All posts by Karen

Otakubites: June Edition

I've decided to use this slightly weird sketch of Aeka in a towel for those times when I really don't need any particular image, but I feel like putting something here anyway. You're welcome.

The slow death of my hard drive and subsequent new hardware installation has delayed my anime recapping and other such activities for a bit, but you know what we haven’t had for a while? Otakubites, all the news that doesn’t fit to print whatsoever but can totally go here.

1. Guess Who’s A Baka?
Lately I’ve been appearing on Bakacast, now the only anime podcast I’m aware of that reviews currently airing anime on a weekly basis. If you’re watching Steins;Gate, [C], Soft Tenni, AnoHana, HanaIro (anything with “Hana” in it really), or X-Men, you may want to give it a listen, as we discuss them for entire minutes on end, I tell you. Also, if you want to hear Dustin, Jon, Larry and Glen riff on previous season hits like Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt and High School of the Dead, there’s always the old episodes- which don’t feature me at all, but hey, what can you do? Nothing’s perfect.

2. Spring 2011 Anime at the Moment
While I’ve discussed a fair amount of this on Bakacast already, for those who were curious, here’s my current stance on the shows I evaluated at the beginning of the season:

1. Nichijou: I wanted to like this, but too many of the jokes weren’t funny to me…or even jokes, necessarily. I may go back and finish this series at some point out of curiousity, but it stopped being weekly viewing pretty soon after it started. I also kind of hate Nano because she looks so much like Azumanga Daioh‘s Osaka, yet she is so NOT Osaka.

2. Soft Tennis– frequently stupid, but refreshingly absurd and sometimes a lot of fun. It reminds me a lot of Excel Saga at times; sure, it’s probably not as good as Excel Saga, but most of Excel Saga wasn’t even as good as Excel Saga, if you catch my drift. A lot of people don’t like it for being such a check-your-brain-at-the-door kind of show, but I have to say this for it: it delivered exactly what the first episode promised, something most shows I’ve watched this season very pointedly have not done.

Also, how long after the Evangelion TV series aired do we have to wait for other shows to stop parodying it so consistently? The Eva parodies on this show make me laugh, but I suspect it’s a cheap laugh.

3. Hanasaku Iroha– This was a bait and switch. While not a terrible show, the tone of the first episode was not maintained for long, and the protagonist seemed to lose about 100 IQ points between episodes 1 and 3. I’m still watching it, but if it weren’t for Bakacast I probably would have dropped it by now.

4. Battle Girls: Time Paradox: Another show that didn’t deliver what it promised. The first two episodes promised some silly, over-the-top time traveling, gender-swapped adventures, while the actual show after that point has been mostly dull and pedestrian. This wasn’t necessarily a terrible show right off the bat- the potential for something entertaining was definitely there- but it seems like everyone involved just got very lazy very quickly.

I’ve also been watching Astralotte’s Toy for some reason, which I didn’t write up at the beginning of the season because I had NO. IDEA. How to explain it. I think I may have to wait until this one’s finished airing to know what’s going on here.

3. @TheOtakusphere: It exists
Hey, did you know you can find out when this blog is updated by following @TheOtakusphere on Twitter? Lamentably, many on the internet are not yet aware of this fortuitous situation.

After years of using my personal Twitter for everything, I realized hey, I might want to tweet something about cake at some point, and that’s really not fair to those who follow me for anime and game stuff, not cake. So you can stop following that OTHER Twitter account and start following @TheOtakusphere for all your Otakusphere needs, and I promise I won’t tweet about cake with @TheOtakusphere account unless I’m discussing Yumeiro Patisserie or something. Yum, cake anime.

Normally I wouldn’t bother actually posting about Twitter (considering the whole purpose of Twitter for me is to tweet about posting), but it’s come to my attention that some regular readers of this blog had no idea there was a twitter account to begin with. So! @TheOtakusphere! I’ll just keep typing that name until I erode any subconscious resistance to it you may have.

Steins; Gate: Mayuri is an Evil Mastermind

DON'T BE FOOLED; She's got it all figured out.

Okay, the title’s misleading: Mayuri isn’t necessarily an evil mastermind. But she’s definitely a mastermind, alignment pending.

While contemplating my favorite show this season that’s not about underage succubi princesses and cognitively-impaired mutants, I got to wondering: what purpose does Mayuri serve on Steins;Gate, exactly? She’s just kind of there. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that not only is everything about Mayuri, but she must be a genius the likes of which Okarin and “Christina” can only imagine.

Here are just some of the reason why Mayuri must be the key to the kind-of-sort-of puzzle that is S;G.

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X-Men Episode 8: It’s the G-Virus!

I want to make a Monster Mash joke but I can't think of any conceivable way to make it at all clever. Monster Mash, lalalala! Monster Mash, la! Okay close enough.

Summary: X-Men takes a turn for the better this week as they’re all far too busy fighting insane Resident Evil bosses to have the time to say all of the stupid, contradictory nonsense they normally say. Also, Storm does something! Wolverine does something! Cyclops gets punched in the face! What can I say, it’s kind of a winner.

Continue reading X-Men Episode 8: It’s the G-Virus!

Tomb Raider, Level 12: Sanctuary of the Scion

Overview, or in Need of Level Replayers Anonymous

Confession time: I seriously screwed up this level for myself. First I played it two or three times, as is my habit for these things, fully intending to write up a level review shortly. Then I moved into my new apartment and got sidetracked. Then I played the level again, thinking I would THEN review it, only to get buried in work for a few weeks. So as I played it again just now, for what must have been the fourth or fifth time, I realized I had managed to make one of the great Tomb Raider levels of all time appear boring via repetition.

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X-Men Episode #7: Couch-Men

Doesn't Yui have a nice living room? It's a good thing too, since we spend like five hours there.

Summary: The X-Men spend an awfully long time sitting on the couch chatting, Sasaki Yui and Prof. X have one of the most patently ridiculous conversations I’ve ever seen in my life, and Wolverine takes a page out of Storm’s book and forgets what his powers do. I would say things are deteriorating fast, but they’ve kind of been deteriorating at a real steady rate all along, honestly.

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X-Men Episode 6: Snow isn’t Weather-Related

Notice that Hisako is powered up when the X-Men are attacked initially, but then depowers at some point once the battle with the U-Men starts. Whatever, I just hate going into battle with my completely impregnable battle armor too.

Summary: What is this, I don’t even…okay, this episode. Hisako continues to mostly outperform Storm and Wolverine in combat for no reason, the X-Men continue to have great difficulty with the “the U-Men have analyzed your powers and are using them against you” concept, and everything I thought I understood about the whole secondary mutation/DHS thing is kind of thrown out the nearest window and into the snow. Lots of snow. On the plus side, Beast does stuff.

Continue reading X-Men Episode 6: Snow isn’t Weather-Related

X-Men Episode #5: New X-Men GET

I would make some joke about Cyclops and Emma hooking up soon, but I was too creeped out by Cyclops slapping Hisako around in the Danger Room in this episode to go anywhere near that topic. I propose a moratorium on all sex jokes involving Cyclops...for at least the next week and a half.

Summary: In the best episode thus far, Hisako punches Cyclops in the face several times, and really, what else matters? Well, I suppose everyone who was getting yuri vibes from Hisako and Emma’s relationship can now get thoroughly heterosexual, but much more disturbing, vibes from Cyclops/Hisako, since they are both way, way too passionate about pushing each other’s buttons. Oh, and Storm is horrendously out of character in yet another way.

Continue reading X-Men Episode #5: New X-Men GET