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Nov. 23rd, 2015 @ 05:31 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: happyfestive
Happy birthday, breyten!
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Nov. 19th, 2015 @ 09:26 pm More new anime
Current Mood: okayokay
[First episode reviews here]Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan: Touya meets Hakone, a hot-spring spirit who has lied dormant for many years. She agrees to help him with winning the heart of a girl, but he has to help her regain her power.
This one is just not very interesting. Hakone is a bit of a whiny kid, and the episodes are too short to do anything about character development.

Komori-san wa Kotowarenai!: Komori is a middle-school student who can't refuse a request. It's just not that interesting, and the emphasis on Komori's... physical assets is jarring.http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=16973

Hacka Doll: The Animation: Hacka Dolls are programs designed to locate information for humans, like a search engine in the form of an android (female, of course) with a personality. But some are more succesfull than others, and three hacka dolls are sent away on probation: they have to make a human's life better by assisting them -- which is of course easier said than done.
Again, not that interesting, with the hacka doll's personalities being really grating. The concept is interesting, but then they had to go and make it a stupid comedy out of it...

Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note: Aya is doing great at cram school, so she is placed in a special class, where she meets four boys -- each with their own character. Aya is not off to a great start with them, but that gets smoothed over. Then a bicycle goes missing and the five of them start to investigate.
Pretty well drawn, and I like how Aya stands her ground when the boys belittle her. Interesting to see how they come together to solve crime.

Fushigi na Somera-chan: Somera learned some secret, magical technique that she uses with the best of intentions, but it only serves to make the lives of her friends harder...
It's short, shouty, ugly and random. I don't know why anyone would watch this.

Osomatsu-san: There used to be an old gag anime of seven brothers, with an additional cast of characters. They're now being re-made, but of course they feel they need to modernise -- which they do by turning into the bishounen student council for a high school...
Fourth-wall breaking, kinda weird. Describes itself as a "whacky comedy", but none of it was even snigger-worthy.

JK Meshi!: Short episodes about highschool girls cooking. It's short and kinda stupid, but if you can't cook, then maybe you'll learn something from this. Do not expect anything like Koufuku Graffiti.

Itoshi no Muco: Muco is the dog of Komatsu the glassblower, who lives somewhere on a mountain. Muco really adores Komatsu, and she is a friendly, enthousiastic dog. But of course, she doesn't really understand how humans work...
Kinda fun, and if you're a dog person, then this will probably all be familiar. We liked the first episode well enough, but it didn't really 'grab' us.

Brave Beats: Hibiki meets Bureikin, a dancer from the Dance Kingdom who challenged the king and was defeated -- so as a penalty, he was transformed into some sort of robot and sent to the human world. He latches onto Hibiki, and lets him use the Power of Dance to collect all the 'dance fragments'...
Made for little kids, with a weird plot. Learn new dance moves every week!

Shin Atashin'chi: The 'adventures' of a normal family. Amusing situations depicted with a compassionate view.
It strongly reminded us of My Neighbours the Yamadas -- which is good. Cool detail: the eldest, a daughter, is called Mikan, and the youngest, a son, is called Yuzu...

Peeping Life Season 1?: Short sketches, some using characters from Tezuka's works (like when Black Jack visits a doctor and gets swindled out of his wallet). Seems like they're made with motion capture. Oddly intriguing.

And that concludes my reviews of the new season!
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hand-eye coordination
Nov. 15th, 2015 @ 04:52 pm More new anime
Current Mood: okayokay
Here's some more reviews of new anime this season. There will be more.

[Lots of reviews]Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka??: Second season of the story of Cocoa doing a homestay at the Bunny Cafe. Inconsequential fluff, which we like.

Concrete Revolutio: The story of a teenaged witch who gets involved with an organisation that tries to police all the superheroes and aliens in the city. Her sempai leaves the organisation, and she chases after him ever since.
It looks really gorgeous: sharp contrasts, colourful setting. But ultimately it seemed like a bit of a narrative mess, and we couldn't really care that much for what happened. It all seemed too... random.

Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou: The Attack on Titan Middle School, where we meet the cast of the original anime at their first day of school. But then the titans attack, taking their precious lunches! Eren won't stand for it anymore, and he decides to fight back!
A totally odd concept, and I'm not sure why this was made. Perhaps to keep interest in the franchise going while the manga plods on to provide enough plot for a new anime series?

Dance with Devils: Schoolgirl's life falls apart when her mother is kidnapped and her house is ransacked -- but when she returns with the police, the place is once again rebuilt (though her mom is still gone). Then the pretty schoolcouncil boys get involved: they seem to know more...
Reverse harem series, with some supernatural elements. It has all the trappings, including the songs! The boys seem a bit one-dimensional though, playing to their stereotypes and not much more.

Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid: Mamori is a 'Mermaid', which means she transforms into a weapon when she gets (sexually) aroused by an expert wielder, who can then wield her in battle.
Total fanservice-bait, with only the flimsiest of plots. I wonder what went wrong for this to be made.

Lance 'n Masques: Youtarou is a knight, but he needs to hide is identity as such: when he brings out his lance, he also wears a mask. Whenever a damsel is in distress, he can't resist saving her and then spouting "chivalric" nonsense. He meets a girl who lives alone, and his knight-syndrome kicks in full force.
Not too bad, but Youtarou's behaviour really irked me for some reason. And in the end, we just didn't care about what happened.

Kowabon: Webcams are infected with evil spirits, 'hair-horror' ensues. Filmed footage traced to make it into animation, which gives it a weird look.

Young Black Jack: A prequel to the Black Jack mangas by Tezuka, it shows a young medical student in the 60's in Japan, amid the student protests, doing a 'mercenary' operation to save the limbs of a small boy who got hit by a train.
I liked the social commentary and a view into the situation of Japan in the 60's (to me that looks historically plausible), but I don't think I like the Black Jack-style of brooding hero who is oddly competent. At the end of the episode, we just shrugged and moved on.

High School Star Musical: There's this school specialising in the performing arts, and Yuuta enters it, wanting to become a dancer and singer in a musical. The top student of each department is placed in the Kao Kai, and they select the students they will personally teach. Yuuta isn't that good, but together with a bunch of other misfits, they amuse a member of the Kao Kai enough that he lets them into his own class.
Yuuta is a likable fellow with a sincere wish, and all the other boys have their own problems -- unlike in some other series, they don't seem mere two-dimensional pretty manflesh. (Also: there's no girl in sight, so it's not a reverse harem either.) And now this rag-tag band of boys has to be changed into a group of musical stars!

Kagewani: Supernatural monsters exist, and if you go to a deserted island to fake video footage of one, they will emerge and eat you!
At least, that's what happens in the first episode. The characters doing the faking are kind of unlikable, so it's not a big loss when they get eaten, but once that was that, we lost interest.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: Set on Mars, where some people want to gain independence from Earth. When a young woman is set to travel to Earth to plead for that, a company is contracted to provide security. That company employs ex-child soldiers as dispensible cannon-fodder -- and when they get attacked by unknown forces, it's those orphans who protect the young woman with one of their old battle-suits.
Looks gorgeous in a gritty way, but it also has complex characters with a complex web of interactions. There is bound to be lots of things right under the surface waiting to burst into the scene.
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Nov. 14th, 2015 @ 09:42 pm New anime mega-post!
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
No, I have not forgotten to watch the new season's first episodes, but the preparations for our trip to Japan and the actual trip itself took up so much time that I did not get around to posting the reviews. Of course we watched the episodes, and I'll give you our reviews now. This is the first batch of first episode reviews.

[Reviews under here]One Punch Man: A guy dreams of becoming a super-hero. He trains hard, but then he gets so strong that he can defeat every opponent in only one punch. That gets kinda boring...
Quite funny, with a super-bored super-guy who kind of regrets becoming the superhero he is.

