“Unfortunately, common sense is just not common. We have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives.”

— Santa Barbara Councilman Strawman Jason Dominguez

Fake things

Frieren, episode 26

Good news! The second test is over! Bad news! We had to sit through the extended dance mix of How Übel Thinks to get there.

Verdict: the climax of the big fight was worth it, as was Frieren’s reaction to the treasure. But we’re still not done with all these characters I don’t care about, since there’s a third test. Hopefully the downtime before it will be focused on the real cast.

(“the last thing you’ll ever see”)

Everybody Have Pon Tonight, episode 10

The opening dream sequence was a nightmare of foreshadowing, with Girls 1-3 obviously cheating to set up a victory over Our Gothy Girl, based on assembling a hand based on the numbers 2 & 5. At which point Our Poor Little Riiche Girl jumps out of the table to shout Merry Christmas. Note: this is not what I had in mind for costume changes.

Sadly, in reality the parlor must not have good heating, because our girls are bundled up in bulky clothing that eliminates any chance of repeating last week’s conspicuous bounce. Anyway, they cook and eat and play and have a Christmas party, and the THIS IS COMEDY music gets almost as much of a workout as poor Chonbo.

Verdict: I wish this show were as funny as it thinks it is. And that the girls played strip mahjong; I wouldn’t mind a repeat of the Asobi Ni Iku Yo OVA mahjong scene

(not what our girls look like at the table this week…)

Dear AliExpress…

This was halfway down the first page of a search for “26mm mahjong” (the standard tile size for the Japanese version, although tables like Janta-kun use 28mm tiles):

It wasn’t the only one, and there were also buttplugs, catheters, and less-recognizable toys, some of them electric. Honestly, do you have to copy every feature of Amazon?

No sub, Hidive?

HiDive just updated their completely-overhauled app on all platforms, and I no longer get any subtitles at all on my FireTV; the controls are just gone.

Customer Service, on the other hand, is on the ball, recommending that I try to watch a show that’s got dubs as well, which should still have the correct UI for switching to subs, and then that will carry over to shows that don’t display the UI. That is, there’s a global preference, but it’s not displayed on the preferences page, just on the pause screen of shows where both dub and sub exist. Nice QA work, guys.

Fortunately, the only thing I need it for this season is Molesting Magical Girls. Hmmm, that sentence didn’t come out quite right. Or did it?

(unrelated unmolested magical girls)

Correcting the headline

Let me just fix this for them:

Wackjob Tranny Calls Cops On JK Rowling

Sorry, dude, but you were born a dude, with tiny little dude parts, and there is nothing in this world that can change that, no matter how much gaslighting and surgery you indulge in to perpetuate your cosplay fantasy. Even removing your tiny little dude parts just makes you a second-stage cutter, not a woman.

We play along out of politeness, something you depend on and abuse, but when you attack, we no longer have a reason to pretend.

(the pathetic thing is that no one was a bigger ally to The Alphabet People than Rowling, and these clowns are determined to turn her against them)

Molesting Magical Girls, episode 10

In which Our New Underlings turn out to be childhood friends who’ve been supressing not only their deep friendship, but their intimate lesbian desires, revealed courtesy of Our Mighty Dom’s desire for a free show. And a juicy show it is, making all previous hentai-ish scenes in this show just a tease.

In the second half, Our Much-Abused Magical Gals are still off training, so it’s up to Our Full Team Naughty to respond to an attack on the city by the forces of Lord Evil Lord And The Crying Nun.

Verdict: the first half starts out as some real character-building for Loco Musica and Leberblume, before whiplashing into hot girl-girl sex. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but hoo-boy is it going to send the forum whiners into orbit. Extra credit to Kiwi-chan for her starring role as Super Leoparde!

(celebrating the creation of our full five-girl sentai team, Loco and Leber were added to the end credits animation and song)

Dear Alexa,

I do not consider it appropriate for you to scan my network for non-Amazon devices, interrogate their status, and then ask me if I want to order new batteries for them. It’s not like I wouldn’t have bought batteries from you anyway, it’s the “what else are you doing with the information you gather about devices on my network” that’s the issue.

(…and that’s why you’re on the other network!)

Blooming season

Mauser started it, so I’ll take a quick look at next season’s anime:

  • Astro Note: Chef meets Landlady From Outer Space. No.

  • Bartender: people in trouble get the drink they need. No.

  • Blue Archive. I’ve enjoyed the fan-service fan-art, and the teaser has a catgirl with a rifle. Maybe.

  • Kicked Out Of The Nobility, A Reincarnated Hero’s Slow Life Is Interrupted By His Ex. Um, why is he prettier than the girls? NO.

