be fake. Especially when the sender email is from a random 5-letter .com domain name and the links in the message go to a different random 5-letter domain (which the plain-text content doesn’t even try to obscure). The icing on the cake is that it was sent to my CPAN-specific email address, which has never been used for any account anywhere.

It was such a poor attempt at getting me to click on the links that it actually makes me want to check out Mercari. 😁

(or not. first impression: endless scrolling is always bullshit, but to do it on potentially thousands of search results while hiding all the usual corporate/support links in the footer is double bullshit; they clearly are an app-first, browser-fifth shop)

“Imminent death of Net predicted”


Coming in October: The Last Dangerous Visions; Harlan Ellison’s estate managed to do what he never would. It’s only 350 pages, which suggests that the majority of the stories he acquired over the years have reverted to the authors or their estates.

Will it live up to the hype? No; Ellison blew his credibility with decades of delays and broken promises.

Will it suck? Probably not, because Ellison’s estate is in the hands of J Michael Straczynski.

Holo, Live, episode 1

Rebooting Spice & Wolf still seems like an odd choice to me, given that it didn’t suck the first time. But the 24th volume of the novels was released last year, and the 10th volume of the spinoff novels comes out next week in Japan, so there’s clearly still interest.

First impression: they have a budget, and they’re putting it to good use.

(spicy wolf is unrelated)

Rewatch: Astra Lost In Space

The Clarissa-Explains-It-All infodump was as painfully stupid as I remembered, and the supervillain roundtable made no sense, but almost everything else about the show works well. In many ways, it’s a modern Heinlein juvenile, not just because of the early resemblance to Tunnel In The Sky.

Flashback: winmail.dat

I just got the first invoice of the year from my landscaping company. The PDF was wrapped in the Windows-specific non-standard TNEF-encoded winmail.dat. Fortunately, there’s a CLI tool for that.

Apparently a recent Win10/11 update managed to reset that Outlook setting for some people. Joy.

Okay, now it's over


Solo: A Leveling Story, fin

Yes, there will be season 2. Which is both unsurprising and good, because half of the recent episodes have been setup for it. Including a good chunk of this one, where The Big Reveal is that the big bad bugs are getting better. The actual fight that continues from last week is resolved in the obvious way, leading to a prestige-class “choice” that even Our Self-Admonishing Hero can figure out was a setup.

Meanwhile, if this is not a fan-service show, maybe don’t shove the camera up his little sister’s crotch? Sure, she wears more to bed than most anime gals wear as street clothes, but come on.

Verdict: a good setup for a second season, as long as they don’t waste several episodes recapping what we just watched. Hopefully it’s already in production, so it’s not two years out.

(using up more Frieren leftovers, because most of the fan-art is of Our Hero, not the girls)

Choco, Bunny, Good-Good, fin

(NSFW classical reference)

First, second two-cour season announced for October. Maybe someone will finally license the light novels (the manga is currently well ahead of the anime).

Second, Chocolate Bunny’s Got A Posse Pussy.

Third, Sailor Goon asks, “is that a cat-sith under your robes, or are you just happy to see me?”.

Verdict: Our Cocoa-Colored Craftsbunny continues to impress, although her interactions with Our Freakish Hero inevitably bring all the shouty. 8/10, would grind again.

Twittering Over Magical Girls

The official TwitX account for Gushing Over Magical Girls has lots of nice preview pics and action/reaction GIFs. I’m just following it hoping for an eventual season 2 announcement…

Publisher oopsie!

I had a light novel ebook on preorder, and when it auto-downloaded, it was just a 19-page preview. The book is currently in the top 50 of the “Fantasy Adventure Fiction” category, but it’s getting pummeled with 1-star reviews, because it’s short a few hundred pages and you can’t get a refund. (likely because Amazon thinks you read it all the way through…)

It came out on Friday, so it probably will take until at least Monday to get a corrected version uploaded and approved.

(Update: customer support on publisher's forum, Monday morning: "This will be a process to fix, it always is with Amazon and they have no incentive to not make it a long process, they are Amazon.")

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