Cabin fever

Blog update for February 2017. Some anime and manga noted, plus travel announcement.feb-2017

1) Winter 

Not much in the way of blog posts this month. I can’t seem to find anything that scratches my theory itch.
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2) Playing Hookey

I’m off to Japan for March and early April. I scored an amazing deal on a round-trip ticket; so what if the plane will be held aloft by three Hong Kong girls yelling “THE PAPER!” throughout a 12 hour flight. The booze is free even in economy class. Heineken drip stat! I’ll be eating oatmeal and digging ditches when I get back. Yum! Oatmeal!

Wonder if I can find a gig or two in Japan? Anybody have a university class in the Kanto region that needs 3 hours of errant bullshit on anything in this blog, in return for a discrete envelope?

Plum, then early shocking pink, then regular cherry blossoms. Ueno Park Hanami. Hiking the hills around Kamakura with my sweetie. Unplug from the news and social media feeds. The Tokyo steampunk scene looks interesting. Perhaps something academic or contemporary art related will pop up: the French Embassy runs a Media Arts festival February through early March around Yokohama.

I hope WWIII doesn’t start.
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3) Always do the right thing

I am so happy I didn’t monetize this blog: I would have to write things even when I don’t care to. Also adopt a public stance and defend it, to the point of inviting folks to my comment section and then making an example of them. Everyone is on edge of late. I remind myself never, never, never to do that. As long as you don’t spread hate-shyte and/ or call me a poo-poo head, your comments are welcome. I reserve the right to ask follow-up questions and TLDR-out.

I should get out more often.

On the other hand, shared hosting packages and domain name registrars are insanely cheap, of late. Mirror/ move this thing to a privately hosted WordPress platform and spend hours a day trying to keep it from getting hacked. Load it up with Google Ad-sense and clickbait.

hypnotic-tentacle-web

10 secret anime sex secret secrets! Please disable your ad-blocker!
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4) Watching more anime, reading less manga:

happy-dragon-family

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon/ Ms. Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is turning out to be the sleeper hit of the winter 2017 anime season.

maidragon-alone-no-more

As I noted last year regarding the manga; when you sub in an asexual, harried female programmer for the usual guy harem lead, a heartwarming upgrade occurs. You end up with an “unusual family” rather than the usual bullshit.
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Little Witch Academia TV. Another heartwarming, fun show; Akko is turning into a perfect klutzy hero, with sheer determination and a refusal to recognise her painfully obvious limitations driving her ever deeper into hijinx ensue. The physical comedy sequences are dynamic and fun as all heck – the broom race was breathtaking.

lwatv-broom-hell-ride

Studio Trigger seems to be working with some of the other characters developed during the second OAV Parade story, the trio of school delinquents are popping up more and more. Is Amanda O’Neill a hat-tip to SG-1? She has an O’Neill air about her.

lwatv-no-relation

As for Diana Cavendish; she is far more nuanced than one would expect from a foil. She is also beginning to look tired. A boarding school running out of money and skimping on the food budget. That takes me back! Rumour has it that this one is going 24 episodes. Hooray!
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tanya-22

Youjo Senki/ The Saga of Tanya the Evil. A Bismark-ian militarist, not a nazi. Pre-nazi. Maybe that’s what she will finally do, along with starting a world war. If this blog did theological grinding, I would have a field day with Tanya. As it was, I read the first volume of the light novel series (fan-translation), which covered to episode 4 of the anime. Episodes 5 and 6 were equally dire and grimly amusing. An inverse of the Book of Job, somewhat related to Catch-22 and the Heinlein take on the biblical tale.tanya-brain-hurt

De-emphasised in the anime is how “faith” is required to hold together and fully activate her powerful 4-core “orb”. Using it has mental side-effects: it drills “faith” into her consciousness as she uses it, which she then must struggle to throw off, further pushing her towards psychosis. I suspect the show is a run-away hit with the “I really hate my job” audience.
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rakugo-not-sexy

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen. Narrative vs. mortality. I love this show, even as it lacks the pace of the first season. We also get rakugo with subtitles

Hey! Another excuse to plop this into a post!.

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Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen/ Blue Exorcist (season 2) Kyoto Saga.  Even with the fantastic syncretistic religio-cultural-bullshit settings, there shouldn’t be a heck of a lot of note in this formulaic shonen action-adventure potboiler.exorcist-our-hero

However what there is handled very well indeed and the familiar is comforting. As a shonen exercise, the female characters are somewhat pushed to the wings but are respectfully written…

exorcist-fanservice2-web

…Except for the over-the-top yankee-ninja supervising first-class exorcist Shura Kirigakure, who carries the fanservice burden for the whole story, as the “scary older woman”.
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ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka/ ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Department.
A country shaped like a chicken! A chicken!acca-smoke-too-much

I smoke too much when I watch this.
Also: Bread.
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demichan-teach-web