Noragami Aragoto: Sequel to Noragami. Seems to 'normalise' the setting again, re-introducing all the characters and their relationships. No sight of an actual plot yet in the first episode. If you liked the first series, this promises more of that goodness.

K: Return of Kings: Another sequel of a series that ran some time ago. It jumps right back into the action with a big fight between the blues and the reds. Meanwhile, the greens are up to no good!
We got bored half-way, it's mainly two groups posing and shouting at each other. We watched the first series, but we'll be skipping this sequel.

Gakuen Toshi Asterisk: Something about a city filled with the top schools where the students are taught to develop their supernatural talents. Each year there's a tournament to find the strongest fighter of all the schools. Ayato joins one of the schools, sees the top fighter girl in her underwear, which of course results in a duel between the two.
This concept of "school where you get trained in supernatural combat powers" is getting a bit long in the teeth. This implementation of it did not bring anything new to the table -- there's nothing here that we haven't seen a dozen times before.

Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry: And here we have another: a school for Magic Knights. Ikki attends, but he is unable to manifest any magic -- he is literally "the worst one". Stella, a princess who has high magic power, is forced by the principal to be his roommate... A duel ensues!
Ikki is likable and hard-working, not the "mysteriously competent" like Ayato. We liked this incarnation of the concept much, much better.

Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru: Shoutarou has a bit of an odd part-time job: he hangs around Sakurako, a woman in her 20s who collects "beautiful bones" as a hobby. Shoutarou is her muscle, and he gets to dig where she tells him to dig -- often there are bones involved. And when there are bones involved, there are signs of a crime...
We thought it was a great series, with a bit of a novel concept. Sakurako is, of course, rather rude (Dutch would say: 'direct'), but she does know her stuff. Shoutarou is the 'straight man', her long-suffering assistant who tries to smooth over Sakurako's breaches of etiquette. If you like CSI-type series, then this will be relevant to your interests.

Heavy Object: Conventional weapons were rendered obsolute when the Heavy Objects appeared: impenetrable mobile fortresses that can deal with anything that crosses their path. These days, a war is mainly a battle between Heavy Objects, with the loser ceding ground to the victor: once you lost your Heavy Object, there is no reason to keep resisting against the superior firepower. Quenser and Heivia are soldiers on a base serving a Heavy Object. Since there is little chance for them to ever do any actual fighting, they have a bit of a carefree life. Milinda, the Object pilot, can't afford to be like that.
Interesting mega-mecha concept, with likable characters. There's not much plot (yet), but you know there will be some sort of conflict in the future, and it will be interesting to see how the characters will deal with that.

Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai: Magic-users are persecuted, and the people who go after them are trained at a school, organised in platoons. In this particular school, the 35th platoon is particularly bad, and when an active agent makes a grave mistake during a mission, she is forced to join this bunch of losers.
Kinda interesting to see how the losers will bond/help the agent with her traumas. Maybe they will shape up when they get inspired by her?

Subete ga F ni Naru: Moe is a rich girl, whose late father was a researcher of some sort. She hangs around the lab of his last student, because she really likes him -- but she doesn't really have anything to add to his research. There's also a mysterious scientist that supposedly killed her parents, but you only get to speak to her through video chat. Then the lab goes on a field trip, and Moe makes sure that she is invited too.
Slow build-up, but the visuals are cool and the inter-character dynamic is really well thought out. I want to see more of this.

Shomin Sample: At a boarding school for elite girls, they have ran into a problem: the girls are brought up so isolated from society that once they graduate, they do not know how to behave around men. The solution is to kidnap a "commoner boy" so that the girls can find out more about commoners and boys -- two birds in one stone! Only the boy is not homosexual as they think...
Yeah, one boy in a school filled with elite girls -- haven't we seen this before? If you're into that sort of thing, then it might be kinda cool. As it is, it only elicited some eyerolls from us.

