Skip to content

Still snowing!

Still snowing! published on

I want to go out in the snow, but I’m afraid to. I’m afraid because there’s a small swimming pool out in the yard somewhere… and I can’t tell exactly where.

Someone stop me from playing EVE Online and watching Soul Eater all day. I think it likely that neither one is a good idea on its own, but they’re particularly unharmonious in combination. I’m going to name a spaceship something like “SYMMETRY!,” and then someone named NeMeSiN will destroy it and send me a misogynistic message explaining why they did so. And I’ll want to apologize to Death the Kid for letting the symmetry get destroyed again.

Death the Kid is my favorite character. His voice was giving me weird signals, so I looked it up, and he’s Tamaki from Ouran. Things somehow make more sense now that I know that. I just looked up Black ★ Star, and he’s Excel, which is obviously also good.

There are kids on my LAWN.

There are kids on my LAWN. published on

So there’s anime and video game merchandise and advertising all over Japan, like you’d expect, and a lot of it I recognize. There’s Pokemon, Fullmetal Alchemist, D. Grey Man, Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, Gundam 00, Evangelion, Naruto, and Final Fantasy stuff all over the place. There’s a fair amount of Moyashimon, Phoenix Wright, and Naoki Urasawa stuff, which surprised me for some reason – I’d somehow thought those would be more niche concerns. Apparently Beyblade still exists in the public consciousness here. I haven’t seen many Vampire Knight keychains and stuff, but the new volumes and issues of its magazine are always prominently displayed.

Still, most of the stuff I’m really majorly obsessed with – say, Claymore and Kaoru Mori and Moyoco Anno – does not get out much. Today I saw a girl on the train reading Otomen, and was startled because I actually knew what that was.

Continue reading There are kids on my LAWN.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, eps 1-2

Revolutionary Girl Utena, eps 1-2 published on

No, I’ve never actually watched it before! I just read the manga. I’d heard the general population of LiveJournal saying it had influenced Princess Tutu a lot, but I didn’t realize it was that much. Tutu’s fairy-tale narrator openings are a direct visual rip from the opening of the first episode! The shadow puppets’ voices are like the crows’ voices!

The music is deeply insane.

So far, I’m liking Wakaba and Utena’s relationship more in the anime than in the manga. In the manga Wakaba’s feelings for Utena were set up as being pitiable, because Utena herself didn’t do anything to indicate she felt anything for her, and because Wakaba was so jealous and insecure. Here, they actually seem to be friends – Utena teases Wakaba without Wakaba freaking out! (Though Wakaba doesn’t know about Anthy yet, so there’s still time for the dynamic that bugged me in the manga to develop, I guess.)

(I’m very smug how much of the Japanese I can understand. I turned away from the screen to check on something for a few seconds, and understood nearly all of the dialog without looking at the subs. It wasn’t a scene that used many complicated words, but still! I kinda speak Japanese! (Working for a Japanese company does not do much to convince me of this, because whenever they want to tell me something important, they have the English-speaking guy do it.))

Kyou Kara Maoh!, 17-18

Kyou Kara Maoh!, 17-18 published on

I will be so disappointed if Conrad never turns evil. He needs to get brainwashed into betraying Yuuri, so that the power of Yuuri’s love can bring him back to himself! Gwendal and Wolfram can yell at him, exhorting him to recall his joyful baseball-related memories! Maybe Wolfram could even yell, “Oniisan, stop!”

I’m pretty sure he will have to stab Gwendal – in the shoulder, of course – and then disdain to kill the fallen Wolfram (who will have no visible wounds, but will be on the floor making little painful sounds nonetheless), because he has no time waste on weaklings. And then he can snap out of it at the last second before killing Yuuri and go, “Your majesty… I’m sorry… I was delayed…” and pass out in Yuuri’s arms.

No, people. I have seen enough anime to be convinced that Conrad was designed specifically for this purpose.

Episode 17

Cheri is my favorite ever. I would absolutely read a whole shoujo romantic comedy manga about (spoilers) her psychotic attempts to get Raven to marry her, while her sons plot against him, and he wanders dazedly about having traumatic flashbacks. Well, a shoujo manga of up to four volumes, anyway. Five might be stretching it.

(She’s not very good at proposing. How did she manage all those previous marriages? Did she just, like, issue orders?)

Episode 18

This show is basically Gay Avatar. No, it is! Crazy combination-animals and elemental magic! If I google for it I will find fanart of Gwendal wearing Toph’s clothes. I will not google for it.

Kyou Kara Maoh! through ep 14

Kyou Kara Maoh! through ep 14 published on

Oh, anime, can you possibly be any more exploitative? (Please no one answer that question.) Yuuri has cuddled with every single male cast member at least once now, I think. I appreciate the three doujinka fangirls.

I was watching this with Jenan (I’m at Jenan’s house, by the way, it smells very PITTSBURGH-Y outside), and it took us both several seconds to absorb the full implications of Conrad’s conversation about Ryan And The Panda.