  • A Salad Bowl Of Eccentrics: jaded detective, magical loli princess from another world, wacky hijinks; what is this, Cop Craft 2: The Wackaning? Highly unlikely.

  • Grandpa & Grandma’s Rejuvenation: old couple gets young and hot. No.

  • Mysterious Disappearances: horror? romance? giant boobs? Eh, no.

  • Gonna Be The Kaiju: Damage Control worker has an Origin. Unlikely.

  • Gods’ Game We Play: neither the auto-translated blurb nor the trailer makes a great deal of sense, so all I see is a harem comedy where the guy in the middle is supposed to be good at something instead of a useless potato. Maybe?

  • Court Drama With Crow-People: or something like that. Not gonna replace Apothecary Diaries for me. NO.

  • Punchy Youtuber. No, seriously. NOT A CHANCE.

  • Konosuba 3. Season two dragged, and the Megumin prequel fell apart fast. Maybe.

  • Isekai Slow Life With Level 2 Cheats: what it says on the tin. Our Hero gets rejected as useless, only to discover that he gains every power in the world the moment he levels up once; he’s the five-bladed razor of OP cheat heroes. Unlikely. The girls are cute, though, and it’s not a harem.

  • How To Love Your Elf Bride: socially inept sorcerer instantly falls for a cute girl at a slave auction, buys her, and attempts to woo her. Fortunately she’s into him, too, and is just as terrible at expressing her feelings. Unlikely.

  • Studio Apartment, Good Lighting, Angel Included: high-school boy inexplicably living alone, strange cute girl suddenly moves in and changes his life. Pretty sure I’ve not only seen this before, but also rejected a dozen just like it. NO.

  • Spice & Wolf Remake: same voice actors, even, so not sure what the point is. Maybe, just to see what they’re doing different.

  • Re: Monster: isekai goblin power-leveling. Highly Unlikely.

  • Underside Of Kitten’s Paw (er, Seiyuu Radio Uraomote): cute girls just don’t get along. No.

  • Go! Go! Loser Ranger!. The previews are way too shouty. No.

  • Shinkalion. I refuse to believe in a world where mechs are piloted by teams of teenage boys. No.

  • Shuumatsu Train. Cute girls SCREEEEEEEAMING on the last train to plotsville. Not a chance.

  • Tadaima, Okaeri: gay couple raising a child. No, no, no.

  • Isekai Appraiser: Realist Hero as a shota who uses appraisal magic instead of quoting Machiavelli? Unlikely.

  • Seventh Prince: Super Shota’s got a harem. No.

  • Slime, season 3. Yeah, I suppose so.

  • The New Gate: I beat the VR death game, and all I got was this lousy isekai. No.

  • The Fable: hitman takes a holiday. Pretty sure I’ve avoided watching the Hollywood version of this at least a dozen times. No.

  • Unnamed Memory: I Married A Witch. No.

  • Vampire Dormitory: Fruits Basket with fangs? No.

  • Wind Breaker. Can someone explain to the Japanese what these words mean together? NO.

  • Jellyfish Can’t Swim In The Night: cute girls shouting after hours. No.

  • Yozakura Family: I Married A Spy, In High School. No.

Gosh, thanks Twitter!

It used to be that every once in a while, “X” would insert an ad in your feed asking you to upgrade to Premium. Today it escalated to a pop-up every time I muted an ad (which is every time an ad appears…). Yeah, fuck that.

When 歳 is not a warning label…

Generally speaking, when the text in a glamour photospread includes the character 歳 preceded by a number, it means that the model is so young that you’ll feel dirty or guilty for enjoying the view. For Fumie Nakajima [site NSFW, disable Javascript], though, that number is 55, which is not only safe but surprising and delightful.

Power Leveling

Soro-Soro Leveling, episode 8

“To recap, last week was a clip episode, so to make up for lost time, we’re going to have a bunch of side characters deliver exposition and set up plot points that are 1 to 3 seasons out. To hold your interest, though, we’re going to remind you that there are Fully Dressed Hot Chicks in this show by putting one of them in sweaty spandex briefly.”

Verdict: next week, something happens. $10 says that the real fight scene is two weeks out, though.

The Apothecary Diaries, episode 21

Ox spit, beefcake, jealousy, and intrigue; the days are just packed. Also, does Pairin Draft cost extra, or is it included?

Verdict: very much a “calm before the storm” feel.

Kicked Around By The Slow-Living Former Hero Party, The Psychotic New Hero Works Hard To Make The Second Season Unwatchable By Preventing All The Cute Girls From Taking Baths Together, episode 9

If Rit weren’t supplying passive fan-service just from going out in that outfit, all that would be left is plodding plotting. The girls are all drawn well, but they’re stuck telling Van’s story, and it isn’t even close to over. It’d probably take up all of a third season if they got one.