Comet Lucifer: Giftium is some kind of crystal that gets mined. Sogo is also a (hobby) miner as a part-time job. He gets caught up in a very wild chase and ends up at the shore of an underground lake with a friend. Then mecha drill through the walls, and the crystal Sogo is carrying activates, and a girl with a big mecha appears!
The underground scenes reminded me very strongly of Laputa, which perhaps made me like it more than I would have otherwise, based on the plot and visuals so far. But mecha and a setting that seems kinda science-fantasy? I do like me some of that.

Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen: The main character wakes up with amnesia in a land he does not recognise -- he doesn't even know his own name! He gets saved by a dog-eared girl, who takes him under her wing -- but he has to pull his weight when working at the village!
Second series of Utawarerumono, and I think it's set much later than the first series. There are some similarities between the two series, and I am curious to see where this one takes the concept.
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Oct. 11th, 2015 @ 10:25 pm Miasma, my 24-hour RPG
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
So, the RPG I wrote for the 24-hour RPG contest is called Miasma. If you're interested, you can download it here.

Today, I got a mail asking when I'm going to start a Kickstarter campaign to develop it further... I'm not sure it's that good, but there you have it.
(And if you have an account on RPGGeek (and you also have one if you have an account on any of the sister sites like BoardGameGeek or VideoGameGeek), you can vote. You can find the full list of all submissions here.)
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Oct. 11th, 2015 @ 10:05 pm Finished series: Sanzoku no Musume Ronja
Current Mood: okayokay
We've finished watching Sanzoku no Musume Ronja, an adaptation of the book by Astrid Lindgren. I do not know the book, and I am assuming that it follows the plot faithfully. (Still, allowing your ten-year old daughter to roam the forest unsupervised? how's that for "free-range parenting"?)
It's all done with CGI, also the character animation. Now, most of the time that makes for really stilted characters, but apparently the technique has improved a lot in recent years: the characters move rather smoothly, and the faces are really expressive.
We really liked the series: full of adventure and wonder. I especially liked the harpies: they are unrepentantly malicious. And the true hero of the series is Lovis, just sayin'.
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Oct. 9th, 2015 @ 03:02 pm Spiel 2015
Current Mood: tiredtired
Some things I learned when visiting Spiel '15 in Essen on Thursday:
- More lockers (or pointing out where more lockers were available and guaranteeing that they would be accessible until after the day) would have made more people's day immensely better. My neck is still hurting from carrying all those books in a shoulder bag;
- At the end of the day, people are going to collect their coats from the checkroom. If you don't have somebody standing by to take a claimant's ticket while the others are searching, you do not have enough people on checkroom duty;
- Thursday is not so busy as the other days, and everybody is still fresh. Crowds are not as thick, there's more space for walking around. I'll be visiting on Thursdays next year too;
- Game tables are A Thing. We've spotted three stands with game tables, but there seems to be very little in the way of differentiation between the manufacturers. Also, there is no upper limit to the amount of money you can spend on a game table;
- Complementary PDFs when buying a book are A Thing, and the world is a more glorious place for it. Buy directly from the publisher (both Cubicle 7 Entertainment and Modiphius Entertainment were present) and be prepared to write your e-mail address down on a clipboard. Bring your best handwriting or let them spell it back at you;
- I spent more than I thought I would. Not necessarily a bad thing, but we blew through 300+ euros pretty easily;
- I like Hall 7 the best in this edition. I'm not much of a boardgamer, so I liked the the quirky collection of stands in Hall 7 the best;
- Not every RPG retailer treats their books with respect. I saw a copy of Midnight (Second Edition) that I had a latent interest in, but I wasn't going to pay full price for a book that's 10 years old, almost falling out of the cover due to the flyleaf coming loose and with damaged cover corners. This was, unfortunately, not a rarity with that retailer. I've made a note not to order from them;
- The restaurant in Hall 3 is busy during lunch time, but, like with the rest of the show on Thursday, it's doable. We were able to secure a spot to sit and enjoy lunch without too much trouble;
- If you're staying towards the end of the day, it's best to have research dinner options close to the Messe beforehand -- it's probably better than greasy truckstop food, even though the serving ladies were friendly and charming.
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Oct. 6th, 2015 @ 10:21 pm The One Ring in Bundle of Holding
Current Mood: excitedexcited
The One Ring is currently my favourite RPG. Set in Middle Earth, it gives a really good Tolkien feel. There are rule systems for travelling and falling under the influence of The Shadow. Great atmosphere too. I have all the books and am currently running a campaign through Google Hangouts and running a Play-by-Forum over on RPGGeek.