Her: Wait, what? WHAT DID THAT MEAN

Me: Oh my GOD

(Fake Spoilers: Apparently, Ryan eloped with the panda. (Who the hell is Ryan? Do we know that? Does Conrad just say made-up bullshit sometimes to see if his brothers are paying attention to him?))

Wolfram’s concerns are probably quite valid, when he puts it that way: Yuuri is pretty promiscuous, and Gwendal does like cute things.

… published on

I listened to a Decemberists song called “Cautionary Song” today. This song is an extended exploration of the timeless theme that Your Mom Is A Whore. According to a random LiveJournal person I found via the google, the lead singer has been known to start giggling during the last verse.

Not actually relatedly, I found this webcomic the other day, and it is very awesome. Now I understand panel #5! I aspire to find a situation in which it would be appropriate to use that phrase.

I have now watched twelve episodes of Gundam Wing. Episodes 11 and 12 take place mostly in China, but for some reason they very carefully avoid ever actually calling it “China.” And we find out that Sally Po – who last time she showed up was in the military and lived in Europe somewhere, like, with the Delta Knights maybe – is no longer in Europe, but rather in rural China, coordinating a guerrilla-warfare rebellion against some bad guys we have never met before! Some guy apologizes that they are welcoming her home with all this killing, in the single line of dialog explaining her sudden change in locale!

Did I mention that it is completely impossible to identify people’s ethnic origins in this anime unless someone says it out loud? Sally has brown hair and blue eyes. A lot of the insurgents do.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to take the elements of these two episodes and impose some kind of a plot on them. Spoilers, I guess?

Continue reading


Phenomena published on

1) There is a Rue-san in my class. She even looks like Rue. I keep having to exert myself not to call her “Rue-chan.” She is six or seven years older than I am, so it would possibly not be appropriate.

2) Sometimes grouchy, disdainful cats wander around in public places in Japan. People crowd around them to pet them and take pictures, ignoring the huge flock of crows sitting on Nagoya castle in the background, or the Daiso employees trying to get across the aisle with a cartful of ceramic bowls. The cats merely walk on, slowly, tolerantly, reminding themselves that these creatures, too, have their place in the world.

People who are not me need to start using Second Life.

People who are not me need to start using Second Life. published on

Because Silver Rose Designs, which I already liked due to its very nice free clothes, has Kraehe’s dress from Princess Tutu. And this is important information about which, at present, no one but me cares.

The designer also has outfits from that one show with, like, the alchemists, though she has sneakily called them something else. They’re not quite as impressive, though.

Kino’s Journey: novel #1, anime eps 0-1

Kino’s Journey: novel #1, anime eps 0-1 published on

The extremely poker-faced, extremely androgynous Kino and her childlike talking motorcycle Hermes are travelers who spend exactly three days in each city they come to. The cities all have some improbable, ironic mystery to them, which Kino exposes by being impassive at someone until he says something perceptive. There is obviously some backstory, but probably no plot. (Well, in the anime; in the novel we get all Kino’s and Hermes’s backstory in the first chapter, but it sounds like the anime’s using a different one.)

I don’t get much out of this. The show’s theme, frequently elaborated upon by Kino, is “The world is not beautiful; therefore it is” – you’re supposed to find beauty in imperfections and transience of the world. The pitch could probably have just said “wabi-sabi” and left it at that.

Except that if Kino finds much of what she sees beautiful, she doesn’t show it. She’s kind of a smug little bastard, and while I personally like seeing a female anime character like that (there’s no shortage of male ones), I don’t think that kind of protagonist is appropriate to this kind of story. Kino seems to totally lack the requisite sense of wonder; she’s a cynic who doesn’t have much respect for the people she talks to, and is willing to at least entertain the possibility that they’re all just crazy. Which they mostly are, because the nature of the ironic twists required by each chapter makes it necessary. Kino carries guns, which have names, and in the novel, the two people for whom she seems to feel the most empathy are a mass murderer, and person who wants to embroil a whole city (though an over-the-top corrupt one) in rioting for revenge on a single individual.

If I’d found this five years ago, I probably would have loved it, but I’ve seen other examples of this genre before, the genre being loosely defined as “carefree person discovers strange things and people, wonders at them, and moves on.” Kino’s Journey doesn’t compare to, say, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, or Sexy Voice and Robo. I’m not really interested in going any further.

One thing that did amuse me, and will affect no other human being in like manner – Kino’s voice sounds kind of like Haruhi’s from Ouran High School Host Club, and Hermes’s sounds exactly like Kaoru’s. (They’re not the same actors, I looked it up.) Only in this way can they consummate their love!… go away. You people will never understand.

ADV wants to hurt me.

ADV wants to hurt me. published on

I ordered the first two volumes of Princess Tutu all legal-like during ADV’s sale last week. They showed up today, along with a free Valentines Day bonus!