Verdict: this is what I was afraid they’d do, because the light novel author can’t just keep his slow-life pants on, and keeps pulling Our Heroes into larger-than-life events and convoluted backstory. (it hasn’t yet reached the level of bullshit that sank the Realist Hero novels for me, but it’s real close…)

Shangri-La Frontier, episode 21

Recharging and laundry. Next week: Chocolate Bunny Raising Project.

Verdict: I struggle with the shouty bits, but otherwise it’s fun.

(I can’t criticize the pro gamer for selecting a female avatar (“ask me about my red-skinned hottie in hot pants in Palworld”), just for not making her hotter)

Cue the fight music

Frieren, episode 25

Setting aside the half of this episode that’s the mages talking about how to beat the bad guy, which is so boring that Our Wondertwins are off squabbling in the background (the most interesting part of the scene), the OG Party Flashbacks are worthwhile, and the actual fight against Dark Frieren is well-animated.

Verdict: are we there yet?

Oni Pon, episode 9

Wait, more new outfits? Is this what they spent the money on instead of hiring bouncers? Anyway, it’s time for another festival, but Girl#3 was traumatized as a small child by an encounter with someone in an oni costume. Sadly, in the aftermath of explaining it, we get traumatized by the THIS IS COMEDY music.

Not having heard of trigger warnings, the other girls show up in paper oni masks to desensitize her to it. I disbelieve that Miss Solid Gold Mahjong Set somehow couldn’t get her hands on real masks, but that’s what they’re going with.

The big news items this week are that Girl#2 actually bounced (one ping only, and she had to punch herself in the boob to pull it off), and then they played mahjong.

Verdict: the character art was off in a number of scenes, so that bounce must have been expensive.

(yeah, this is perfectly innocent)

Nanoha season 1 bluray

Released at the end of January.

(what could possibly go wrong?)

“To dodging bullets”

Metallic Rouge goes full trainwreck. Called it.


Apple’s working on a mini-series for Neuromancer. This will not end well. Or begin well. Or, well, middle well.

Idol hands have busy fingers

Molesting Magical Girls, episode 9

Our Bustiest Magical Girl is still trying to overcome her forbidden desires, but it turns out that pretty much anything can flip her switch now. Meanwhile, Our Terrible Idol Singer and friend try for an exhibition rematch with Our Naughty Trio that ends up revealing secret things.

Also, “Oh, that’s where our bath scene went!”, say the girls of McPharma. Not that it ends well for Azure.

Verdict: having Baiser’s attempt to dominate Loco backfire was a nice touch. Kind of a “won the battle, lost the war” moment.

Shangri-La Frontier, episodes 1-20

Had some dead time, so I binged this. A bit shouty for my tastes, especially when Vanilla Bunny freaks out (which is often), but the girls are cute and the art and animation are pretty good. (they really can’t cut the budget too much for something that’s explicitly supposed to be the best VR game…)

Verdict: am I a bad person for wanting to see Chocolate Bunny’s human transformation?

The name’s the thing

Coming soon, your iTools .Mac MobileMe me.com iCloud AppleID will be your Apple Account. That oughta fix it.

McPharmaFam & Hero-2, episode 8

In which the formerly-dysfunctional former-hero former-party throws down with the new kid, who just keeps getting worse. The real problem with this episode, though, is that they forgot to include bath scenes.

Verdict: if I’m going to put up with Wackjob Zealot Van and His Tiny OP Girlfriend, I insist that the girls bathe frequently.

(LLENN says, “show me the honey! or else!”)

Jin Rummy

Solo Repeating, episode 7.5

Clip episode; new material next week. Also, Crunchyroll just announced a two-episode documentary about the franchise, which strongly suggests that there should be more cours coming.

(after complaining about all the Jin-something characters in this show, I noticed that despite the subtitles calling Our Player “Jinwoo”, the japanese dialogue just has him as “Jin”; sigh)

The Apothecary Diaries, episode 20

This week, Maomao channels her inner Tanya Degurechaff while earning her Scooby Snacks, and any remaining ambiguity about Jinshi and Gaoshun’s manliness is removed. After tying up all the recent mysteries, it’s back to the harem, with Gyokuyo possibly preggers while the emperor tries to avoid knocking up the new gal. Who seems to be the well-informed scheming type; her plans might be subtle, but the show’s aren’t (“is this a foreshadow I see before me?”).

Verdict: much better than last week, although rehashing that mess cost them some points. Which they earned back when Maomao completely lost her shit reserve.

On Golden Pon

I found an actual “999 fine” gold mahjong set! The devil’s in the details, though, since the actual gold content is 0.1 grams per tile…

(no self-respecting dragon would settle for foil wrappers)

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