So I'm quite excited that the Bundle of Holding is now offering a great selection of The One Ring PDFs! If you're at all interested in RPGs, then I really recommend it.
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the one ring
Oct. 4th, 2015 @ 10:04 am Finished series: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
Current Mood: okayokay
We've finished watching Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

Kousei was a child prodigy on the piano, drilled by his mother in a bit of a lifeless style that follows the score completely -- perfect for winning concours after concours. But his mother's ambition was all-consuming: she was very ill, and wanted Kousei to succeed where she failed: to become a great pianist who would win all contests in the world. Her methods were harsh, and when she died, Kousei sort of cracked: his PTSD made him unable to hear his own playing...
Years pass, and Kousei is in his last year of middle school. He meets Kaori, a friend of his neighbour-and-childhood-friend Tsubaki, who claims to have a thing for Kousei's friend Wataru-the-playboy. Kaori plays the violin, and she forces Kousei to take up the piano again, in order to accompany her on the piano when she plays a concours. She keeps pushing him, even when her illness makes it impossible for her to play herself.

Sad and romantic love story. Kousei has a lot of things on his plate, and unlike most main characters with a sob-story background,it only occurs rarely that you feel like punching him to get him to move again. Kaori does a great job of bullying him into submission!
Halfway through, it threatens to turn into some sort of sports anime (with rivals at concours and long internal monologues on-stage during the most difficult technical pieces), but that gets smoothed over nicely. Kousei's dramatic past also gets revealed bit-by-bit, so that's nice too: good storytelling that keeps you interested.
The ending is kinda predictable, but that's probably not too bad of a thing: the pleasure in this series is in the journey, not in a big or dramatic reveal at the end.

I liked it: a competent addition to the genre.
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Oct. 4th, 2015 @ 09:45 am The cure for shooting sprees?
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
There will be no law made in the US to curb gun possession -- that genie is out of the bottle, and nobody can get it back in. Americans love their guns, and the "legend of the gunslinger" is so strong that anything that goes against that will be summarily rejected. But it is exactly that 'legend' that gives rise to these shooting sprees. For some reason, the US, as a country, does not succeed in keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally instable.

Here's a great proposal to change gun culture: make the NRA's rules for responsible gun ownership into law. Surely they can't object to this -- and surely responsible gun owners won't get hit with these laws because they follow these rules all the time already, right? Following those rules would not have prevented all the shootings, but it would have made it possible to go after some people who facilitated them. Giving a gun to your mentally unstable son, who then proceeds to shoot up his school? Under current law, you go free. Under the NRA laws, you're complicit...
Those laws might change gun culture, and that may make shooting sprees less common.

It makes an awful lot of sense. I think it would be a great idea. And that's probably why it won't happen.
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Ships passing in the night
Sep. 21st, 2015 @ 08:05 pm 24-hour RPG
Current Mood: creativecreative
If I don't get too ill (a cold has reared its head), I might invest Friday into writing an entry to the 24-hour RPG contest. I've already got the concept thought up, but of course doing any actual design work outside of the 24 hours is cheating.

If I finish it up, you can expect a link to it to pop up when it's been submitted and placed on RPGGeek.
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Sep. 20th, 2015 @ 04:33 pm Best way to post vacation photos?
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Tags: ,
So, we'll be in Japan in about a month's time. Like usual, I am going to type up daily reports (in Dutch) that I am going to mail out to interested parties. But we'll also be taking quite a few photos -- both with cellphones (me) and with DSLR camera's (klik). We would like to share these with the people who read the reports -- but obviously we'd rather not send all those shots through e-mail.
So now I'm looking for a light-weight way to distribute those photos -- preferrably with captions, and a way to group photos together, so that you can see all photos from a single day together. I would like to be able to post through an app on my android phone as well -- so CMS'es with a fiddly interface are not my preference.