I googled some reviews, and apparently it’s based on a comic, and apparently no, it isn’t somehow secretly not horrible. And I can’t even really sell it, the Amazon prices are mostly sub-$4.

So do I see what happens if I try to donate it to the library, or do I abandon it in the middle of the student union, swaddled in a thin blanket and clutching a locket containing sepia-tone pictures of two individual breasts and a wisp of hair sawed off a plastic figurine?

Must! ‘Tis somewhat hard when Tamaki must go!

Must! ‘Tis somewhat hard when Tamaki must go! published on

O I am ill, laid low by such a foul imbalance of the humors as to make me dirty up all my new hankies in one day, and re-read books.

But then I watched the last few episodes of Ouran and my nose wasn’t stopped up anymore. It’s a miracle! A piracy miracle!

I’m still all dizzy, though. I hate being dizzy. I don’t even get to get intoxicated or go into a berserker rage first. It’s totally unfair.

For some reason being sick always makes it a little easier to concentrate in class. And also apparently makes me write in real short paragraphs.

Kyouya. Sigh. (cut for spoilers) Continue reading Must! ‘Tis somewhat hard when Tamaki must go!

Important Ouran High School Host Club Theory

Important Ouran High School Host Club Theory published on

I was watching Ouran episode 17 just now, and at the end Kyoya had a montage-flashback of Tamaki doing nice things for people, all surrounded with flowers and puffies and whatnot. I’m not that far into the anime yet, but manga-wise, I think everyone but Mori’s had an inspirational Tamaki flashback by now. And the figure who, despite their general ineffectuality, is seen as special and pure and to be protected by all the others, is of course a perfectly normal and respectable shoujo trope with a long history, except that normally it’s the heroine.

(Citations I can think of right off are Cardcaptor Sakura, Suki, Angelic Layer and all the other CLAMP manga with a little girl protagonist, Vampire Game, Penguin Brothers, Imadoki, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, and of course Fruits Basket.)

This is the show’s real genderbending angle. Tamaki is clumsy, emotionally incontinent, and has no skills other than general niceness and sincerity in the midst of highly-competent people, yet is universally envied and adored and the center of everyone’s emotional universe. Tamaki is the heroine. (Oh, man, I totally would have put this in my paper if I’d thought of it.)

Other inspirations courtesy of this episode:

1) The animators do not ship Kyoya-Haruhi. In the scene where Kyoya exposes the guy selling counterfeit raku bowls, they cut out the part about his doing it to avenge Haruhi.

2) I think they do ship Kyoya-Tamaki, because Kyoya had three Tamaki flashbacks here, and there was only one in the manga.

Important Anime Club Report

Important Anime Club Report published on

* Blew off Scrapped Princess again.

* For some reason did not blow off Lodoss War. A protagonist died and we couldn’t tell because it was too badly animated, but after a while we realized the person wasn’t there anymore, and then there was some dialog about it.

Also, there were like fucking four clerics just standing there during the damn death – they didn’t do anything. See? This is why I hate all clerics.

* Yakitate Japan lied to us about science often and creatively.

* In Princess Tutu, Jenan got excited about the idea of Mytho only getting the sad feelings back, and ordered us all to prepare for next week an interpretive dance on the theme of a bad feeling. She gave herself drunkenness. I took berserker rage, as is my wont.

* Doctor Tran? What? I can’t figure out if it was funny or not. (The Voice went on YouTube.)

Food and anime

Food and anime published on

I went down to the farmer’s market this morning because I randomly woke up early and desired yukon gold potatoes, which the grocery store doesn’t have. These are good potatoes because they have very thin skin and I don’t have to peel them, and also they’re pretty and kind of sweet so that they are highly appropriate to curry. Unfortunately, whoever it was that was selling them before apparently stopped, because I could find only brown and red potatoes.

However, there was a woman selling baklava.

Baklava is a dangerous, dangerous substance. I am already planning to go down again next week and buy larger quantities.

Anime Club News:

Akachan showed up. (Though I guess she’s not an akachan anymore, seeing as she’s now in college and stuff.) I indoctrinated her to my hatred of Record of Lodoss War, though I didn’t need to try very hard – she was very excited by the pretty opening sequence, but the spirit of artsiness within her grew gradually more and more enraged as the episode wore on and she realized how badly the actual show was animated. She spent much time sputtering in annoyance.

We got the episodes out of order in both Lodoss and Princess Tutu, and it actually made a significantly bigger difference for Tutu, which is supposed to be our crack show. (After Yakitate Japan, that is.)

A horrifying gay stereotype – a chef who specializes in “sweet buns” – showed up in Yakitate. I could totally cite this in my research as an example of the difference between Yaoi Boys (good and pretty) and Gay Guys (bad and ugly), though I guess I’d need to come up with some more professional-sounding terminology for it.

Also, we learned that an afro is a natural expression of grief.

We totally failed to watch Scrapped Princess.