Demi-chan wa Kataritai/ Interviews With Monster Girls. This often borders on uncomfortable. Does teach’s university department have a research ethics board? Watching it to see the inevitable teach x succumbus-teach dance. Why am I so easily fooled? Nothing bad happens.
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omake-screencap-minami-kamakura-koukou-joshi-jitensha-bu-ep1-preview-card

Minami Kamakura Kōkō Joshi Jitensha-Bu/ Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club. Kamakura, Enoshima and bikes. I recognise locations! I’ve cycled and hiked those very spots! been-there-done-that

My mama-chari (a version of the ubiquitous Japanese granny-bike that waits for me at my sweetie’s apartment’s bike racks) is the best bike of all time. I’ll forgive the show its light moe-blob-ery.
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Requires barge-pole: Scum’s Wish. I regret the time I spent reading the manga and the anime won’t fool me twice. For ghu’s sake – if you want ero-melodrama, re watch the Maragaret Duras novel‘s movie; L’amant (1992) – in the original French, with subs. At least the setting excuses the characters. Otherwise charas should shut up and go make some happy high school memories or fuck their brains out. Or something…

watamote-on-scum-web

Or; contrast to Himegoto – Juukyuusai no Seifuku. C’mon; you just wanted the pr0ny bits but you can’t admit it, so you smother it in melodrama. As a big gay theorist once ventured:  “There is a big secret about sex: most people don’t like it.”

On second though, I’ll leave the exercise to anyone who cares; I’m annoyed.
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Dropped, even as I expected nothing: Trickster. I wondered if yet another Rampo-derivative chunk of rotten-bait (I mean that in the nicest way possible) would have a few amusing bits but it’s all just meh! I feel as if I was drugged and forced to watch Super Friends re-runs on late night tv. “Shape of a potato!”
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5) Catching up on some older anime:

natsume-yuujinchou-web

Natsume Yuujinchou/ Natsume’s Book of Friends. A neglected classic. Both the anime(s) and the manga have been going on for ages. Natsume is much less of a wreck now, so reading and watching his interactions with the hidden world is far less melancholic than at first.

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Steam Detectives (1998-1999). A relic and a tribute to a more innocent age. It was probably ment as a half-assed nod to 60’s classics like Gigantor/Tetsujin 28
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_Detectives
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=863

steam-detectives-web

It has no guile. None whatsoever. Not a lot of story either, or characterization, or animation chops. It has lackluster theme music that plays during the action sequences. REALLY EFFING ANNOYING music – as if someone had the urge to imitate Yoko Kanno & co, but didn’t have anywhere near the chops to pull it off. Now I see what those Milky Holmes things are parodying. I am not yet desperate enough to seriously watch anything Milky Holmes.

I tried watching the Catch-22 giant robot space battle thing Martian Successor Nadesico. I might try again later.

I might even try Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Wah-wah but I wont make it through to the end, I know it.

yeah, yeah, drill, whatever.

I tried to Marathon Maramite. As a yuri classic, I should know something of it. That did not work. Give them the child at 5 and Cath stuff will severely creep me out for the rest of my life.

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6) Wait, I can still read, my eyes have not yet fallen out!

The Kyougokudou series: gritty ero-guro retro style manga by Kyougoku Natsuhiko and Shimizu Aki

Ubume no Natsu
Mouryou no Hako
Kyoukotsu no Yume
Hyakki Tsurezurebukuro

The second of these was made into an anime, which is… tolerable. I am annoyed that they re-drew some of the characters. The police detective, especially suffers in the translation.
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Other manga of interest:

chio-chan-web

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro
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Tsurezure Children

and…

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Mahou Shoujo Ore. My gawd is this last one a fricking train wreck. I could write a full essay post on how bad it can get and still work, somehow.
This manga is WRONG. Why does this exist?

“Chewbacca is a Wookie from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. That does not make sense! Why would a Wookie – an eight foot tall Wookie – want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! What does that have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! None of this makes sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit!”

If you wondered why I wrote a long essay on a Usolily fluffy BL side-story: at least it presented a “pro” version of so many Tumblr-esque happy good-ending shipping fantasies. That had a bit of theory-moe. See anything with theory moe in the above? The pit is most decidedly not staring back. I miss Genshiken.
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7) Fanservice

In the epic battle over which anime or manga is an exploitative pit of fanservice and which of them are empowering, consider the possibility that all are guilty. Read this, note uniform skirt length in picture.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/04/23/business/changing-values-behind-school-uniforms/

Yes; a few cm above the top of the knee. Just as it was 40+ years ago at my evil catholic high school. Just as it is today, as the crowds of female high school students on every train platform in the Kanto region will so testify. If the hammer is to drop on fanservice it should drop equally all over the place. Animation industry convention. Spread the guilt around.
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8) Finally:

Note Mio-chan’s manuscript.
Is that?
No…
No way does she draw…
MADAHATO !!!

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