What should I do? Upload to LJ and make a post there? Just make a tumblr? Host a wordpress blog somewhere? Something else?
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Sep. 20th, 2015 @ 11:40 am Apple pie party
Current Mood: fullfull
There's an apple farmer close to Nijmegen that allows people to come to the orchard and pick their own apples, every Saturday in September. We've been there before, and we thought it would be fun to go again. babarage and her husband came along!

Apples! We got some instructions on how to pick, and were advised to pick the biggest and reddest apples.

Selecting the best ones to make into apple pie. That tree with the little orange fruit (which is inedible) is there to attract bees and wasps for pollination, because the flowers smell much stronger than the flowers of the apple trees. Every tenth tree in the orchard is one of those 'attractor trees'.

Our haul: eleven kilos of apples -- a mix of goudrenet and elstar. Each pie would take about a kilo of apples, so we overshot our target by quite a bit!
We also visited the little supermarket with local products that was there, and the plastic sheep (now named "One", because one is supposed to count sheep) will be used to annoy babarage's dog. ;)

Cutting up the apples. They were so fresh that they didn't even get brown after being peeled for some time.

klik putting the finishing touches on the finished pie. We added more raisins than the recipe called for, because we could.

One hour later: fresh out of the oven!

Cutting up the pie made a bit of a mess -- no beautiful portions but more of a 'freestyle' piece of pie. Perhaps this is due to the extra moisture from the elstar apples. One day later, the bottom of the pie has gotten a bit soggy as well. One of the tips we got was to use baker's cream powder on the bottom to absorb the excess moisture, which we might try on a following pie.

We also baked a second pie for babarage to take home.

To supplement dinner, we also cut up some apples and warmed that up in the microwave. Smash it up with a fork (as fine as you wish, I prefer a bit chunky), and add a bit of cinnamon. Almost-instant applesauce, doesn't even need added sugar!

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Sep. 17th, 2015 @ 10:03 pm Finished series: Samurai Flamenco
Current Mood: mellowmellow
We've finished watching Samurai Flamenco. You know those Japanese hero shows, that were then cut up and remixed into Power Rangers? Well, this photomodel has watched too many of those, and wants to become a hero like that himself. So he dresses up as Samurai Flamenco and starts berating kids who make noise late at night, gets beaten up, etcetera.
[And then it sort of... escalates.]And then it sort of... escalates. He manages to get a following, gets a sidekick, cleans up crime in a neighbourhood, and then a real evil organisation pops up, they start beating up the monsters this King Torture sends out, and then he beats King Torture. And then it turns out that this was only the vanguard of a huge evil organisations, who send out the Four Kings to attack Japan. And then it turns out that there is a secret government organisation already set up to deal with this, and he gets to be the Red Flamenger, complete with mecha that combine into a giant robot. They defeat the Four Kings, but it turns out that they were only a subgroup of the 64 Generals... But those are also a subgroup, etcetera. During the final assault of more than 65000 monsters, it turns out that all those heroes from the shows actually exist and they turn up to help defeat all those monsters, while the Flamenger team halts a giant drill that's trying to get Mt Fuji to erupt. But then they get blamed for the whole thing -- the prime minister seeks to up his approval rating to power his armour, but Samurai Flamenco defeats him anyway. The prime ministers needed to become more powerful because an alien would attack the Earth, and he wanted to protect Japan against that. Samurai Flamenco goes in his stead and manages to defeat the alien, after which he gets to meet the Will of the Universe...

Quite the roller-coaster ride. What would take a complete normal series, passes in about three or four episodes here, and then it's time for the next step of the escalation! It was interesting to see what they would come up with next, but the plots themselves are not that interesting -- good thing they're short. The visuals are not that good either at times.
If you're totally into hero shows or want to be kept on your toes, then it comes recommended. Otherwise, it definately lacks the wow-factor.
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Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?
Sep. 9th, 2015 @ 09:03 pm Finished series: Zankyou no Terror
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
We've finished watching Zankyou no Terror. The series is about two boys who have been victims of a secret government program, who want the world to know what happened to them. Their chosen way is to bomb buildings and sites that are managed by the top elite who started the program -- but always making sure not to kill anybody.
During their first bombing, one of their classmates gets caught up in their scheme, and she is given a choice: die, or become an accomplice. She chooses the latter.
Meanwhile, a police inspector who was demoted, starts putting the clues together -- he is put in charge of the investigation to capture the boys, but then finds out that not everything is as it seems...

It's only eleven episodes, but it is very "dense": lots of stuff happens. There's always a new plot twist to keep you on your toes, always a new scheme that you want to see work out. It's a very intelligent series, with some cool visuals too. Highly recommended.
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Sep. 8th, 2015 @ 07:15 pm RPG character death haiku
Current Mood: amusedamused
As you may know, I spend a lot of time over on RPGGeek, the RPG sister site of BoardGameGeek. One of the features they have, is the Question of the Day. Today's question is: "Describe a character death in haiku."

The responses are glorious.
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Sep. 6th, 2015 @ 08:48 pm Finished series: Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata
Current Mood: okayokay
We've finished watching Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata.

Aki is a bit of an alpha-nerd: his blog is read by many, and he even managed to build up a loyal following for his favourite light-novel author -- who turns out to be his sempai at school. One day, he has an 'event' happen to him: standing at the foot of a hill, he catches a girls' white beret that was blown from her head. This stirs a fierce passion in him: he vows to make a dating sim featuring this mysterious beauty as the female lead. In order to do this, he recruits the help of the light novel author and a chidhood friend who works as a doujinshi artist. They're both quite high-strung and in competition with each other over Aki's affections.
And then Aki finds out that his mysterious beauty is actually his classmate Megumi, who is plain in every respect. She undergoes Aki's enthousiasm with calm. She joins the team and delivers the dead-pan commentary to Aki's life that is increasingly starting to look like a dating sim itself...

OK, so if you know about the various tropes in harem and dating sim anime, then it's mildly amusing. It won't get any points for originality though. And there's not really an ending to the series -- perhaps there will be a second season, but probably not.
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Bishoujo squad!
Aug. 29th, 2015 @ 10:07 pm Finished series: Punch Line
Current Mood: calmcalm
We've finished watching Punch Line. It starts off pretty bizarre with a disembodied ghost, time travel, superpowers etcetera. And then it gets even more convoluted with multiple time lines that cross, which gives us the same events from different viewpoints -- always a sign of good storytelling.
Art is good, voice acting is cool, plot is really nice. And it's all very light-hearted even though some of the themes are pretty heavy. It reminded me of Baccano, which also has lots of storylines coming together in a really unexpected way.
I recommend it -- it's very good even though it starts off a bit... juvenile. It gets better quite quickly.
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Aug. 24th, 2015 @ 08:32 pm Finished series: Log Horizon 2
Current Mood: okayokay
We've finished watching Log Horizon 2, a continuation of the excellent Log Horizon series.

The first series showed how the adventurers coped with being drawn into the game world and setting up their society. The second series lacks this focus, so it's more of a mish-mash. Not every story arc is that strong, and Shiroe (arguably the series' main character) doesn't even feature in some of the episodes. I did like the fact that the adventurers slowly seemed to realise that this is not a game anymore: things are not "designed", so they might not be beatable...
The other side of that is that the series seems to be more character focussed, and I liked that part of it. We get some soul searching, and some decisions are reached.

Overall, I liked it quite a bit, but it is not as strong as the first series.
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Ships passing in the night
Aug. 23rd, 2015 @ 11:36 am More on physical books versus PDF for RPGs
Current Mood: okayokay
And just like that, I was linked to this excellent article by Pelgrane Press on physical books versus PDFs and the various distribution models that affects. Pelgrane Press also participates in Bits & Mortar, and the reasoning for it is discussed as well.
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